2021-04-21

Forklift Truck Millionaire

The first million is the hardest, as the saying goes among the super-rich. All the more reason to celebrate the production of the millionth forklift truck with Linde Material Handling. From the first industrial truck with hydrostatic drive through to today’s fully networked counterpart, much has changed. The Aschaffenburg plant, where the KION subsidiary has been manufacturing forklift trucks since 1959, has seen huge change in recent decades. The production department and the products are the best of their kind anywhere in the world. No wonder, then, that customers are once again looking forward to new innovations from Linde Material Handling.

Even though the pandemic put a stop to any big celebrations, many of the employees still had that feeling of goosebumps as the millionth counterbalanced truck rolled off the production line at the Aschaffenburg production plant in mid-March. The manufacture of the milestone truck was celebrated with an indoor firework display lasting several minutes and consisting of red Bengal fire flare candles, sparkler fountains, smoke and no shortage of glitter rain around the number “1,000,000”. The next day, the Linde truck, the back of which had been signed by all the assembly workers beforehand, set off for its future home at Colorobbia España S.A. on the east coast of Spain, where it will join a 60-strong fleet of forklift trucks. “We have been using Linde brand industrial trucks for 24 years and particularly value the user-friendliness and safety of the trucks,” says Gonzalo Trilles de Castro, CEO of Colorobbia España S.A., one of the world’s largest plants for manufacturing pigments and other products for the ceramics and glass industry.

He also values the reliable partnership with a company whose philosophy corresponds to his own in terms of sustainability, innovations, and technology. “All of this is a guarantee for long-term success, which we share with our customers as a competitive advantage.” The arrival of the forklift truck at the Spanish customer—which is also celebrating its hundredth anniversary this year—was celebrated in a way befitting the occasion, i.e., with a specially decorated cake complete with sparklers, much like the “launch” in Aschaffenburg.

From Hydrostatic Drive to Fully Networked Electric Forklift Truck

The millionth counterbalanced truck from the main Aschaffenburg plant is the latest highlight from Linde Material Handling in over sixty years of successful company history. With the modern 1202 series, Linde MH is focusing on the connectivity of its counterbalanced trucks: high-performance, versatile, robust, user-friendly, and, above all, digitally networked. These are the attributes of the new generation. Customers can equip their industrial trucks with new features beyond the operating time, without replacing a single hardware component. The digital forklift truck file documents equipment, usage, and the condition of the forklift truck on an ongoing basis. The truck can also be accessed via remote maintenance. This means faults can either be rectified digitally straight away or perfectly prepared for the visit of a service technician.

In its first forklift truck, the “Hubtrac”, materials handling specialist Linde offered an industry-defining technological alternative to the industrial trucks previously available, which had been sluggish and were anything but smooth in their handling due to the clutch and gearshift. Thanks to the innovative hydrostatic drive and the dual pedal control possible as a result, the original model was made for storing and retrieving goods as well as loading and unloading trucks and wagons: Even back then, it ensured high turnover performance in goods handling and quickly became the standard bearer for all Linde counterbalanced trucks.

Just as it did back then, Linde Material Handling continues to set technological standards today and to make forklift trucks fit for the future, with various energy types, intelligent assistance systems, and connectivity. “Our aim is to help make our customers’ material flow processes as efficient and safe as possible and thereby enable them to be even more successful in their core business,” says Stefan Prokosch, Senior Vice President Brand Management at Linde Material Handling. “With products to win over our customers, we already have the next milestone in our company history in our sights; namely, the launch of the new Linde electric forklift truck this June.”

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