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New Mitsubishi electrics put the focus on ‘driveability’

The single most important factor in increasing the productivity of a forklift truck is ‘driveability’. This principle – proved by over two decades of independent research – has driven product development at Mitsubishi Forklift Trucks for many years. And it’s the driving philosophy behind EDIA EM – the company’s latest 3 and 4 wheel, 48 volt, 1.3 to 2.0 tonne electric counterbalance series.

In developing EDIA EM – the ‘Electric Diamond’ – Mitsubishi designers have aimed to make its operation highly intuitive and give the driver a strong sense of confidence and control.

Driver-friendly features include FeatherTouch electric steering, which requires only half the effort of a conventional system and provides ‘force feedback’ to aid precision. Comfort is enhanced by the remarkably smooth, quiet steer motor. In fact, the average noise level for the truck as a whole, in a standard industry test, is less than 66 dB(A) for the 3 wheel and 67 dB(A) for the 4 wheel. That’s about the level of normal conversation.

Mitsubishi uses the term ‘ErgoCentric’ for its approach to meeting drivers’ needs. This is reflected in, for example, a particularly large, flat and uncluttered floor space and clear all-round visibility, as well as the conveniently deep, wide step and exceptionally large ‘entry window’.

The company points to its attention to detail in the design and positioning of each control, such as the hydraulic levers which are said to bring a feeling of precise movement. Buyers can also opt for a fingertip hydraulic control unit, based on the company’s award-winning adjustable armrest concept.

In some ways EDIA actually ‘thinks’ for the driver. Having pioneered hydraulic and travel interlock technology in its Integrated Presence System (IPS), Mitsubishi is equipping EDIA with the upgraded IPS2. This prevents all movement if the driver is not seated and gives seat belt and parking brake reminders.

For extra security, IPS2 automatically applies an electronic parking brake when the driver leaves the seat. And when the truck is being driven, a hill hold feature prevents accidental rolling – even on steep ramps.

The new Controlled Cornering System (CCS) optimises travel speed for each turning angle. EDIA is also fully programmable, allowing performance parameters to be adjusted precisely to meet the needs of each operator and task. Importantly, a range of simple settings can easily be selected by the driver via the new, multi-function, colour display unit.

For forklift managers, the most attractive qualities of EDIA will include its low maintenance needs and high energy efficiency. Mitsubishi is also keen to promote its new lateral battery exchange option, which makes the process quicker and safer than ever.

With lifting capacities from 1.3 to 2.0 tonnes, market-leading residual capacities, a variety of battery sizes, and compatibility with customers’ existing DIN and BS batteries, there is a model to suit every application and budget.

Wet, dirty or salty workplaces are no problem, thanks to wet disc brakes. Designed for outdoor as well as indoor use, EDIA meets the industry’s IPX4 waterproofing standard – resistant not only to wind-blown rain but to water splashing from all directions. Meanwhile, all-weather protection for the driver can be added by fitting VersaCab panel cabins, which feature the company’s award-winning hi-vis roof.