Hyster explores maximizing lift-truck visibility in smart ports

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Hyster is exploring and developing an increased range of options for truck-to-truck, truck-to-object and truck-to-pedestrian detection systems, to improve the awareness of lift truck drivers in terminals. 

Combined with cameras, telematics and other technologies, ‘connected’ Hyster fleets are delivering greater productivity and visibility for the smart ports of tomorrow.

To help operators stay focused on the load and the driving path, while increasing awareness of people and other machines, Hyster has identified a series of proximity and object detection systems. They are modular and can work individually or collectively.

The first system automatically detects objects while driving in a straight line, as well as during turning maneuvers where the tail of the truck is either leading or swinging. When an object is detected, the operator is warned through haptic and audible alerts like a vibration and buzzer.

To keep operators focused on the load and the path ahead, cameras can also be set to activate only when an object is detected and then display an image on screen. 

In addition to detection systems, cameras can be used to assist with container engagements and multiple camera views can be stitched together into one image so the operator doesn’t have to spend valuable seconds trying to figure out what view a camera is displaying.

“Lift-truck drivers and pedestrians need to maintain proper awareness of each other, especially in port and terminal operations,” said Ed Stilwell, functional system leader for Hyster. 

“Lift trucks, for instance, maneuver in many different directions, but often have reduced visibility for the driver, compared to a car. Therefore, existing technologies from the automotive sector are often not advanced enough for these complex needs.

“We can add proximity sensors that enable truck-to-truck and even truck-to-pedestrian awareness. This is important as many operations are moving more product and containers without expanding their footprint. This means there are often more trucks and people working in close proximity than ever before, with increased pressure on productivity. 

“Connected trucks assure that operators are aware of trucks, objects and pedestrians in close proximity, and then operate at speeds appropriate for a specified traffic zones.”

Hyster trucks are designed to provide operators with a clear line of sight and all-around visibility and are engineered to comply with the EU Machinery Directive, complying with CE marking and safety requirements of both national standard and respective trade organizations across Europe. The company maintains that the operator must always be responsible for the safe operation of the machine, but technology can assist where visibility may be limited.  

Hyster trucks provide low cost of ownership to customers globally. The Hyster ‘Big truck’ line of forklifts provides up to 52 tonnes (57 tons) of lifting capacity for port terminals, empty container handlers, lift-trucks and warehouse equipment.

August 25, 2017

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Tom is editor of ivtinternational.com and iVT magazine. During his 20 year career in journalism Tom has worked for a diverse range of titles including Men's Health and Cosmopolitan. He also edits iVT's UKi Media & Events stablemate Traffic Technology International.

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