With the slogan ‘Utility you can trust’ Hyster places her budget sister brand Utilev in the market. This slogan hits the nail right on the head. The Utilev UT25P with lpg engine is a stable truck with a rugged no nonsense character. The favourable fuel consumption and good performance make the story complete.
Since the summer of 2015 Hyster has expanded its offer on the world market with Utilev lift trucks. The programme has a line of 3-wheel electric trucks from 1.5 to 2 tons and a series of internal combustion trucks from 1.5 to 3.5 tons. The trucks are produced in China and are intended as a low cost alternative for an occasional to regular purpose. With the ‘baby blue’ coloured trucks of Utilev, Hyster now provides a solid solution. The trucks are delivered and serviced within the existing Hyster dealer network. Precisely therein lies the power, because the availability of spare parts and knowledge around the product are herewith guaranteed. Soon the dealers expect an extension with several Utilev warehouse trucks and a broadening of the forklift range.
The question remains whether the Chinese trucks themselves are suitable for their purpose. Therefore we have introduced the 2.5 ton UT25P for the first time in our test. This one is a straightforward truck with lpg-combustion engine. The machine complies with all European CE requirements and is equipped with a reliable Nissan engine and Impco lpg installation. The transmission is made by the Chinese manufacturer. Our test truck is equipped with a triple mast with free lift, integrated side shift and a lifting height of 4.800 mm. The truck in this configuration corresponds to the most common demand in this segment. We are very curious how it performs.
At first sight it seems the UT25P is an old acquaintance from the Hyster-stable: the XL. For years it has disappeared from the scene, but has long been iconic thanks to the sturdy construction and simple design. And now again available at Utilev. We see a tight and well-built chassis, with a clear, but simple design and a mast that just does what he has to do without twisting or swinging too much. The only disturbance is the squeaky mast roller; this has to be altered by the Utilev technicians. The damping while sinking the mast performs well and the drivers view through the mast sections is in line with expectations. All hoses and chains are neatly positioned behind the profiles. The measured blind spot corresponds to this type of side-shift and fork carriage. Thanks to the direct control on the mechanical valves the fork can be positioned on the spot. The levers are neatly within range and have a correct working range. The lift and lowering speeds are in line with the average in this class.
Even though the truck is built in China, the working position is just as good as any European. We can perform our work comfortably, without raised knees. In addition, the space on the footplate is spacious and the entrance/exit step is only 450 mm in height. The step is large enough and equipped with a good anti slip profile. The mounted Grammer MSG65 seat is fine and provides the necessary support and cushioning for the driver. The steering column is step less adjustable, but the steering wheel might have been somewhat smaller. The cabin looks sober but functional. The instruments, the buttons for the light, the parking brake, everything works properly, but it can’t be classified as modern. And there is barely room for retaining personal belongings.
Driving and working with this Utilev is problem-free. The Nissan lpg engine runs quiet and smooth. We drive with ease and with or without fork load to a driving speed well above the specified 20 km/hour. The sprint from standstill measurement is also well above the average in this class. However driving with fork load and at higher speeds you clearly notice the limitations of the standard Chinese-made tyres fitted. They offer sufficient support, but also behave somewhat restless. Who really wants tighter steering and behaviour, preferably chooses for European quality tires. Braking is in line with expectations for a conventional set of drum brakes. The brake pedal feels predictable and delivers without too much downforce enough braking power. Thanks to the solid steel overhead hood the stability of the truck is very good when braking and cornering. From the driver seat you feel no wobbling or shaking. Most of the unwanted truck movements are caused by the Chinese tires.
During the fuel consumption-and performance measurement we see good values. The truck performs in terms of productivity just below the average in this class, but we note that the outdoor test track with concrete slabs was wet which gave the tires a slight tendency to slip. Fuel consumption is lower than average, therefor you can drive a half hour longer than average on a full gas tank.
To sum up: our first acquaintance with the Utilev is positive. The truck does what he has to do and is simple in design and operation. The performance is all right and the fuel consumption is even beneficial. What can be improved? The tires, more storage space, a handle to the rear roof style when reversing, move the exhaust pipe from the right to the left on the counterweight (for better driver view while reversing) and a slightly smaller steering wheel. The Utilev is also a good lift truck when not working 24/7. The extremely economical price tag gives extra gloss to the fine chosen slogan.
Tags:Andersom test, Forklift, Forklift test, Forklift truck, Hyster, Test, Utilev, Utilev UT25P
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