Electronic stability control (ESC) is commonplace in modern vehicles; the Australian government made it compulsory for all new vehicles sold from November 2013 to be equipped with some form of ESC. Most drivers may take it for granted, but if it saves your life even just once in the life of the vehicle, it's a very worthwhile system to have.
Every year, an alarming number of forklift operators are involved in workplace accidents, with a tipping forklift one of the most common causes of forklift fatalities. Toyota was the first to respond publicly to this safety issue by developing its revolutionary System of Active Stability (SAS).
Unique to selected Toyota forklifts*, SAS is a patented dynamic stability system that utilises multiple sensors, actuators and a controller. SAS constantly monitors forklift operations and automatically takes corrective action when it senses factors that could lead to truck or load instability. Here are the six features helping to keep both drivers and goods safe on the job.
The swing lock cylinder
On selected Toyota forklifts# if the forklift becomes unstable during a turn, the rear axle will lock automatically. This helps to prevent side tip-over by adjusting the forklift's centre of gravity. Acting even faster than the most experienced driver, SAS provides excellent stability to help protect operators and reduce damage to forklifts.
Speed reduction when cornering
On selected Toyota forklifts^ if the SAS senses excessive speed going into a corner, the system will automatically slow the vehicle down to keep the forklift stable and reduce the risk of tip-over.
Mast front tilt angle control
Constant monitoring of the load height and mast position enables the SAS to adjust the mast angle to protect the driver from unbalanced loads and possible damage of goods.
Mast rear tilt speed control
Similar to the front tilt angle control, the SAS will adjust mast speed when loads are tilted backwards to enable sure and steady goods handling.
Fork levelling control
A skilled operator will be able to ensure the forks are level, but by using this control time is saved and human error is substantially mitigated. At the push of a button, the system is able to level the forks to approximately 90 degrees.
Active steering synchroniser
Sensors measure the position of the steering knob and forklift wheels to ensure they are aligned. With steering input aligned, manoeuvring of the vehicle is more predictable and precise.
These innovative features, however, in no way override the value of sensible employees, professional training and strict adherence to safety regulations and to the forklift manufacturer's instructions. But, they certainly help to create a safer work environment.
* SAS is available on 8-Series petrol, diesel and LPG models; 8-Series 3 and 4 wheel battery-electric models and 7-Series stand up reach models.
#Active Control Rear Stabiliser is not available on 8-Series battery-electric models.
^ Speed control when turning is only available on 8-Series 3 and 4 wheel battery-electric models.
Unique to selected Toyota forklifts*, SAS is a patented dynamic stability system