Best known for its wide range of four-way forklifts, sideloaders and other innovative materials handling solutions, Irish manufacturer Combilift has branched out in a new direction this year with the launch of its Combi-WR Walkie Reach range. These are the first pedestrian trucks that the company has designed and manufactured since it was established 15 years ago. The Combi-WR was given its premiere at the IMHX handling show in March and this was followed by the launch of the multi-directional Combi-WR4 at Ligna in Germany.

“We developed the trucks in response to feedback from customers for a cost-effective smaller unit for handling lighter loads,” says Combilift MD Martin McVicar. “Incorporating the benefits of AC technology in its traction, pump and steering motors, the WR models have a lift height of 4.2m and a load capacity of 1450kg. With pantograph and side shift functions it is the only pedestrian reach stacker range which can work in an aisle-width of 2.1m pallet to pallet. This offers a very safe way of handling pallets of components for example as well as longer loads such as packs of timber or sheet materials in confined areas.”

These have been shortlisted in two categories of the 2014 Fork Lift Truck Association (FLTA) Awards for Excellence. Nominated in the safety category, the Combi-WR’s unique multi-position tiller rotates the rear wheel parallel to the chassis, enabling the operator to remain at the side of the unit rather than between the rear and the racking when placing and picking in the aisles.

This eliminates crush risk and makes for safer operations all round particularly in areas when other members of the workforce or the general public may be present. This position also avoids the need for the operator to look through the mast for enhanced visibility. Automatic cornering speed reduction and adjustable speed according to the operator’s experience are further features designed for maximum safety. 

The Combi-WR4’s design has caught the attention of the FLTA for inclusion in the ergonomics category shortlist: its unique multi-position tiller, electronic power steering and precise fingertip controls make it easy and effortless to operate, reducing leaning, reaching, bending and general manual strain.

Push button control rotates the rear wheel parallel to the chassis and a subsequent push of the button repositions the wheel parallel to the tiller. Moving sideways in narrow aisles with the tiller arm facing the direction of travel is beneficial for the operator’s line of vision when carrying long loads and dual front wheels allow smooth 90° right-angle stacking.

Votes may be cast for the awards at: