Limiting speed for safer forklift drivers
26 September 2008
According to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), forklift trucks are the most common cause of workplace transport-related accidents, with speed being a major contributor. There are many options a company can take to minimise the risk of accidents, including restricting the travel speed of forklift trucks. To enhance onsite safety levels, Transmon Engineering has developed a series of speed control systems, which can be fitted to any forklift truck on any site in just a few hours.
Steve Coley, Managing Director
Steve Coley, Managing Director of the Leicester based company explained “Limiting or controlling travelling speeds onsite not only heightens safety levels, it also helps to reduce fuel consumption and minimise stock damage, or damage to the machine itself, enhancing cost efficiency”.
To restrict a lift truck’s speed, Transmon’s Speed Savure, a small electronic device, can be installed to any diesel or LPG lift truck. The forklift truck supervisor sets the desired maximum speed according to the site’s specific regulations, and the system is enabled as soon as it detects the vehicle’s movement. Throttle restriction is applied, which is removed when the truck slows down, to allow full power for the hydraulic operation.
This system heightens safety, as secure access allows the supervisor, rather than the operator, to have full control of maximum travel speed, at all times. Speed Savure has been one of Transmon’s best selling systems for the past 11 years.
Rather than restricting the speed, a system can be fitted that provides an audible and visual alarm when the truck reaches a preset speed. Transmon’s Over Speed Savure is activated, whether the vehicle is travelling forwards or in reverse, as soon as the maximum limit is exceeded.
Instead of controlling the vehicle, the system’s LED beacon and buzzer act as a warning of the truck’s speed and movement. This system is typically employed in areas which are used by pedestrians and forklifts.
Operations that have various speed limits across one site can also apply various restrictions that are automatically triggered. Transmon’s Zone Speed Savure uses RFID Active tags to limit speed only when required. A hard wired fixed proximity transmitter is fitted to the gates surrounding a speed restricted zone, which sends signals to a transmitter installed in each forklift truck. On entering a restricted zone the speed limiter is automatically activated and as it leaves the area, the driver has the option of selecting normal speed mode. The Zone Speed Savure can help a site to adhere to safety regulations without compromising productivity levels where a speed limit is not required.
The Manual Speed Savure is a similar product, but it relies on supervision. When a truck enters a restricted zone, its speed is limited using a switch/release button or separate latching key switch by a supervisor. “Speed control systems bring many benefits to an operation, but particularly heightened safety” Steve Coley continued. “Restricted speed enables a driver to concentrate on the operation and keep better control of the vehicle. It also enhances pedestrians’ safety around forklift trucks by raising awareness and allowing more time and space to avoid accidents”.
In addition, the cost of operation is significantly reduced, as consumable components such as tyres, brakes and engine suffer less wear and therefore require replacement less frequently. The reduction in fuel consumption is cost effective and also helps to reduce a company’s carbon footprint.
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