With the TX3-18L UniCarriers brings a worthy successor for the TX3-18 which we tested in 2013. The newcomer is more refined, more economical and offers some unique aspects that may become the norm for the internal transport industry.
With an impressive range of 10 new models, UniCarriers brings the new TX series on the market. The TX3 range includes 3-wheel forklifts with lifting capacities from 1.3 until 2 tons, while the TX4 line offers four-wheel trucks with 1.6, 1.8 and 2 tons capacities. Just like their predecessors, under the name Nissan, the trucks are produced in the Spanish Pamplona factory. The TX3 line is available in three chassis lengths, the TX4 is available in two lengths. The TX3-18L test truck is a long version and offers a 48V / 750 Ah battery instead of the 625 Ah used for the standard chassis.
UniCarriers is proud with this new line and emphasises this with claims as ‘the most economical and quietest in its class’ and special features as the ProVision system for optimal visibility and the Stability Support System S3 for extra safety. We do indeed see many of the predicted benefits on our test truck. With the ProVision, UniCarriers works on vision optimization. The front roof edge is chamfered in the line of sight, as also the connecting beams in the overhead guard. The dashboard is kept extra low and the side shift is integrated. This improves the view on the fork tips and reduces the blind spot with ± 10 cm. The pillars of the overhead guard are slimmer and this gives a better view than before on the outside world around the TX3. However, we experience the greatest gain with the two viewing windows in the bulkhead. The sturdy plexiglas offers a very good view on the front corners of the load so you can accurately position the forks and pick up the load. Such windows could just become the standard in the forklift world.
The TX series is not only more ergonomic than its predecessor in terms of visibility, also the entrance has been improved. The trucks are equipped with an extra step and that works really easier and provides a safer getting on and off the truck. The foot space on the footplate is spacious and free of obstacles. We would like to see a smarter solution for the locking of the battery cover, the ‘conventional closure’ is sometimes felt in the right lower leg. The brake pedal may also be slightly lower so It would be easier to swing from the acceleration pedal to the brake pedal.
The Grammer MSG65 seat sits fine and the armrest with integrated fingertip-handles is perfectly adjustable and solid. With the thumb the switch for the travel direction (forward / backward) can be adjusted, with the little or ring finger you can easily indicate the direction (right / left). Optional is a push button to set the forks automatically in horizontal position. Those who prefer mechanical levers, they are available, the choice between the two drive options can be made without additional costs.
With the Stability Support System (S3), the TX ensures safety. The system continually measures the steering angle, the load and the speed so that the stability of the truck remains steady. The so-called Dynamic Cornering Control ensures a lower speed in curves, but keeps the truck just a little bit too long in slow mode when driving straight, which means that we loses some flexibility and time. It is nice to see that the TX standard has a weighing indication and warns when threatened to overload.
Also standard is the new steer-by-wire system with steering wheel synchronization. With this system, the steering wheel is always in the same position when driving straight ahead and that is very pleasant. The steering process is controlled and predictable.
Thanks to the electric steering system, the steering column remains slim ensuring more legroom. The column is infinitely adjustable in angle of inclination, but not in height. The column is available in two heights, we experience the higher version on our test truck as just a little too high. Also standard is a rear assist grip with horn on the rear roof post for extra secure grip when reversing. The TX also has a built-in consumption meter, the new display shows the additional information about the energy consumption of the truck.
Remains the question about the lowest energy consumption and the noise level. The TX3 has indeed become very quiet, but not quieter than other modern trucks. However, this is out of the question when reversing; the warning beeper is explicit presence.
According to UniCarriers, energy consumption is very low, but we do not see these values in the measurements of our practice-oriented test approach. Thanks to the electric steering and the improved energy recovery, the TX3-18L is more efficient than its predecessor and we achieve a slightly more favourable value than the average consumption in this class. The measured productivity is slightly less favourable than average. We owe this, among other things, to the delayed acceleration after taking sharp turns and the ‘thinking second’ when lifting, which seems to be effected by the soft lifting mode of the test truck.
Remaining us to conclude that we experience the P position as the finest driving and working mode (H is quite brute, E too careful) and this makes the TX3-18L a nice, stable and predictable truck. The truck is pleasantly solid, offers an easy battery change from the side and is modern. In our opinion, the best feature is the strong improved view of the ProVision system and the electrical steering. The few minuses are surmountable and might be adjusted by UniCarriers in due course.
+ Strong improved visibility
+ Electric steering with synchronization
+ Rich standard equipment
– Dynamic Cornering Control keeps speed low for a long time
– Battery cover lock
Text and photos Andersom Testing, Theo Egberts
Tags:Andersom test, Andersom testing, Forklift, Forklift truck, Forklifts, UniCarriers