Rocla’s unique 360° steering in a counterbalance truck has won MHI Best Innovation Award

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) has awarded Rocla's invention, 360-degree steering in a counterbalance truck, with Best Innovation Award. Developers of innovation, Janne Laaksonen and Eero Puolatie, designed a revolutionary 360° steering control for counterbalance trucks, which makes turning extremely agile, for the first time in the world. It allows the truck to be turned in the opposite direction (180 °) without stopping, which speeds up work and always keeps the load stable in a swift turn without swinging sideways. The prize is the second MHI award received by Rocla: previously Rocla's laser-controlled automated guided vehicle with route optimizer has been awarded with an innovation award.

Designers Janne and Eero got the idea of a 360° steering for the 48V counterweight forklift during the same week. When Eero suggested to Janne that couldn’t we create 360° steering for the 48V, Janne had put that option to software spec just a couple of days before. The men were enthusiastic about joining forces and, as the first in the world, developed a new way of steering the counterweight truck. The multi-wheel steering of the counterbalance truck with dual drive makes 360° steering possible, without the really good dual drive developed by Rocla this invention would not have been possible. For the driver, the solution is easy, when turning over 90 degrees, the truck automatically changes direction of travel in flight without stopping. The patent has also been claimed for the invention. Rocla is a group company of Mitsubishi Logisnext, which belongs to MHI corporation. Same forklift was also awarded with red dot design prize in March. Read more about the forklift