With the RCE line, STILL expands its productportfolio with a basic range of electric forklifts. Designed for light to moderately intensive use, the 2.5 to 3.5 tonne four-wheelers are more than entry-level models. The newcomers surprise with solid construction and quiet, smooth operation. The behavior, apart from two points of improvement, is pleasantly predictable.
Like other A-brands, STILL is choosing to expand at the lower end of its delivery programme. There is a noticeable market for trucks that just do what they are supposed to do. Not for 24/7 use, but a few hours a day and preferably without too many price-increasing bells and whistles. To meet this demand STILL produces the RCE forklift series at the Kion factory in China. With three models from 2.5 to 3.5 tonnes, the first RCE trucks are now in Europe. Models with lighter lifting capacities will also follow later this year. The RCE will have its premiere at the upcoming LogiMAT in Stuttgart (25-27 April 2023).
Our test truck comes from the 0 series and, it is the lightest in the range with its 2.5-tonne lifting capacity. The first impression is downright positive. We see a neatly styled truck with clearly recognizable STILL traits. The shape is flowing, the lines sleek and everything is solidly assembled. The truck is very complete in design with a full set of lights, a strobe light and a panoramic mirror.
We reach the workplace via a step with profiled grille for extra grip. The handle on the left is in the right place, but for the right hand there is no support so we lean on the battery cover. The flat footplate is spacious and free of obstacles. We get onto the Grammer MSG65, a fine standard forklift seat with easy-to-use weight adjustment, without any problems. Fine is the extended belt lockup, which makes it easy to use the safety belt.
The seating behind the adjustable steering column with the compact STILL steering wheel is good. The battery cover buckle sits neatly under the overhang of the hood, so it does not poke the leg. We often experience this less comfortable on Asian models.
The brake and accelerator pedal are neatly positioned in front of the right foot and are easy to operate. On the left, we see the pedal for the foot-operated parking brake. This used to be fitted more often on trucks in the past. The brake works fine, locks the truck completely and feels extremely robust. Moreover, you won’t easily forget to put the truck on the parking brake. Not only does this make a clear signal sound and a light on the display, the pedal will also get in the way a bit when stepping off. The pedal rubber with orange parking brake logo could have been all orange or red for even greater attention value.
Very pleasing is that STILL provides its RCE line with a handle with horn on the inside of the roof pillar as standard so that you have a good and safe grip when reversing.
Next to the seat is a simple paper clip and on the dashboard we find two storage compartments, a small one on the right and a large and deep one on the left. An illuminated power socket offers two 5V/2.1A USB ports. The dashboard is of good-quality impact-resistant plastic and has a large and clear display. This faces the driver, making it easy to read. The display shows all the usual info including seatbelt indicator. The speedometer is somewhat nervous with its decimal accuracy.
Driving and handling the STILL RCE 25 is remarkably quiet and reasonably to well predictable. The power steering is just right, but there are two areas for improvement. The first is a software issue and there will be an update for that soon. The curve control setting is not quite to our liking. The system intervenes a little too late, but far too strongly, and holds the deceleration of the driving speed too long. Only when the steering wheels are almost straight does the truck accelerate. As a result, we lose quite a bit of time in every sharp corner, which detracts from the truck’s other agility. This agility partly comes from the good weight distribution and Chinese-made Super Elastic tires. However, these are also the second point of criticism: they are a bit too supple. Without a load, it’s all OK, but with heavier loads, the truck is a bit floaty.
Operation of the mast functions is via mechanical levers to the right of the seat. They are modern in design, grip pleasantly and allow very accurate fork positioning. Visibility through the three-part mast with side shift and free lift is above average for this mast type. This also applies to visibility around the truck.
The service setting on the display allows us to set three driving modes: performance, efficiency and economy. Once set, they are meant to stay that way. Only if you know the service code, the settings can be changed.
The settings actually only affect the sprint speed and therefore the effect remains fairly marginal. The RCE 25’s productivity is below average in this forklift segment, and this is due to its modest lift and travel speeds and the delay in cornering caused by the Curve Control. Still, you don’t experience the truck as modest because the sprint speed is above average. It makes for a pleasant dynamic character and partly because of this, performance mode is slightly preferred.
The energy consumption of the RCE 25 is considerably better than average. With the 80V/450 Ah lead-acid battery, we arrive at a practical operating time of 7:30 in performance mode and 8 hours in economy.
It is questionable whether long travel is an issue with the STILL RCE series as the trucks are not intended for high-intensity use, as that is what STILL has its RX series for. Those who need an occasional forklift and are looking for a predictable piece of equipment have a ‘Basic Instinct’ truck in their hands with the RCE series. Neat and solidly finished, very quiet in operation and easy to handle. Points for improvement are the curve control settings and slightly more stable SE tires.
(Text and photos: Andersom Testing, Theo Egberts and Mark Dohmen)
Tags:Andersom test, Andersom testing, Forklift test, Intralogistics, RCE, Still, Still RCE
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