With the new EDiA 3 and 4-wheel series, Mitsubishi brings a remarkable range of electric forklift trucks from 1.4 to 2 tons to the market. We tested the 3-wheeler with the innovative 360 degree steering system. This novelty in the forklift segment is an asset and so is the EDiA em as a whole.
Without too much publicity MCFE introduced the new range of EDiA em 48Volts 3 and 4 wheel forklift trucks on the market at the end of last year. The modern trucks are based on the big brothers from the EX 80 Volt line and have several features as you would expect from an electric forklift truck today. With four stickers on the chassis, the brand clearly praises them: AWS (All Wheel Steering), ICS (Intelligent Cornering System), AHH (Automatic Hill Hold) and SDS (Sensitive Drive System). No world-shattering business, but still neatly present on our modern-looking test truck, officially called FB14ANT. The 48V range has also been cosmetically enhanced with a silver-coloured logo on the back, new side stickers and a more contrasting colour scheme with more black in addition to the well-known ‘diamond’ green.
The biggest innovation of the EDiA em is not the colors or stickers, but the 360 degrees steering system that the new 3-wheelers have in house. The system can be switched on and off per software choice and until now we only know the system from reach trucks. It is therefore no wonder that this technique has also been added to the forklift trucks from the reach truck department of MCFE’s Finnish R&D department. The question is, of course, what does the system yield?
The answer is simple: a very smooth and smooth way of changing driving direction when it covers 180 degrees. In other words: if you drive backwards when lifting or lowering a load and then want to drive forward in that direction. By simply turning the steering wheel while reversing, you can continue your journey smoothly and in a controlled manner. It saves a little time, but above all it feels easier and smoother. The truck continues to move, making a less swirling turn and thus saving energy. According to MCFE, the system also reduces the G-forces on the load by approximately 50%.
The energy savings can only be determined if you continuously make such manoeuvres as when loading and unloading trucks. On our test track, we drive many right-angled 90 degree bends with changes of direction, and we experience the system as slightly less suitable for this purpose. It’s not that easy to determine when you’re going to start steering and because you only make a quarter circle, changing the direction of travel still feels a bit angular. Maybe it’s just a matter of getting used to it.
The rest of the truck is an open book to us. The step on/off is pleasantly low, the entrance is spacious for such a compact truck and the foot space is generous. The EDiA em is neatly finished, has no sharp corners and edges and offers an excellent workplace for the driver.
The Grammer MSG65 forklift seat is equipped with an adjustable armrest with mini levers for the mast functions. These also do a good job: they are easy to operate and provide precise fork and mast movement. Above the free lift, the truck automatically limits the speeds of inclination and side shift, which feels safe. A few drawbacks: the reaction speed to lifting and lowering is a bit abrupt and can be adjusted a bit milder. The three-stage 4,700 mast with side shift has excellent damping when changing the mast sections. There is no damping both on floor and maximum lift height. Addition would be the icing on the cake.
The seat behind the stepless adjustable steering column is good and there is plenty of legroom to sit on when reversing. It’s a pity there’s no handle on the rear roof post, we think it should just be standard on any forklift truck with a roof post within grab distance.
The EDiA em FM14ANT runs with and without load extremely predictably on its Trelleborg tyres and the well-adjusted Intelligent Cornering System ICS. The system ensures controlled turns and intervenes just the right amount with a pleasant and predictable travel speed adjustment. The braking is equally controlled thanks to the maintenance-free electric/magnetic motor brake with automatic parking brake function.All-round visibility is more than sufficient when it comes to visibility over the low and neatly chamfered dashboard. Visibility through the mast is logically limited by the integral side shift, but is in line with the market.
Our test truck contains a conventional 48V/500 Ah lead-acid battery. The large side door suggests that it is a sideways exchangeable battery, but this is not the case with the test truck. MCFE offers a choice of two chassis versions, where sideways changing is an option. Nice detail: if the door is not closed properly, the truck does not drive faster than crawling speed. The clear colour display then shows the message that the door has not been closed properly.
On our standard test track, the EDiA scores well, both in the PRO (fastest) and ECO position. The desired mode of operation can be easily selected via the position of the ignition key. In PRO, the energy consumption is well below the average in this class, while the productivity is slightly better than average. The score in pallets per hour can easily be higher if the reverse travel speed would be less restricted. Of course, this is at the expense of energy consumption, but there is plenty of room to maintain a favourable overall picture. In ECO mode, the Mitsubishi scores the second best value in our measurement overview. This applies to both productivity and the associated energy consumption.
With the EDiA em FB14ANT, MCFE brings a fine and easily operated electric forklift to the market. The truck looks and works modern, is neatly finished, economical and very predictable. The 360-degree steering system is unique for the forklift segment and, as far as we are concerned, can be the new standard in the market. It certainly makes changing the direction of travel smoother and easier.
MCFE can make the crowning glory by adding mast damping at ground level and maximum lift height and by fitting a handle on the roof post at the rear on the right as standard.
(Text and pictures: Andersom Testing, Theo Egberts and Mark Dohmen)
Tags:Andersom testing, EDiA, Forklift test, Intralogistics, MCFE, Mitsubishi, Mitsubishi EDiA, Mitsubishi Forklift, Test, Truck test