With the 6 to 8 tonnes ECB series, BYD brings a powerful line of forklifts that are easy to handle. We test the heaviest in the series and see balanced performance in a no-nonsense package. The biggest asset is undoubtedly the lithium iron phosphate battery from BYDs own factory. With an 8-year or 10,000-hour warranty, that gives added deployment security.
Chinese manufacturer BYD has expanded its forklift range with heavier models. Whereas previously the 5-tonne truck was the largest, recently 6, 7 and 8-tonne trucks have also become available. The series was first shown at LogiMAT ’22 in Stuttgart. Meanwhile, the truck is ready for market and we were able to test the 8-tonner. The test specimen is the same truck that BYD showed at the European premiere in Stuttgart, but with an upgrade from 7 to 8 tonnes. BYD uses the same chassis and dimensions for all lift capacities, only the counterweight mass differs. However, they hadn’t gotten around to adjusting the decals yet, as it still says ECB70
On first acquaintance, we see a sturdy yet compact forklift. The blue colour stands out, as do the three steps on either side to get into the cabin. They are generous in size and the handle on the left makes the climb to the cabin easy. For the right hand, we grab the handle on the door, but it’s just not quite within comfortable reach. An additional handle on the battery cover could be an improvement.
Both doors have a latch that makes them stand outside the truck contour when open. To avoid damage, it is advisable to always close them while working. The sliding windows and the rear window offer sufficient ventilation options to keep the interior climate comfortable. The fan behind the right shoulder can help. The door release is a bit difficult to reach but does what it is supposed to do.
The cabin is spacious and offers a great workplace. The Grammer MSG65 chair provides sufficient support and is easily adjustable for weight. The orange belt is not easy to overlook. The ratio of seat height to footplate is fine and there is plenty of room for the feet. Both pedals (acceleration and brake) are within easy reach of the right foot.
Thanks to the slim, upright roof pillars, visibility through the front and rear windows is very generous. So is the visibility through the twin stage mast. Still, we measure a slightly larger than average blind angle at lift heights of up to 2 metres. This is mainly due to the additional Cascade fork positioner/sideshift combination. In the lower right corner near the windscreen, a monitor is placed that shows the image of the reversing camera. The monitor could be rotated more towards the driver for better ease of use.
Despite the huge size of the cabin, the number of storage options is limited. We only see a small tray on the left of the dashboard and a cup holder.
The two-stage 3,300 mm mast performs as expected. Lifting speeds are slightly higher than average in this segment and mast travel feels stable and safe. The test truck is on pneumatic tyres and you can feel them springing in slightly when working with the heavier loads. Solid tires are optional available.
Mast operation is controlled by the mini-levers on the armrest to the right of the seat. We know these from BYD’s lighter forklift series. The armrest is neatly adjustable to the desired position. At maximum tilt backwards, the load comes completely clear of the ground. Thus, fully lowering the load does not damage the warehouse floor or road surface. The tilt speed could be slightly faster.
Driving and especially steering the BYD ECB80 takes some getting used to. Acceleration from standstill has a second delay before the truck springs into action, which is not pleasant. The front axle has dual pneumatic tires and is wider than the rest of the chassis. At first, it is difficult to correctly assess the width of the truck. Especially when slaloming through our test chicane. It did not help here that the power steering in the ‘ex-factory setting’ was far too slow. The curve control function was also far too emphatic. After adjustment, the 8 tonne truck performed much better and we hopefully gave BYD a new factory standard setting.
With the new settings, we drove both maximum H mode and slightly moderate M mode over our test track. Conclusion: performance in productivity is nicely in line with the average in this class. The same goes for energy consumption. In the slightly moderate M mode, you achieve a practical driving time of over 9 hours with the maximum 1360 Ah/80V lithium iron phosphate (Li-FePo) battery on board. With the 1280 Ah in the test truck, that’s half an hour less. Those who want to use the truck much longer intensively can recharge the battery at any moment without any worries. With 32 kW output level, BYD supplies one of the most powerful chargers in the market. A full charge requires between 3 and 4 hours. An hour of charging offers about 2 hours of extra operating time.
With market-level performance, BYD’s ECB80 does what you expect of it. The workplace is generous and all-round visibility is fine. Besides aforementioned downsides, the far too loud reverse beep cannot be missed. We measure peaks of over 98 dB in the cabin, which is way too high. Otherwise, the truck has a no-nonsense build and feels very solid. The biggest plus is definitely the battery from BYDs own production and comes with 8-year or 10,000-hour warranty on it. Experiences at dealers in the Netherlands are downright positive when it comes to BYD batteries. Maintenance-free and once in place, they stay where they are: in the truck. Not for nothing does the brand’s slogan state: “Change your mind, not your battery”. This is an attractive prospect for the heavier lift truck segment too.
(Text and photos: Andersom Testing, Theo Egberts and Mark Dohmen)
Tags:Andersom test, Andersom testing, BYD, BYD ECB80, Forklift test, Intralogistics