Cat launches N-series forklifts

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Cat has launched the N-Series of 4.0 – 5.5 tonne lift trucks to replace the existing K-Series, which had reached the end of its lifecycle.

The manufacturer, whose trucks are distributed by Briggs Equipment in the UK, has introduced a 5.5 tonne compact version for the first time, which it says is a “niche offering” at this level.

By changing the transmission Cat has reduced the length of a number of trucks in the category, with the 4.0 tonne model’s length reduced by 5.7 per cent to 155mm and the 4.5 tonne truck down 3.2 per cent to 90mm.

It has also added half an inch more torso clearance in the cab to boost operator comfort.

In order to reduce noise, Cat has moved the air intake position, with the option of a pre-cleaner also available.

Both the LPG and diesel models now feature a 12 volt electric system, compared to 24 volts on previous models, helping to bring down the cost.

The new range also features an LCD display offering drivers speed warnings and a fuel indicator, as well as providing fault and error codes for quick first time right trouble shooting.

In addition, LED lights have been fitted which are designed to last the lifetime of the truck helping to reduce downtime.

The N-Series features a new automatic transmission with a compact design allowing for better service access and a lightweight floorplate that can be taken out in five seconds when the truck needs to be serviced.

Another new feature is the electronic parking brake which is built in to the transmission, which Han van de Wal, product manager of IC trucks at Cat, says is an industry first.

The mast has also changed; it now uses larger mast bearings, helping to reduce wear. “Bigger is better here,” adds van de Wal.

Vehicles can operate in two speed settings – hare or turtle. In turtle mode fuel consumption can be reduced by 12 – 13 per cent when using the power soft switch.

Controls feature a fingertip design “for the Nintendo generation” and a back up handle with a horn button has been added as standard.

Serviceability was also a key consideration and design goal when developing the new series, with easy access to all components, diagnosis software and hydraulic oil used to activate brakes so brake fluid no longer has to be checked.

It is also possible to go from accelerating into reverse very easily with the ProShift auto acceleration option.

All trucks in the new series feature the “Power Edge” theme with sharpened contours, a high visibility overhead guard and a black logo strip at the side rather than across the back.

* Briggs Equipment has launched Speedshield, an asset management tool for forklifts.

The control and fleet monitoring system gathers information about how the truck is used and creates compliance reports in order to boost efficiency and safety through preventative maintenance.

The system offers accurate service forecasts and schedules, as well as auto emails on equipment faults, overdue maintenance and impact detection.

Variable speed limits can be set around multiple sites and an auto-shutdown option can be activated if seatbelts aren’t worn, an impact occurs or the truck remains idle for longer than the predetermined time.

The system connects via global roaming GSM that sources and connects to the strongest signals and all information collected can be monitored in real-time online from any computer.

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