More and more companies realise the direct connection between good ergonomics and good business. With the introduction of Ergologic, the Swedish truck manufacturer Atlet offers reach truck operators a new possibility to effectively control all on-board hydraulic functions with minimal strain. Ergologic complements Atlet’s new Tergo range – the world’s most ergonomic reach trucks – and is a big leap towards improved ergonomics and increased operational efficiency.
"Our customers expect greater uptime and efficiency from their trucks," says Jan Callderyd, Product Manager at Atlet. "The operators are the key for success, and by providing them with well-designed ergonomic tools like the new Ergologic, operational efficiency can easily be increased and secured."
Reach truck operators often spend their entire work shifts in the truck, where they perform intensive and repetitive movements with fingers and wrists. With poor ergonomics this easily leads to fatigue, stress, injury and – in the long run – reduced material handling efficiency. But renowned for ergonomic innovations – such as the stand-in stacker, the mini steering wheel and the floating armrest – Atlet took a new perspective on this issue and involved truck drivers in the product development process, right from the beginning.
"Instead of having users testing almost-finished prototypes we first interviewed them and studied their behaviour on site before we even started designing", says Jan Callderyd. "And their input guided our engineers and experts on the science of ergonomics throughout the whole design process, for example by participating in focus groups and user testing."
The design of the Ergologic joystick control considers the natural position and movements of the hand and fingers. Ensuring support for relaxed operations, the control allows the driver to handle it in a predetermined ergonomic way, without locking the hand into a static position. To avoid fatigue and increase efficiency, the driver can vary his or her hand position and control all hydraulic functions in the most intuitive way. Up to seven functions (including lifting, lowering, reaching and tilting) can be incorporated in one control and it fits drivers, whatever their hand size.
"We know that drivers tend to use more hydraulic functions simultaneously to increase their operational efficiency and safety," concludes Jan Callderyd. "Ergologic is designed to meet their demands and, together with the mini steering wheel and the innovative driver-centric design of our new Tergo reach trucks, this is definitely the new ergonomic benchmark in the truck industry."