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Make the Connection

05 October 2018

An update on Linde’s new fleet management software its new Truck Call App, and range extension for its lithium-ion powered trucks.

Earlier into the year, I visited Linde’s World of Material Handling event in Germany, where the manufacturer highlighted a wide variety of forklift solutions, including Linde Connect fleet management software, which recently saw its first major deployment in the UK with Fowler Welch.

Connect keeps track of operating hours, documents jolts and downtimes, indicates when maintenance work is needed, and much more. The comprehensive fleet management solution is now available for all industrial trucks – and can also be fitted on vehicles from third-party manufacturers.

The connect:desk software provides a overview, and serves as a kind of control centre for the fleet manager. Here all data converge and are analysed, mapped and monitored. Depending on the selected connect function modules, the logistician can retrieve more than 25 interactive reports regarding the fleet. These include, among other things, current availability diagrams, detailed usage information or forecasts of the expected truck operating hours. This makes it much easier to identify unused potential, avoid idle times and make optimum use of the trucks. 

Truck Call app

I also got a sneak peak at the Truck Call App in Germany. Getting the right industrial truck and driver to the right place at the right time is often a tricky task for fleet managers. The new Truck Call app from Linde Material Handling now enables users to digitally assign such transport tasks. This considerably simplifies and speeds up communication between fleet managers and drivers. 

A typical day-to-day example: Having suffered delays on the road due to adverse traffic conditions, a truck carrying goods arrives at the yard much later than expected. Rapid unloading is needed right now. If you only knew where on site the right forklift is. What to do? Charge around the premises, searching for it? Make lots of phone calls? Ask the truck driver to wait? 

Linde Material Handling now offers a better solution for such and many other cases: the new Linde Truck Call app. This application makes it much easier to assign unscheduled transport jobs and ensures quicker communication between supervisors and drivers. 

Lithium-ion up to 8 tonnes

Linde Material Handling has extended it’s range of lithium-ion powered counterbalance trucks up to eight tonnes lifting capacity.

All capacities of Linde’s electric counterbalanced truck range are now available with lithium-ion batteries, giving customers the choice of lead-acid or lithium-ion batteries for these popular models as well as the majority of the company’s warehouse equipment products.

All the models in this new series comprising 6.0, 7.0 and 8.0t at 600mm load centre and 8.0t at 900mm load centre can be equipped with powerful 90-volt lithium-ion batteries with up to120 kWh capacity. 

Chargers of 9 kW, 17 kW and 30 kW output are also available to charge the batteries. The selection of charger size is determined by how quickly energy needs to be restored to the battery during its opportunity charging periods. 

These heavy-duty trucks with lithium-ion batteries can reach speeds of 20 km/h with or without load providing similar performance to engine power machines. They work satisfactorily in a  range of temperatures, making them suitable for external or internal operation anywhere in the UK and throughout the year.

Lithium-ion technology eliminates the need for battery changing which is a major benefits with trucks of this capacity where the battery will weigh nearly 3 tonnes.

The trucks also generate lower levels of CO2 than IC engine forklifts and no harmful battery gases are produced during the charging process as is the case with lead acid batteries.

Björn Walter, product manager counterbalanced trucks at Linde Material Handling, said:

“Very few manufacturers offer electric forklifts in this load category so we are therefore proud to provide a complete solution consisting of a lithium-ion battery plus a charger for these heavy-duty vehicles.

“The benefits of lithium-ion technology, such as longer truck availability, no battery changes, and faster driving speeds are useful assets for our customers.

“At Linde, we recognise the huge growth potential of lithium-ion power which is why we have extended the range of counterbalance trucks available with this type of battery.”