Production of forklift model ends after more than 25 years … memories of the A team
Last year, after more than 25 years in production, Hyster manufactured the last in a long line of XL 24v three wheel electric trucks.
It was hardly surprising that the core team of 12 engineers, many recruited from outside the industry were nicknamed the A Team after the US TV series popular in the early 80s. They were recruited for the specific purpose of designing a new 3 wheel electric truck – they were given two years to get the job done and they brought the project in on time. This was an outstanding achievement, since back then CAD and FEA techniques were only imagined by engineers – in those days it was back to the drawing boards.
Bobby Dickson, who was invited to join the A Team back in 1984, speaks with justifiable pride that their original design stood the test of time so well, “we never thought our two year project would still be in production after 25 years, despite many upgrades, our original design was built to last.”
The A1.00-1.50XL forklift truck (http://www.hyster.com/
One of the biggest challenges facing Hyster was how to make a better A Truck, but last year the original design was replaced by the next generation series of A1.3-1.5XNT, 24-Volt compact, rear wheel drive truck (http://www.hyster.com/
The new truck provides the economy, performance, battery shift life and manoeuvrability, ideal for light to medium duty applications. It has AC motors throughout (hoist/steer and traction), delivers a competitive top speed of 12 km/h and lifting speed of 0.3 m/s. A choice of eLo and HiP performance settings delivers the ‘e-Balance’
The all new A1.3-1.5XNT is now built at the 35,896 m2 (386,241 sq ft) Craigavon factory which opened in April 1981 and now employs over 600 people. The NACCO Materials Handling Group (NMHG) factory has seen significant investments in the last couple of years and maintains a philosophy of high volume, low cost, high quality and on time delivery. In January 2012, The European Foundation of Quality Management awarded the NMHG plant, the prestigious Northern Ireland Quality Award 2011.
Since Bobby Dickson is the last man standing from the original A Team, maybe he should have the last word about the new A1.3-1.5XNT design. He grudgingly admits that while ‘customer needs have not changed very much since the AXL was launched in 1985, new manufacturing and systems technologies have advanced so far and so fast in recent years, that change was inevitable.’
ENDS – 546 Words
NOTES TO EDITORS
Hyster is one of the leading global brands of materials handling equipment offering over 140 models of counterbalance trucks, warehouse and container handling equipment. The company invests heavily in research and development to ensure Hyster products are at the forefront of the materials handling industry providing maximum dependability and low costs of ownership for demanding operations everywhere.
Hyster Company is part of NACCO Materials Handling Group, Inc. (NMHG), which employs approximately 5,300 people worldwide. NMHG is headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio, and is a wholly owned subsidiary of NACCO Industries, Inc. .
Issued on behalf of Hyster Europe by:
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