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In the Fast Lane

Timber merchants Klöpferholz invested in a diesel truck with hydrostatic drive to handle their increased turnover volumes and heavier payloads. The new generation Series 5 DFG 550s from Jungheinrich is in the fast lane — compared with the client’s other industrial trucks it does the job in half the time.


Dominik Schwitzer, manager of “Central-North” operations for Klöpferholz GmbH & Co. KG in Halle (Saale) finesses the diesel stacker’s forks between the longitudinal timbers used to support stacks of plywood panels. “Previously, we could get away with a lifting capacity of 2,500 kilograms, but today we have to manipulate and move material weighing up to 5,000 kilograms. Moreover, before buying this Jungheinrich forklift, we had to divide up loads to be able to lift them with our existing trucks. Although side-loading forklifts with adequate lifting capacity were available, we couldn’t use them in all areas due to their structural shape.”

The second crucial factor for going ahead with the investment lay in the rapidly increasing turnover volumes at the company. These can now be handled by the DFG 550s, which thanks to its extra power and lifting capacity, delivers 50 percent time savings when loading and unloading lorries or storing and retrieving material in block storage and the cantilever racking system.

High Performance “Silent Machine”

Back and forth: Schwitzer manoeuvres the DFG 550s in the warehouse and demonstrates its reversing skills. “The forklift accelerates directly and dynamically from a standing position.” The salient strengths of hydrostatic drive technology lie in its steady, high handling rates over short distances despite constant changes in direction. Direct throttle response gives the operator precision control over the drive speed — taking his foot off the pedal brings the truck to an immediate stop.

The DFG 550s delivers outstanding performance with simultaneous energy efficiency — guaranteed by a control system that uses software developed by Jungheinrich. If the operator wants to tailor the performance parameters to his specific requirements, he simply selects one of five pre-set operating modes, from energy saving to maximum handling.  Another big advantage of hydrostats consists of the minimised service and maintenance costs — a direct consequence of having a direct drive unit without any wear and tear parts like clutch, differential and gearbox.

In addition to the above the client profits from the built-in double pedal configuration in the DFG 550s as well as the cutting-edge, common rail technology featured in the engines employed in Jungheinrich IC-powered trucks, which the company sources from German car manufacturers. The electronic engine control and management system means the engines are at once precise and quiet running. Dominik Schwitzer holds his right hand to his ear to indicate the low noise level generated by the truck. “Compared with our older industrial trucks, the new generation of forklifts is a silent machine.”

Flexible Tine Adjustment

The DFG 550s, which went into service at Klöpferholz in May 2012, is used to transport materials such as OSB and MDF boards, coated and uncoated raw chip boards as well as laminates and timber. On average, with this truck the firm is able to load and unload three to four lorries in one day, making full use of the truck’s lifting capacity. The same is true for the stacking height of up to 6,675 millimetres, which is a prerequisite for operating in the cantilever racking system.

Dominik Schwitzer widens the forks on the DFG 550s. “When loading and unloading in cantilever racking systems the flexible tine adjuster is particularly useful, because the racks have different widths and the lengths of the materials vary considerably. This feature is even more important for loading and unloading lorries because in this case, five support timbers are used and the forks have to be finessed in accurately.” The tine adjuster, which Jungheinrich offers as an optional extra, proves its mettle also in handling doors and smaller parts. In addition, Klöpferholz uses the DFG 550s for order picking whole loading units and occasionally even single components. Outdoors the diesel forklift  handles material up to five metres in width, while indoors the material width is restricted to three metres, due to the width of the doors.

Warm Through the Winter

The forklift lends itself to relaxed yet concentrated driving thanks to its spacious, ergonomic workplace, standard fitted with a comfort seat. To aid getting in and out the cab offers considerable room for movement, in part due to the steering column that slides forward and out of the way when the driver pulls on the steering lever. Jungheinrich also had the well-being of the driver in mind when it developed the floating cab, which successfully reduces in-cab vibrations through the implementation of four-fold engine mounting and the dedicated driver module, minimising driver body vibrations. Another ergonomic design feature consists of the slim steering column with adjustable height and rake angle and memory function. And the SOLO-PILOT control lever is particularly convenient, being integrated with the Comfort Display and operating control into the right-hand armrest, which is seat-mounted and is both vertically and horizontally adjustable.

Outdoors, where the DFG 550s performs 70 percent of its workload, the advantages of the electronic drive and hydraulic control system, which is splash-proof to IP 64 and communicates via CAN bus technology, become apparent. In the pouring rain Dominik Schwitzer opens a crack in the window in the comfort cab. “In bad weather and in winter the built-in heating provides a pleasant, warm workplace — crucial for maintaining a high level of driver motivation.”

Excellent All-round View

Schwitzer steers the DFG 550s, with its super-elastic tyres, into the hall and stores the incoming material a good six metres high.  The whole time he has a good view of what he is doing through the strut-free, safety-glass window in the roof. “The roof is great, above all when operating at maximum lifting heights. It allows full upwards visibility during storage and retrieval. Moreover, it protects the driver from falling objects.” In addition, the roof, just like the special console wall design, adds to the forklift’s good all-round visibility.  Even the rear view is unobstructed, due to the low-slung top edge of the counterweight.

Optimal visibility was also a key design factor for the hoist frame components. The slim hoist masts and the lift cylinders cleverly hidden behind the masts allowed Jungheinrich design engineers to create a panorama window. At the same time the hoist frame is structurally highly stable and durable.  When tilting, the payload is protected by inward and outward stroke damping and end cushioning. The triple mast design of the hoist frame translates into high lift heights despite the low structural height, allowing the truck to drive through the hall doors without any difficulties. Furthermore, the hoist frame boasts a free lift height of 2.1 metres — the forklift can lift the forks up to this height without even extending the mast upwards.

Safe and Stylish

Klöpferholz had optional features fitted to the standard DFG 550s model, including, in addition to the comfort cab referred to earlier, an exhaust pipe outlet located above head height and safety accessories, such as working spotlights fitted at the front, rear spot lights, which are automatically switched on when reversing and off again when the reversing manoeuvre is over, and a warning blinker light.

Active safety features are standard. For instance, if the driver’s seat is not occupied, the hydraulic system is deactivated and the parking brake activated to prevent unwanted backward rolling, even if the engine is switched off.  At 600 millimetres the low centre of gravity and associated excellent stability enhances passive safety, which means no additional electronic stability system is needed

“Thanks to the high lifting capacity, we attain even more safety because the truck can handle our complete weight spectrum, in other words, the danger of any overweight payloads is entirely ruled out.” Dominik Schwitzer steps out of the cab and runs his hand over the paintwork of the DFG 550s. “All our trucks are painted brown. Jungheinrich was able to deliver the forklift in this colour in keeping with our corporate design and quality pledge. Doesn’t it look stylish?”

Jungheinrich AG, Jan Kaulfuhs-Berger, Corporate Communications

Tel.: +49 40 6948-1503, Fax: +49 40 6948-1599,

Source: Jungheinrich