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All-weather options boost Yale trucks

10 February 2015

Yale has revealed new options to enhance the number of applications where its electric counterbalance forklift trucks can be used externally including rain, snow and muddy conditions.

The new weather protection options are available on the Yale ERP22-35VL to overcome some challenging environments, normally the reserve of ICE products.

The kits improve the dependability of the truck when used outside, increasing product flexibility, productivity and allowing electric rider trucks to lower the total cost of operation.

The Arduous Conditions Kit makes the four wheel electric forklift truck suitable for use in ‘dirty’ yards and inclement weather, where standing water, mud, snow, salt or other corrosive substances can be found. It also protects the forklift truck in dusty or sandy environments.

The kit consists of an extended belly pan and side shields along with an IP54 sealed drive axle and traction motors which prevent moisture and debris from entering into the drive axle motors, protecting them from the working environment and maximising their service life.

Tilt cylinder boots are also fitted which protect the tilt cylinders from fine particle ingress, improving the seal life. 

A Spray and Corrosive Environment kit is also available which also adds fully enclosed fuse box and relays, fully sealed rocker switches, sealer coatings on all power cable connections and upgraded protection of fastened joints.

This package protects electrical connections from moisture, debris and dust, preventing shorting and corrosion and improving long-term dependability. The kit also makes the truck suitable for use in applications where routine pressure washing is required.

Mud guard extensions are available between the drive wheels and carriage to prevent dirt thrown up by the wheels coating sensitive loads and clogging up attachments.

If a forklift is primarily used in outdoor applications where it is susceptible to rain, snow, ice or salted surfaces then the Spray and Corrosive Environments / Wash Down Protection Kit and mud guards is suggested.

A ‘weather protection’ operator’s cabin option, consisting of individual panels which reflect the modern styling of the VL series, can be mounted onto the standard overhead guard to provide weather protection for outdoor use, shielding the operator from everything from wind and rain to hail and snow.

Available as a factory fit during the assembly process specified during purchasing, or as an aftermarket retrofit, the panels are attached using threaded fasteners inserted into existing fixing holes in the overhead guard. This means that in hot weather the doors can be easily removed and stored.

The toughened safety glass of the front and rear screens provide an effective water resistant seal whilst the top screen features a laminated glass panel for visibility at high lift heights. Front and rear wipers and washers are standard and to maintain a high level of visibility, the wiper motor has been located under the dashboard out of view.

An alternative heavyweight PVC door option is also available. Zipped doors provide easy entry and exit with the right hand door providing access to the battery panel. 

Magnets hold the bottom of the door in place, keeping it securely open during battery removal. In hot weather the doors can simply be removed by unzipping them.

The VL weather protection options have been carefully designed to ensure ease of operation and operator comfort. Doors feature gas springs to minimise the effort required to open and close the door. Vertical or side battery removal has also been accommodated as the door swings out of the way to allow access to the battery compartment.

The heater position has also been conveniently located. Attached to the door, it swings out of the way during entry and exit. The digital control panel for the heater is located within easy reach of the operator.

Matthew Allen, Yale counterbalance engineering manager, said: "We are delighted to be able to offer these new options which extend the capability of the series to overcome some of the most challenging environments.

"The Yale VL series can be used by operators both indoors and outdoors. The weather protection options have been carefully designed to ensure ease of operation and operator comfort.

"The Arduous Conditions Kit is advised for occasional exposure to rain and/or small debris. The Arduous Conditions Kit, combined with the Spray and Corrosive Environments / Wash Down Protection Kit and mud guards are advised for regular exposure to rain or when operating frequently through standing water.”

The trucks within the series have been designed for medium and heavy duty applications and are available in capacities from 2,200kg to 3,500kg.