This piece was written and provided by FTMA Bronze Sponsor, CombiLift.
Since Combilift launched its first C4000 model in 1998, multidirectional capability has been one of the major hallmarks of the company’s wide range of handling solutions. Twenty Four years and thousands of R&D hours later, its latest product takes multidirectional capability to the next level. The Combi-MR4 is a 4-wheel electric powered multidirectional reach-truck, which incorporates Combilift’s new Dynamic 360° ™ steering, which provides rotation on each wheel, enabling seamless directional change of the truck while on the move. The system allows this extremely agile forklift to work in forward, sideward and crab steer mode, guaranteeing swift operation and excellent manoeuvrability. Hence the full name of the new model: the Combi-MR4 Dynamic 360.
The impetus for the development of this latest addition to Combilift’s portfolio was to develop a multi-directional truck, with a very low platform to maximise storage density within racking. The Combi-MR4 is available in two unique models, with capacity ranges of 2,500Kg – 3,000kg and 3,500Kg – 4,500kg respectively, and can operate in aisles as narrow as 2265mm when guided (based on 1200mm deep material). To maximise all storage space in racking systems the wheel configuration of two drive wheels at the rear and two sets of smaller dual front wheels provides a platform height as low as 380mm, allowing otherwise redundant areas towards the floor to be used.
In keeping with Combilift’s common overall design ethos, the highly versatile Combi-MR4 can handle long loads as well as palletised goods with ease, and can load and offload from delivery trucks. Driver comfort and safety are also major considerations, and this new truck definitely delivers the goods from an ergonomic point of view: a high visibility operator cabin, multi-function control joystick, AC-electric power steering and joystick operated hydraulic mast functions all make for a smooth ride and straightforward operation. The articulated rear axle with two rear rubber drive wheels provides optimum traction for outdoor use, while still ensuring nimble and accurate truck placement.
To achieve this level of manoeuvrability, Combilift utilised its newly developed-in-house Dynamic 360°™ steering. This novel steering concept enables operators to manipulate the truck’s positioning and orientation without the need to stop and change driving mode. Intuitive and easy-to-operate, this is achieved by simply twisting the control joystick right or left to adjust the wheel positions simultaneously – providing crab steering and allowing direction change on-the-go.
Chris Littlewood, Country Manager for Combilift in Australia commented “Fundamental to Combilift business practice is to invest significantly in research and development and further, to field test our products before bringing them to general market. The MR4 is a robust, versatile unit highly suited to Australian conditions”
Following the initial operation of 3,000kg Combi-MR4 units, a 4,500kg model was developed after receiving a request from Combilift’s dealer in the BeNeLux region – Mabo BeNeLux, for a larger capacity unit for their customer TABS (Timber and Building Supplies Holland). One of the Netherlands’ leading suppliers of timber products and building materials, with 104 outlets across the country, TABS has partnered with Combilift and operated its multidirectional trucks for more than 15 years. It now has MR4 trucks at several locations in the Netherlands and is about to take delivery of its 15th and 16th trucks, which will work at its distribution centres in Zaandam and Bleiswijk.
Combilift CEO Martin McVicar: “TABS are delighted with the ongoing successful implementation of their Combi-MR4s and the improved levels of efficiency thanks to the overall design and features such as low platform height as well as the advanced Dynamic 360° ™ steering system. I have no doubt that this new additional electric model will grow Combilift’s customer base. We are looking forward to showcasing the Combi-MR4 to our existing dealers, and potential new customers during the LogiMAT Intralogistics exhibition in Stuttgart at the end of May”.
See more about the new COMBI-MR4 here.