Watch footage from the new vibration free forktrucks from EP
EP were the fastest growing forklift manufacturer in the world in 2016 according to Modern Material Handling who publish the annual league table of the world’s material handling manufacturers. A growth rate of 25% in revenue and 33% in production represents the companies most successful year to date resulting in a production output of 32,00 units for 2016.
EP have recently released to the market the third-generation or their counterbalance engine trucks – the T8 Series and the company have engineered some very significant refinements to the previous model putting it in the technical and ergonomic bracket of its Japanese competitors but without increasing the price.
For some time now, EP have been an innovator in the manufacturer of electric equipment. The electric range rivals any other manufacturer and in addition they offer several world leading electric products. The company lead the way in cost effective innovation and are currently the largest manufacturer of electric equipment in China.
There has been a major focus on the development of the IC range of equipment over the last few years and the new T8 series is the result of several key strategic changes within the company. The previous range of IC trucks, the FD Series, were manufactured in partnership with another company owned and managed by Mr Saido, a Japanese national who spent many years working for Nissan in Japan and who then moved to China were he, in conjunction with John He (owner of EP Equipment) manufactured the FD series of engine trucks for EP for many years. In 2015 EP purchased the business outright and significantly expanded its manufacturing capacity in the process.
The T8 series represents a complete rethink of the typical Chinese built truck.
Firstly, and most importantly EP have developed their own suspension mounted transmission that works with several other changes on the truck to make it one of the smoothest trucks on the market. Traditionally trucks manufactured in China are built with the transmission fixed directly to the engine which results in some uncomfortable vibration from the engine reverberating throughout the truck’s chassis. Cost is the main reason why Chinese manufacturers build trucks in this way. The new T8 series from EP is built with EP’s own transmission which is mounted on large rubber suspension arms and is attached to the engine through a drive shaft. The result of the new transmission is extraordinary with virtually zero vibration reverberating through the truck and the overall noise level of the truck is very low. The new transmission also has a major impact on the responsiveness of the drive of the truck where the power of the engine is transmitted to the front axle in a very smooth and direct fashion.
Secondly the overhead guard is no longer a fixed welded unit. The front of the overhead guard floats and is fixed to the front of the chassis where before it was welded directly to the chassis which again helps with vibration dampening. Thirdly the standard braking system on the truck has been enhanced with the introduction of a dual acting brake master cylinder which delivers increased control of the brake pedal. There is the additional option of on board disc brakes (wet brakes).
The system on offer is a well proven one and is the same as that used by Jungheinrich on their engine trucks. There are several other improvements delivered in the T8 series that are listed below but by far the most impressive aspect of the new truck is the fact that the price remains the same. Previously there was a level of compromise when purchasing a truck that was built by a Chinese manufacturer where the level of technology was sacrificed to achieve a price point. There is no compromise with the new T8 Series where you really can have your cake and eat it.
- Roof Glass design changed and has a thickness of 8mm
- 3rd generation of engine mounts fitted to special design.
- Option on silencer – much quieter but lower power
- Key switch covered to avoid contamination
- Bonnet trim changed all gaps filled between bonnet and chassis to reduce noise
- All electrical connectors changed to AMP connectors.
- New electronic dash designed and manufactured by EP