At the beginning of this year, Still introduced the brand new RX20 range of electric lift trucks. The manufacturer redesigned the truck from head to toe and redefines the market standard in terms of space, visibility, ease of use and performance. We tested the RX20-16 with lithium-ion battery. This truck won the IFOY Award 2018 in the forklift category on the CeMAT opening day.
With the new RX20 family, Still puts a striking range of 3 and 4 wheel trucks on the market. The new series comprises a total of 13 truck types and is designed for loads from 1.4 to 2 tons. The already compact truck is available in an extra compact version, a standard version and an extra long chassis size when it comes to installing as large a battery as possible up to 750 Ah.
Our test truck is equipped with a lithium-ion battery (938 Ah/48V), but could also have been equipped with a lead-acid battery without any problems. The RX20 is suitable for both systems and can even be used with A and B circuits in the lead-acid variant. As a result, Still also offers users with a different trough size the possibility to use existing batteries in the new forklift truck.
One of the most important principles in the design of the new RX20 was the creation of space, optimal visibility, more user-friendliness and higher performance. The saving in space is found in lowering the cabin floor by 50 mm, which also means that the seat height is lower and a standard truck with a roof height of 2,035 mm can get out of its feet in a container.
With the lowering of the floor plate, Still decided to cancel the step of the previous model. That’s quite a pity, because with a height of 545 mm the entrance is just not comfortable. Fortunately, there is plenty of shoulder space and the long handle provides a good grip.
Once you are behind the wheel, you can see how much foot space the compact truck offers. The pedal arrangement is pleasant, although the height of the brake should be slightly lower. This improves a smooth swivelling of the right foot from the acceleration pedal to the brake pedal.
The view of the new RX20 is excellent. The dashboard has been lowered, the posts and other roof profiles are slimmer and the mast has been renewed. Another eye-catching element is the new display, which is attached to the adjustable armrest. The large screen and two rows of five keys each make many of the truck’s functions adjustable and legible. Depending on the desired use, the driver can assign functions himself, so that frequently used settings can be made quickly and efficiently.
The buttons allow you to choose from a variety of driving programs, lifting speeds, sprint modes and the option to combine these with the Blue-Q savings program. 3 settings are available for each basic mode, giving the RX20 a huge range of setting options. If you also have any other requirements, you can ask the service technician to change them for each institution.
We expect that in practice the user will choose between ‘everything maximal’ and one of the Blue-Q variants of the three basic possibilities. These can then be combined individually with extra lift speed and extra travel speed, just where needed.
In our test we ride the RX20-16 Lithium-ion at maximum power, in short everything at full power. We also work with Blue-Q 3, 2 and 1 in combination with the respective lifting speed 3, 2 and 1. If you put everything to the best of your ability, the character of the RX20 is impressive in one word. It is certainly the fastest reacting, accelerating, moving and lifting truck that has taken on those in this segment. The power is released directly from the lithium-ion battery and we often notice this on trucks with this technology. It is an advantage that, even with less powerful settings, the truck still feels smooth and dynamic.
All expectations are met during our measurements. At maximum power, the RX20 is so fast that the slightly slippery floor on which we drive creates slippery wheels when accelerating and changing direction. We lose a few seconds each time and when added together this leads to a 10% lower productivity than we saw in previous measurements on a rougher substrate. In that situation, however, we could not reach the full desired distance of the test course, so that score was not 100% representative either. Based on these various measurements, we arrive at a calculated turnaround volume of 430 pallets per 8 hours on our test track. This means the RX20 exceeds the highest value in this single-pallet forklift class. If we choose a Blue-Q setting, even in combination with the most quiet drive and lift program 1, we will still be above the ‘class average’. When choosing ‘maximum’, you do wonder if everything should be done so quickly and smoothly. As a rule, the answer will be ‘no’. But if you seriously believe that driving at more than 20 km/h with a 1.6-ton truck contributes to higher productivity, you can make this choice.
Quietly, the new RX20 has the ability to reduce energy consumption. Even at stand maximum, the test truck scores well below the average in this class. On Blue-Q 3, 2 and 1 the consumption decreases logically. With the 938 Ah lithium-ion battery on board, the RX20 can easily cope with an intensive working day, even at maximum power. Intermediate charging is perfectly possible with this technique, so it runs a three-shift operation without any problems.
When it comes to energy consumption in itself, only Jungheinrich is a little more economical, but both brands play in the same, very favourable, energy class. It is also clear that the RX20 sets new standards in terms of pure power, speed and ease of use. The new display offers various assistant systems that make it easier to work with the truck and ultimately make it even more productive. For example, the lifting height can be easily adjusted to, for example, the loading height of the truck. Loading or unloading without a dockboard is then faster and smoother. There are also safety systems that prevent overloading, limit angle of inclination and slow down speeds in the event of danger.
In the 3- and 4-wheel segment up to 2 tons of lifting power, the RX20 sets the new standard. The truck has rich standard equipment, is exceptionally fast, powerful, spacious and practical to use. Still has replaced many plastic parts with more robust steel, which benefits the entire appearance. The flexibility around the battery is unprecedented and the performance is exemplary.
Minor points are the absence of a step on/off, the relatively high position of the brake pedal and perhaps also the unprecedented high power available. If you drive backwards at 20 km/h with a load, the truck becomes a bit ‘looky’ and the warning is blown up. As far as we are concerned, things do not have to go so fast. Everything is all right at once and the new RX20 also succeeds very well in that respect. A slightly moderate setting may be even better than a full setting.
There is room for improvement
Text and pictures: Theo Egberts, Andersom Testing
Tags:Andersom test, Andersom testing, Batteries, Battery, Blue-Q, Forklift, Forklift test, Forklift truck, Forklifts, Li-ion, Lithium ion, RX20, Still, Test