11th June 2019

The construction industry can pose tough, dirty and challenging lift truck operating conditions.  To coincide with the UK’s National Forklift Safety Day this month, here are seven ways that Hyster® solutions support these challenging applications.

  • Visibility while reversing

Throughout the construction supply chain, lift truck drivers may have to drive in reverse due to tall loads obscuring forward visibility. The shape of the rear of the truck, including the position of the exhaust stack, can affect visibility, while the seat needs to minimise body rotation to accommodate reversing.

The Hyster® H16XM-6 is a typical lift truck used in the building products sector and addresses these challenges.  The clever rear design and the option of a swivel seat that turns 15/30 degrees aim to provide comfort for the operator when driving in reverse. Hyster Europe can also fit lift trucks with full rotating seats. Mini-lever controls also help reduce awkward shoulder and arm postures by relocating the steering controls within reach of the driver’s fingers.

  • Dealing with dust

High levels of dust are a consideration with regards to operator comfort in construction applications. In fact, operations can be fined by authorities if high amounts of dust are found to be entering a lift truck cabin, as this poses a risk to the operator.

To improve the driver environment, an enclosed pressurised cabin can be added to the Hyster® H8-16XM range of lift trucks.  The high-comfort cab is sealed with a separate air filtration system to reduce dust in the cabin and can also include air conditioning for operations with high ambient temperatures. Optional vinyl seats also help to avoid accumulation of dust inside the cabin compared to fabric seats.

  • Driver awareness

Awareness around the yard is paramount in construction materials manufacturing and logistics so Hyster® lift trucks are designed to provide good driver awareness as standard. Ergonomically designed cabs with all around visibility, flashing beacons, back-up alarms and reflective markings are important, but to further support awareness, flashing front/reverse lights and pedestrian awareness spot lights may be also be added on.

  • Object detection systems

In operations with high volumes of traffic or pedestrians, Hyster® object detection solutions offer support to the driver in identifying nearby hazards, in turn potentially avoiding costly damage.

For instance, one system uses ultrasound to detect obstacles in 3 pre-set zones and alerts the driver with an acoustic signal and visual proximity indication. Two side-facing sensors are used when the truck is stationary. If an object is detected the truck will be prevented from moving in either direction until the object is removed or the operator uses an acknowledge button sequence.

Two rear facing sensors are used when the machine is travelling in reverse and can be used to reduce reverse speed automatically on detection of an object.

  • Assistive camera technology

Hyster® camera systems may help support visibility, making it possible to view the immediate area surrounding a truck and the load. To keep operators focused on the load and the path ahead, cameras can be set to activate only when an object is detected and then display an image on screen.  Camera systems can also be fitted to support operators when driving in reverse.

  • Speed limitation

To further support efficient operations in the construction materials supply chain, the Hyster® solutions team can combine a weighing system with speed limitation technology.

With either roof sensing speed limitation, or RFID speed limitation located in the warehouse floor, applications can automatically restrict the speed of the trucks when loads reach a certain weight. This can in turn help minimise damage to the truck, load or warehouse infrastructure.

  • Ease of manoeuvrability

The intelligent design of Hyster® electric counterbalance lift trucks provides a zero turning radius, giving drivers in construction applications more space, while an operator using a Hyster® FT counterbalance truck can benefit from features and options such as the Auto-deceleration System (ADS) and Anti-rollback on ramp.

All these features can contribute to more efficient and accurate manoeuvring in construction applications.

To find out more about 360-degree solutions for construction materials handling operations, contact your local Hyster® dealer or visit

Learn more about National Forklift Safety Day.

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