The truck is being used to assemble air freight pallets and is being subjected to extended periods of testing. For Fraport, this truck increases flexibility. To ensure safety when loading air freight pallets, forklift truck drivers often have to work with a second person, whose role is to provide the driver with instructions — but when using the Linde Roadster, an innovative clear-view electric counterbalance truck, this form of assistance is no longer required.
The Roadster version was made possible thanks to the tilt cylinders mounted on the top of the lift mast — a selling point unique to all Linde counterbalance trucks with a lifting capacity of up to 8 tonnes. The tilt cylinders redirect the forces on the lift mast into solid cast supports at the rear of the truck. The protective roof consists of two panes of special, laminated safety glass, which mirror the back and forth movements of the mast. The new overhead guard replaces the A and B pillars, as well as the roof column and roofing sheets, opening up the roof of the truck to provide an unobstructed upwards view for the driver, without roofing sheets in the way. The glass roof fitted to the lift mast also provides protection against loads that could fall through between the mast and the driver's seat.
The removal of the A pillar significantly increases the driver's field of vision in front of the truck, too. The step is just as easy to see as it is in a series production truck, and the driver is provided with a curved steel tube, joined to the front plate, as an aid when getting into the truck. The inspiration for this helpful feature came from stair banisters.
As a "clear-view" truck, the Roadster is designed for indoor applications. "The aim of our long-term testing process at Fraport Cargo Services is to gather additional, real-life customer experiences in order to decide whether or not to take the truck into series production. We already have all of the technical approvals for the prototypes", explains Ralf Dingeldein, Vice President of New Trucks at Linde Material Handling.
Dieter Quante, Manager of Logistics Projects and Quality Management at Fraport Cargo Services, and his employees, first saw the Linde Roadster last year at the CeMAT international intralogistics fair, and were enthusiastic about the concept straight away: "We would have taken the truck home with us that day, we liked it that much. Improved visibility is a huge advantage for our drivers. Loading air freight pallets with so many packages, all with completely different dimensions, is like doing a jigsaw puzzle. For economic reasons, it is also very important that a plane is loaded in a way that makes optimum use of the space available inside that model". The Linde Roadster is also being put to use in the pallet racks in the warehouses at Frankfurt Airport.