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Toyota Tonero working in port

Levers - get to grips with our guide to levers

Get to grips with the options available and to give out some top (finger) tips, we caught up with Gary Ison, sales training and product development manager, for a quick chat.
Manual hydraulic forklift levers

If you’ve ever driven a forklift truck or even just looked at the driver seating area or cab, you’ll have seen levers, levers that do a multitude of things, lifting, side shifting, tilting and self-levelling. Apart from sounding like a 70s dance routine these vital parts of the forklift truck get your material off the ground and moving.

Hi Gary, so what different types of levers are available?

There are 2 main types; mechanical, most commonly seen on torque converter engine powered forklift trucks and electronic mini or multi-functional, associated with hydrostatic and electric trucks.

What are the main physical differences between the two options?

Mechanical are often seen on the front dash panel of the truck and are usually long thin levers that arc towards the operator. Electronic are short stubby levers, usually armrest mounted either from the operator seat or just beside.

When would you choose one over the other?

Mechanical are great for applications where smooth control is not as critical, although it can be achieved. They are also ideal when operators frequently get on/off the truck and use bulky gloves. They do not restrict access. Electronic are ideal for applications of higher intensity where the operator is seated for longer periods of time. They greatly reduce arm movements for the operator which increase comfort and productivity.

Forklift minilevers

What are the main advantages and disadvantages of mini levers?

Mini levers are simple and comfortable to operate, offering very smooth accurate control of the hydraulics. However, simultaneous control of hydraulic functions is less comfortable due to the need to spread your fingers across multiple levers.

What are the main advantages and disadvantages of multi-function levers?

Multi-functional levers offer all the benefits of mini-levers and give the operator the ability to control two functions with one lever. The downside to this is that with the greater complexity of operation comes a higher risk of miss control and an increased need for further operator training.

So there you have it… there’s no right or wrong choice, it comes down to the type of application and operator preference. Remember if you are undecided you can always get a free demo or book a trial to see which levers work best in your application.

For more information call us on 0370 850 1409

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