Design Challenge - September 2016

CAB-RAISING SYSTEM

JAVIER GUTIÉRREZ CASAL

Jon Pope A freelance mechanical design engineer based in Pontevedra, Spain, Javier has worked for many companies specialized in the development of industrial equipment.

One of the biggest problems for persons of reduced mobility is the access to the operator cab. So on this occasion, I designed a cab that would facilitate access to a medium-sized telehandler with 4-ton lift capacity. Between this cab and the chassis, there is an articulated parallelogram mechanism formed by two bars and a hydraulic actuator that enables variations in the cab height. This cab-raising system is completed by a mechanical lock device that prevents any failure in the hydraulic actuator.

To use the machine, an operator merely has to push a button on the remote control access key – the cab lowers, then the door will open and automatically the retractable steering wheel and the elevating roof permit the operator to enter the cab without any torsion of the neck or vertebral column. After closing the door, a sensor in the cab floor detects the driver’s presence and signals the seat to rise, approaching him while tilting forward slightly for easier access. The seat returns to the normal driving position while the operator is in it, then in a few seconds, the steering wheel reverts to the operating position and the roof will close. After this, the operator will be able to turn on the raising cab system and lock the mechanism.

If the operator wants to leave the cab, pushing an icon on the touchscreen causes the cab to lower and the steering wheel to retract. Thanks to the rising movement of the seat and a handle in the elevating roof, the driver has to use less energy for standing up.

This cab can be further adapted for wheelchair users. In these cases, the door is larger and the seat has an automatic system that works like a transfer seat installed in cars. For driving the telehandler, the stick lever that controls the movement of the boom can be adapted to include the transmission controls, so the operator only has to move the lever for driving forward or in reverse.

You may now be asking the question: “What about the wheelchair, then?” Well, that is a challenge only the operator – or another designer - can solve...

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CONTACT DETAILS

Web: www.javieringenieria.es

email: javier@javieringenieria.es


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