This browser is outdated. Please switch to a different browser to be able to use our website to the full extent.
The innovative Linde Steer Control concept from Linde Material Handling
The revolution of forklift control

The innovative Linde Steer Control

For efficient logistics processes and maximum handling performance, the smooth interaction between man and forklift truck plays an increasingly important role. In addition to the vehicle's performance, it is above all driving comfort and intuitive operability that determine how quickly and efficiently transport and warehouse tasks can be mastered. The revolutionary Linde Steer Control concept from Linde Material Handling replaces the classic steering wheel and thus achieves a new level of ergonomics, user-friendliness and driving pleasure.

The forklift control: interface between man and machine

When developing its forklifts, Linde has always placed particular emphasis on the efficient interaction between driver and vehicle. The design of the driver's workplace plays a central role. It should offer maximum driving and operating comfort while minimizing physical strain. The vehicle control system is particularly important in this respect. Linde trucks are therefore equipped with the proven operating concept of dual pedal control and Linde Load Control, which makes the trucks easy, precise and intuitive to operate.

With Linde Steer Control, Linde is now taking the next logical step towards an even more comprehensive integration of driver and vehicle. An innovation whose ergonomic benefits are of particular benefit to so-called heavy users, who spend the majority of their working shifts on a forklift truck.

Full control with the joystick of the Linde Steer Control from Linde Material Handling.

Linde Steer Control: Full Control

Linde Steer Control breaks completely new ground in vehicle steering. The innovative concept dispenses with the traditional steering wheel and replaces it with either a mini-wheel or a joystick integrated into an additional armrest on the left-hand side. The associated elimination of the steering column and the significant reduction in the required steering movements offer several clear advantages, first and foremost the physical relief for the driver and an improved view of the fork tips. For maximum precision in all movements, Linde Steer Control automatically adjusts the sensitivity of its steering elements to the vehicle speed. This means that the vehicle reacts differently to the same hand movement, depending on the situation: The faster the truck travels, the smaller the steering deflection of the wheels. The slower the driving speed, the greater the steering deflection.

The fitting control: Mini-Wheel or Joystick?

Linde offers two variants of the Linde Steer Control to suit the different applications of a forklift truck. Mini-Wheel and Joystick each have their own advantages depending on the application:

Mini-Wheel

In its basic operating logic, the mini-wheel is similar to the classic steering wheel. Thanks to this similarity, the mini-wheel has a significantly steeper learning curve for first-time users than the joystick. For the usual everyday applications of a forklift, from driving and maneuvering to storage and retrieval, the mini-wheel is the optimal choice for the average user and is therefore recommended as the standard design.

Joystick

The joystick shows its strengths under special operating conditions. It enables fast and strong direction changes, which is an advantage in tight spaces and when frequently driving short, winding routes. When

the joystick is released, the steering wheels automatically return to the straight-ahead position. This is especially useful when the driver frequently has to enter long, narrow aisles. The automatic straight-ahead position also offers advantages when starting or pushing the load in a straight line, as is often required in block storage and beverage warehouses or in paper recycling.

Becoming one with the vehicle

Linde Steer Control complements the proven operating concept of dual pedal control and Linde Load Control. Together, the three control components give the operator the feeling of completely merging with the vehicle while working. The dual pedal control enables smooth acceleration and fast direction changes. With the right hand, the driver operates the Linde Load Control and thus controls all essential mast functions. The left hand steers all travel movements of the truck via the Linde Steer Control.

Heavy users have a particular benefit

Thanks to the reduced range of movement of the control arm, Linde Steer Control brings significant ergonomic improvements. Especially for intensive applications, where drivers spend several hours at a time on the truck, this physical relief is of great value. This added ergonomics and ease of operation thus also helps to increase overall productivity. On the one hand, by enabling drivers to work longer without discomfort and with greater concentration. On the other hand, by reducing the absenteeism rate due to stress-related illnesses in the long term.

Mini-wheel of the Linde Steer Control
Linde Steer Control with joystick
E30 electric forklift from Linde Material Handling with Linde Steer Control
Mini-wheel of the Linde Steer Control
Linde Steer Control with joystick
E30 electric forklift from Linde Material Handling with Linde Steer Control

A completely new driving experience

Linde Steer Control optimizes the ergonomic features of the truck and reduces the physical strain on the operator. The ergonomic benefits include:

Reduced arm movements

By dispensing with the classic steering wheel and integrating the vehicle controls into the additional armrest, the driver's forearm rests in a relaxed position during the entire driving time. All maneuvers are controlled exclusively by slight movements of the hand. The minimized range of motion of the arm relieves the shoulder and elbow in particular, which noticeably increases operating comfort.

Less fatigue

The significantly reduced arm movements when controlling the forklift prevent fatigue and one-sided strain on the steering arm. This is particularly noticeable for intensive users who spend the majority of their working time on the forklift. The physical strain caused by frequent maneuvering is also reduced to a minimum. Irrespective of the task at hand, the drivers can work with concentration and distraction-free throughout their shift and maintain their handling performance at a consistently high level.

Cognitive relief

Since Linde Steer Control reduces the necessary steering movements to a minimum, the driver can concentrate completely on the vehicle's maneuvers.

Ergonomics study: fewer movements, less stress

In order to scientifically prove the ergonomic advantages of the Linde Steer Control, in 2022 Linde conducted a user study together with the Institute for Automotive Engineering at RWTH Aachen University and fka GmbH involving 24 test drivers, most of whom also drive forklifts in their day-to-day work. The results of the study point to clear advantages of the mini-wheel and joystick. Motion analyses clearly show that both variants cause less movement of the steering arm compared to the conventional Linde steering wheel.

For the study, the drivers completed two identical driving courses with representative driving maneuvers - driving straight ahead, winding passages, maneuvering, and picking up, setting down and stacking goods. To determine the range of motion of the shoulder, elbow and wrist, the upper body and arms were recorded with a special camera and analyzed. The result: the shoulder is moved 25 percent less, the elbow even 45 percent less. This significantly reduces the strain on the shoulder and elbow joints, as well as on the muscles all the way down to the neck.

The results of the motion analysis are consistent with the subjective driving experience. For example, the drivers stated that the perceived strain on their shoulders and arms was significantly lower when using the mini-wheel and joystick compared to the steering wheel.

Optimized view with the Linde Steer Control from Linde Material Handling

Visibility and Safety

Linde Steer Control makes the classic steering wheel obsolete. This eliminates the need for a steering column and improves the visibility through the windshield to the fork tips. This makes it easier for the driver to pick up loads standing on the ground.

The control system of the future: safety through steer-by-wire technology

Linde Steer Control is based on steer-by-wire technology, in which the driver's steering commands are converted into electrical signals and passed on to the hydraulic control elements. This allows the vehicle's wheels to be steered even though the steering element is no longer mechanically connected to the steering axle. For Steer Control, Linde has developed an innovative safety concept that ensures the fail-safe operation of the vehicle control system under all circumstances, despite the lack of a mechanical connection.