Crown Lift Trucks Limited, one of the world’s leading suppliers of innovative material handling equipment, has launched a new gas-powered counterbalance fork lift truck. As perhaps the most eagerly awaited truck in Crown’s recent history, the Crown C-5 was unveiled in Europe at IMHX 2010.
The C-5 represents a paradigm-shattering product that directly addresses the issues associated with high use and tough environments. Issues that customers had previously felt they simply had to “live with” because the problems couldn’t be solved by IC suppliers at that time.
For many years, IC-engine lift trucks have been plagued by short service intervals and performance issues arising from overheating. The LPG-sector, in particular, has been led by automotive-derived engine and cooling solutions. In the toughest applications, thermal cut-back had become the norm. Crown believed there was a better way.
The C-5 engine
Crown engineers collaborated with John Deere to co-develop an exclusive 2.4-litre LPG industrial engine designed to meet the needs of arduous applications. This particularly durable, low-maintenance unit has a heritage proven in the construction industry over many years.
The cast iron head is 24% better at absorbing heat than aluminium which is commonly used on competitor trucks. This makes it much less likely to warp – an all-too-frequent occurrence on lesser trucks.
The gear-driven camshaft means no belt or chain to maintain. This efficient design is zero maintenance and gives consistent performance over a typical lifespan. Additionally, the accessory poly belt is ribbed and maintained at the required level of tension by an auto-tensioner, thus removing the need to ever manually adjust during service.
For added operator comfort and increased component life, two internal balance shafts have been used to virtually eliminate engine vibrations. These low-friction parts are exclusive to the C-5 and provide greater refinement without adding any heat.
With an inbuilt oil cooler as standard, larger oil sump and an over-sized oil filter, the highly efficient engine runs at its best for longer. These features have also contributed to longer service intervals, with an oil change required just once every 1,000 hours.
Efficient cooling comes as standard
All components on the Crown C-5 are designed to meet the needs of arduous industrial applications, therefore increasing productivity and reducing TCO as opposed to being designed just to meet an initial purchase price point. Take the cooling system, for example, which is unique to the C-5.
The standard cooling system features a robust dual open-core radiator. Not only is this stronger than a standard radiator, but the dual-core design separates engine cooling from transmission cooling.
Transmissions can run hotter than engines. With the dual cooler design, the separate transmission cooler won’t pass heat to the engine. This allows each element to operate at the correct temperature and helps to eliminate the age-old problem of overheating. For particularly hostile applications where high levels of dust and debris exist, an optional On-Demand Cooling system (ODC) is available. This features a unique reverse fan operation to clear debris from the radiator upon start up.
The C-5’s industrial engine produces more low-end torque than similarly rated automotive-derived engines. It is this low-end torque that provides such superior performance when accelerating with a load, working on a ramp and when pushing pallets.
Two drive modes allow the truck’s performance to be matched to the application. The economy mode, for example, will match the productivity and fuel efficiency of the competition. Where speed is essential, the productivity mode gives maximum throughput, yet still retains fuel efficiency.
Cost saving Power Brake
Outdoor use, tough environments and demanding tasks place an extra burden on a lift truck’s brake system, leading to increased maintenance costs and inconsistent performance. To address these problems the self-adjusting Crown Power Brake, with nearly double the pad area and a 3000 hour service interval, was created. Hydraulic power assist reduces pedal force and applies consistent pressure with no fade over time. The Power Brake is standard on all pneumatic tyre trucks and larger cushion tyre trucks.
Crown’s Intrinsic Stability System™ takes a proactive approach to stability with features engineered to minimise the causes of unstable conditions.
Key features of this system include:
• More mass in the right places for strength and increased operator confidence
• Nested I-beam mast rails for lower bending deflection and increased torsional resistance
• Tilt interlock prevents an operator from lifting above free lift if the forks are angled too far forward
• Tilt speed control prevents an operator from tilting too quickly and losing a load or potentially tipping a truck
• Dead-engine braking and steering maintains functionality in the event of the engine shutting down unexpectedly
• Ramp Hold and Ramp Speed Control assist operators when working on gradients
Whereas some competitors rely on complex electronic ‘reactive’ systems, with the Crown Intrinsic Stability System™, stability is built into the truck. Rather than responding to potentially unsafe conditions, Crown believes it’s much better to prevent the situation from occurring in the first place.
Patent pending technology – Crown eSmart™
The C-5’s onboard display uses Crown eSmart™ for accurate fuel tracking. This new technology measures fuel pressure and temperature to give extremely accurate fuel level readings. The system gives the operator refuelling advice from 16 minutes remaining, and emits an alarm from 4 minutes remaining.
Running out of fuel seriously affects productivity. But wasting fuel through early gas bottle changes can equally affect a business’s bottom line. Crown eSmart™ finally does away with this age-old problem. No other truck available today has this technology.
Access 123® Comprehensive System Control
Crown engineers have developed the Crown Access 123® Comprehensive System Control to do more than just control engine functions – this system provides a wealth of information about other truck systems to support desired levels of performance and productivity. Further, it provides an interface between the truck, operator and technician when and where needed through the display in the operator cabin.
Expensive laptops and hand held devices are made superfluous when servicing, as the technician has direct access to interrogate each element of the truck direct from the display. There’s no need to remove a single cover or plug in any external hardware.
Comfort – a prerequisite for greater throughput
Crown doesn’t believe operator comfort is a luxury, but a prerequisite for safer and more productive handling. The philosophy is simple: if the operator remains comfortable over long shift periods, he or she will be able to concentrate on the task in hand and throughput can be maximised.
The C-5 is perhaps the easiest IC fork lift to get into and out of in today’s market place. The airy cabin has a V-contoured seat deck, exceptional head and shoulder room and an extra long, sloping entry/exit step.
Visibility is maximised in all directions. The overhead guard has angled cross bars for optimised visibility of a raised load. The C-5’s seat is slightly raised and positioned closer to the forks (cab-forward design) so that the operator has a clear view onto the fork tips. For reverse travel, the counterweight and LPG bottle height are lower than the norm.
The C-5’s hydraulic levers with tactile feedback are easy to reach and operate. The brake pedal has been widened for easy operation from multiple foot positions. The truck’s cabin has been isolated to reduce oscillations and the specially designed floor mat further dampens vibrations. Even the counterweight has been designed to deflect heat and exhaust away from the operator during reverse travel.
Pushing limits inside and out
The Crown C-5 is set to revolutionise customer perception in the IC-engine fork lift sector. Few trucks offer such a convincing package, with tangible benefits in the yard and visible advantages on the balance sheet. This all-new truck pushes the limits of current expectations, inside and out, with long-term value and low TCO over the truck’s lifespan.
Crown Lift Trucks Limited