Warehouse Truck ‘Lowlifter’: CROWN RT 4020

With the RT 4000 series, Crown launched a totally new and fast pallet truck in 2015. Unlike its predecessor, the RT 4000 series was developed in-house by Crown. This ensures the use of various tried-and-tested components introduced by Crown in recent years, like the powerful, maintenance-free three-phase motor, the butterfly switches, the steering and the cushioned platform. The 4kW motor is also a Crown development.

The pallet truck is agile and compact yet still offers adequate space for the driver. Safety and ergonomics played a central role in the development process. In terms of ergonomics, the focus is also on the spring-mounted stand-up platform, the suspended support wheel and the ergonomically designed backrest. One of the key safety features is the Entrybar Safety Switch, which ensures that the driver’s feet are always inside the vehicle contours. If the switch is in the depressed position when the vehicle is started, the forklift will not even move. If the switch is accidentally pressed during travel, the truck slowly and safely rolls to a standstill. The right-hand foot contact has a four-second time delay, however, so that the driver can occasionally move his foot while working, and this in turn helps to reduce fatigue. The robust materials also systematically reflect the Crown safety philosophy.

The steering knob is also robust and provides a stable grip when entering the machine. The knob and the entire control console give the driver a solid and convenient hold during travel. The backrest on the test machine offers optimum support and lateral stability irrespective of the body position of the driver.

The Crown RT 4020 is equipped as standard with pallet exit entry rollers in the fork and Li-ion ready. Crown does not supply the lithium ion battery but has achieved quality certification of both batteries and software in collaboration with a select group of battery suppliers. The IFOY test vehicle itself was fitted with a conventional lead-acid battery (24 V/375 Ah).

The Speed Reduction in Turns System is activated when cornering, and the driver can adjust the influence of this system. In the view of the test team, the standard setting is excellent. The truck feels stable and is easy to steer and control.

The Crown RT 4020 achieves better performance than average pallet trucks with fold-down platform. However, no representative data are currently available on comparable trucks. The favourable test results of the forklift are underpinned by its higher driving speeds, but this also results in slightly higher consumption figures.

According to the testers the Crown RT 4020 is ideal for users who attach importance to high productivity in tight spaces. Their verdict: “The slimline design of the truck makes it the perfect machine for pallet storage in narrow channels, for example. The transverse position means visibility is good in both directions. The steering characteristics take a little getting used to but soon become intuitive.”

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