Equipment North introduces compact articulated forklift
Equipment North has developed a compact, articulated forklift for mining applications by adding a forklift mast to a Yanmar V4-6 articulated loader.
“Articulated forklifts are easier to maneuver in small spaces than conventional units, and that’s exactly what you need in mine tunnels,” said Steve Walter, operations manager at Equipment North. “They’re relatively rare, though—especially ones that are small enough to fit in a cage.”Equipment North has a track record of working with customers to adapt equipment for unique work environments. The company regularly outfits forklifts and telehandlers with mining packages, including triple-redundant failsafe hydraulic braking systems, fire suppression systems and fire-resistant wiring. Equipment North’s EN Creter, a compact shotcreting system that has been a staple in mines across North America for more than 15 years, is also based on a forklift that has been customized for use underground.
“We know the Yanmar is an excellent unit. We have quite a few Yanmar excavators underground, and they’ve gotten a really good response because they’re incredibly tough and have extremely low diesel emissions. That’s how we knew that the V4-6 was a great candidate for conversion,” said Walter.
Safety is a major selling feature. “There are similar units based on other loaders,” said Walter. “The difference between the units, though, is that ours has an articulating rear axle rather than a mid-ship articulation. This makes it more stable, which translates to improved operator safety.”
A prototype of the new Yanmar forklift has already been tested at mine sites in the Sudbury area. The unit has been getting a great response, said Dan Campeau, Equipment North’s sales manager. “We’re lucky to know so many people in the industry who are willing to work with us to get these projects up and running. We’ll bring them a new machine and say ‘Could you try this out for us? We want to make sure it does the job you need it to do’. They send it down with a crew, put it to work, and come back to us a few weeks later with a list of things we can improve. It’s a lot of work, but after a few of these cycles, we’ve got a machine that we can be proud of.”
Tagged articulated forklift, Articulated vehicle, Canada, Engineering vehicles, Equipment North, Forklift truck, Greater Sudbury, Mining, North America, Northern Ontario, Ontario, Steve Walter, Sudbury, triple-redundant failsafe hydraulic braking systems, Yanmar, Yanmar forklift