Gloria put to the test
text RISTO PAK ARINEN photo ANDREW CLELL AND PHOTOGRAPHY
Driving a reachstacker that weighs 80 tonnes and can carry a 45-tonne load might seem a daunting task. But not for a test driver.
“I’ve been doing this for seven years and as with everything, you get used to things. I don’t think it’s that special anymore. Of course, driving around with a 125-tonne load is nothing to play with,” says Johan Mårtensson, a test driving veteran, one of some dozen test drivers who try out new products to see how they perform in real situations. “For me, it’s a fun break from the routine,” says Mårtensson. Mårtensson tested Gloria, the new generation G reachstacker, which features a completely redesigned cabin. He is impressed with the results achieved. “Everything is different. The driver can adjust the steering wheel sideways as well, the steering and the control panels are electrically adjustable, and the new joystick is really good,” says Mårtensson. Kalmar has patented the new steering wheel tilt. Mårtensson also says that the drivers’ arm movements were measured and calculated at the Chalmers University of Technology
in Gothenburg, Sweden, to make sure the joystick was just right. “Compared to cabins in the past, air conditioning is now standard, and there are more glass surfaces so the driver has better visibility,” says Mårtensson. An open mind is a prerequisite for a test driver who, besides testing the prototypes under actual working conditions, runs specified tests on them. Everything is recorded into a protocol, and if Mårtensson or his colleagues find something that needs to be rethought, the vehicle goes back to the building department, which will then decide how to proceed. Even the best products and the biggest market hits can still be made better. There are things that can be done better, new technologies that open new doors and new ways of doing things. The development continues.
Meet Gloria on page 6.
Published on Jun 28, 2013