Internal Combustion Forklift


Crown Equipment Corporation today marked the availability of its first company-manufactured internal combustion (IC) forklift with the release of the Crown C-5 Series. The new forklift, which is designed to push the limits of IC performance, delivers commanding advantages to owners and operators seeking improved power and strength, service and uptime, and comfort and safety.
Specifically, the Crown C-5 features an industrial engine that was jointly developed with John Deere Power Systems (John Deere), a proactive approach to engine cooling and radiator clearing via an on-demand cooling system, and design innovations that improve operator visibility, comfort and productivity.
According to Crown research, sub-par performance was one of two predominant downfalls of existing IC forklifts that rely on automotive-style engines. A co-development project with John Deere produced a 2.4-liter industrial engine for the Crown C-5 that integrates the best practices from the diesel engines used to power John Deere’s rugged construction equipment with the best practices from Crown’s five decades in material handling.
The result is the Crown C-5 industrial engine, which features a cast iron head and larger, more robust components that are designed to prevent overheating and warping while extending the product’s lifespan to twice that of existing IC trucks. The Crown C-5’s horsepower and low-end torque are the most powerful in the IC market, improving performance during acceleration, incline-loaded travel, and carrying or pushing heavy loads.

Cooling the Crown C-5
Research showed that another challenge associated with IC lift truck engines was overheating. Crown addressed this challenge with a dual open-core radiator with separate cooling systems for the engine and transmission. This is a standard feature on the Crown C-5.
Further, Crown engineered an optional and exclusive On-Demand Cooling (ODC) system that automatically clears itself of debris and provides precise cooling to effectively manage heat in intense and dirty environments. Each time a user starts the Crown C-5, the ODC system’s radiator-clearing feature reverses the fan direction to dislodge any debris. This drastically reduces the frequency of radiator cleanings, which reduces maintenance costs and increases uptime, according to Smith. In addition, the ODC system adjusts its fan speed based on engine temperature, and the strategic placement of the fan improves cooling efficiency by pulling air evenly through the radiator rather than pushing the air as most other systems do.
Operating the Crown C-5
Operators spending most of their day on the Crown C-5 will notice superior drivability advantages in the form of control, comfort, stability and visibility. Control is achieved through Crown Access 1 2 3® System Control, which is the electronic system that manages all truck functions and proactively facilitates two-way communication with the operator. The technology also plays a critical role in keeping the operator out of unsafe conditions.
The system’s on-board display uses Crown eSmart™ Accurate Fuel Tracking to alert the operator when the system senses 16 minutes of remaining fuel time. This technology increases productivity by reducing the time spent unnecessarily changing fuel tanks. Further, the display screen calls attention to detailed information about engine performance and allows authorized users to adjust performance settings and technicians to troubleshoot components.
The Crown C-5 is also designed to improve drivability, which is the confidence and control operators require when maneuvering or handling a load. Drivability of the Crown C-5 is gained through:
– Comfort: After conducting ergonomic tests to identify pressure points in traditional IC forklift seats, Crown designed and built its patented FlexSeat™ to provide comfort for operators. The Crown C-5 also enhances comfort by redirecting heat and exhaust away from the user during reverse travel, facilitating entry/exit with larger steps, utilizing a contoured seat deck, and featuring an unobtrusive push-button parking brake.
– Stability: When the forks and masts are tilted more than two degrees forward, the Crown C-5’s interlock feature stops them from rising above free lift. Other intrinsic stability attributes include more mass, dead-engine breaking and steering, hill hold, and ramp speed control.
– Visibility: The Crown C-5’s lower counterweight and LP bottle increase operators’ field of view by five feet compared to other IC lift trucks. These features improve operator confidence and help prevent product damage. Forward-facing visibility is also improved via a higher and closer seat position to the forks than seats on competitor products. Finally, thinner posts and a shorter cowl facilitate an unobstructed view of the forks, while an overhead guard design improves visibility of loads at height.
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