Forklift Trucks Reap Benefits of Hybrid Hydraulics

Forklift Trucks Reap Benefits of Hybrid Hydraulics

Eaton Hydraulics, Eden Prairie, Minn., is moving lift truck technology to the next level with its new hydraulic hybrid drive. Engineers from lift truck manufacturers recently visited an Eaton facility in Germany for a first-hand feel of this efficient technology installed in a machine demonstrator.

“The Eaton hydraulic hybrid power system means cities and businesses can significantly reduce the amount of fuel consumed and emissions produced,” said Astrid Mozes, chief technology officer, Hydraulics Group, Eaton. “Our innovative products and technical solutions provide businesses a competitive edge by reducing operating costs, improving safety and increasing efficiency and productivity.”

Forklift trucks move goods from one place to another in distribution, logistics, warehouses and manufacturing. In these environments, Eaton’s system helps improve energy efficiency, productivity, safety, reduce emissions and operating costs.

Eaton’s hybrid hydraulic drive demonstrated up to a 35% reduction in fuel consumption and emissions over that of a baseline. The improvement was achieved by improving system efficiencies and capturing energy from braking, then using that energy to supplement the engine’s power during acceleration.

Productivity improvement comes from the system’s management of engine speed and torque to improve performance and efficiency. The system also reduces conventional use of brakes, which means less wear and tear on this key machine component. It also addresses the engine start, replacing the function of traditional electric starters. These innovations add up to lower maintenance costs.

Eaton’s system has also simplified three operator inputs into one control lever for smoother and more efficient lifting, making it an easier machine to operate. In addition, by simplifying inputs, Eaton’s system reduces the potential for operator error, leading to improved worker and operational safety.

Participants at the recent lift truck test-drive experience in Germany offered favorable reviews of the system with such comments as:

“The packaging of the system is great;” “truck reversals were very smooth;” “I like the idea of the open-circuit system;” and “I was impressed with the control of the transmission.”

For more information about Eaton’s hydraulic products and services, visit www.eaton.com/hydraulics

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