Ergonomics can be defined as the science of designing a workplace and workplace tools to fit a user’s needs. And for companies that use forklifts to move materials in a variety of industries, the operator is the most important part of the day-to-day operations. Workspace design is becoming increasingly more important for efficiency and productivity, especially for operators who drive machines for an extended period of time.
More of UniCarriers Americas (UCA) customers are seeing the value of enhanced comfort and adopting newer ergonomic features. To provide a more comfortable workspace environment, UCA recently introduced a new seat, manufactured by Grammer, for its Class I, IV and V forklifts. Designed with a low-profile mechanical suspension, the seat reduces vibration and features improved weight adjustment range and lumbar support.
“The science and study of ergonomics has grown over the last few years, so it’s made OEMs like UniCarriers Americas a lot more aware of improvements and advancements during product development, allowing us to design more comfortable workspaces for drivers and more productive tools for businesses,” said Carl Modesette, director of product engineering for UniCarriers Americas. “This allows us to mitigate vibration and make the operating environment more suitable for the operator.”
Now, there are many solutions that can protect drivers from unwanted discomfort and strain, allowing them to maintain optimal performance. In addition to seat comfort, Modesette also considers steer by wire, visibility and awareness as hot areas of ergonomics. “From a controls perspective, we’re seeing some of the more traditional manual controls being replaced by steer by wire, making the truck easier and more comfortable to operate,” Modesette said. Other optional technological solutions like lights, sensors and cameras are being integrated into the trucks.
An ergonomically designed lift truck can aid in reducing fatigue, allowing operators to perform work tasks over a longer period of time.
By incorporating ergonomic advancements like seating, lights and power steering, the forklift can help operators maximize their productivity.