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Reach trucks that are better by design

01 May 2015

In any reach truck, the element with the biggest impact on safety, performance and running costs, is also the most expensive - the operator. Here, Stewart Gosling of RDD, UK importers for Mitsubishi Reach Trucks, spells out how this was a strong influence in developing SENSiA, their latest family of reach trucks.

Over the life of your reach truck, you’ll spend more on operators’ wages than anything else. The first thing any reach truck should be is a good place to work - uncomfortable drivers are distracted and tire more quickly, which increases the risk of damage and accidents.

With sick pay and compensation to consider, good ergonomic design makes sound economic sense 

It’s no surprise then that the global ergonomics industry is worth billions - according to the HSE, musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) currently affect one million UK workers, costing £5.7bn. MSDs affect muscles, joints, tendons and bones and are a major cause of occupational ill health in drivers.

Strain-related injuries to the neck, shoulders, upper back and forearms are particularly widespread, mainly through overstretching for levers and excessive cab vibration. 

To combat this, SENSiA’s design follows strict ergonomic principles, with a fully adjustable driving position and a full-length armrest that moves in three dimensions. Our well thought-out cab also puts all the controls within arm's reach.

Drivers of reach trucks are particularly susceptible to strain, mounting and dismounting the truck over 100 times in a shift.  The average UK man weighs 83.6kg, which means that operator’s joints and muscles undergo the strain of hauling a staggering 8,360kg in and out of the cab per shift. 

Simple touches like wide, non-slip steps, good grab handles and a lower seat position in the SENSiA reduces this strain enormously. 

To enable safe operation in confined spaces, we have made the SENSiA cab large enough to accommodate any size of driver comfortably, so that limbs are not protruding - protecting them from being trapped or scraped against racking. 

Finally, as visibility is a factor in up to 80% of truck accidents our trucks have clear, wide open views and a high vision mast.

Remember, reducing accident risk doesn’t just protect your workforce, damage to trucks, racking and stock can quickly add up to enormous– and largely uninsured – expense.