Cold store reach truck set to heat up the handling market
Yale’s new cold store MR looks set to get temperature controlled warehouse operators hot under the collar, with a range of features to keep drivers warm, cosy and productive while forcing lifetime costs down to a minimum for fleet managers.
Specified for use in cold stores down to –30°C, Yale’s cold store MR series is based on the ground-breaking new reach truck the materials handling equipment producer unveiled in 2013, but with a range of further design features and enhancements to allow for work in the harshest of chilled and frozen goods warehouses.
With a fully enclosed cab, highly efficient heating and ventilation systems, a comfortable full suspension Grammer seat and a range of heavy duty batteries to choose from, the new cold store MR will keep drivers relaxed and focused on the job at hand for shifts of nine hours or more.
From its powder-coated paint finish and its heavy-duty construction and componentry to the high-spec, cold-resistant cabling and waterproofed electrics, the new MR has been designed from the ground up to resist the rigours of working in the most challenging logistics applications, where the effects of extreme temperature fluctuations, condensation and ice would sap the strength of a normal truck and driver in minutes.
The cold store MR’s insulated cabin has been carefully constructed to provide a protected working environment with excellent forward, side and over-the-shoulder fields of vision through a choice of single glazed glass or polycarbonate bonded windscreens – a real boon in the often gloomy environment of a typical cold store. A clear-view, 9.5mm thick impact-tested polycarbonate overhead guard ensures drivers can see exactly what they are doing when working with pallets at height.
Strategically positioned heater outlets in the cabin and easy-to-operate heating controls mean operators will remain at a comfortable working temperature whatever they choose to wear in the cabin and whatever the conditions outside. Sensors on the PTC (positive temperature coefficient) heater system constantly monitor its output temperature, automatically turning some heater elements off if it gets above a certain level to save on energy.
The cold store MR’s ventilation system carefully monitors internal air quality, too, regulating the intake of fresh air from outside the cabin to avoid any possibility of drowsiness as a result of carbon dioxide build-up. An air filter on the heating system ensures the fine dust typical of modern cold stores is kept out of the operator’s environment.
With the robust range of masts in the new MR range all incorporating bearings, hoses and chains specified for cold store applications, a cabin door handle designed for easy operation with gloved hands, and operator presence switches built into both the seat and door to ensure operators are correctly positioned before any of the truck hydraulics can be operated, the standard cold store MR is a true winter workhorse that fleet managers will warm to.
A number of options are also available to make it even more suited to life in the freezer. These include heated fine wire windscreens that will demist much faster than regular glass or polycarbonate alternatives; a heated driver’s seat to help operators feel at ease from the moment they take the controls; a steel grid to protect the polycarbonate overhead guard from accidental damage; and an intercom system that allows drivers to communicate with staff outside the truck without letting in any of the cold. High intensity LED work lights can also be specified.
The cold store MR series is available in a variety of lift capacities including 1.4, 1.6, 2.0 and 2.5 tonne models, the latter capable of lifting a 1.0 tonne load to a height of 12.65 metres.
All the trucks feature a new chassis, new operator compartment and new control systems. They also have a new mast design that offers improved deration performance as loads are raised and reduces mast deflection to a minimum. This allows smaller capacity trucks to be used for lift heights that would previously have required substantially larger and more expensive models, saving on initial truck purchasing costs as well as the costs associated with subsequent energy consumption. It also ensures the new MR is suitable for even the most confined operating environments – a useful attribute in cold stores where space is always at a premium.
Inside the cabin, operators will appreciate the generous leg-room, adjustable armrest and adjustable steering column. With an optimum-sized steering wheel on the left hand side and either the Accutouch mini lever module or Yale’s new mini joystick for hydraulic functions on the right, operators will be able to carry out precise handling operations with ease, even when wearing gloves.
A standard onboard LCD screen display can optionally be replaced with a touch screen that provides the operator with all kinds of information on the truck’s status from battery charge and direction of truck movement to mast position and load weight, and also allows easy tailoring of the truck’s operational performance characteristics.
As well as providing a crystal clear overview of truck status and easy control of all the major truck settings, the new touch screen is also upgradable, to allow fresh screen designs and more sophisticated functionality to be built into future versions - including in-built telemetry systems that will give fleet managers easy remote access to truck usage and performance data.
Energy Low (eLo) and High Performance (HiP) settings, personal and application operating parameters can be pre-set for every operator and application through the standard or touch screen display. This ensures the performance settings of the truck can be matched precisely to the operator’s lift truck experience and the application’s requirements.
Operators working with loads at heights of over four metres will also appreciate the optional laser positioning system, an industry first from Yale that is also available on cold store versions of the MR for use in environments down to –20°C. This works by shining a red laser onto the racking face to clearly indicate fork height and position, helping to cut the time taken to place and retrieve pallets and reducing the risk of damage to racking, loads, pallets and forks.
Available in standard and narrow aisle versions, the new cold store MR is of modular construction, allowing the cold store cabin and overhead guard to be easily removed and replaced for ambient temperature environments and helping to maximise both the truck’s flexibility and its residual value.
Like the rest of the MR reach truck range, the cold store MR boasts long service intervals, commonality of components with other lift trucks in the Yale range and straightforward access to all the major components, helping to maintain maximum uptime and keep the costs involved in regular servicing to a minimum.
Yale’s renowned build quality combined with the MR’s intelligent design and the use of dependable and proven industrial-quality components all help to keep unplanned maintenance requirements to minimum levels.
Commenting on the launch of the new cold store MR - which has already undergone substantial manufacturer testing and prolonged customer trials - Yale Mechanical Design Engineer Phil Mean said its combination of features made it “a simply massive update” over the previous model.
“The new cold store MR has been built to provide class-leading performance without costing a fortune to buy or operate,” he added. “With all the features Yale has built into this truck, we believe it will become a benchmark in cold store applications.”