GKD Technologies design, develop and produce height, slew and load safety control systems for general construction equipment and Road Rail vehicles (RRV’s).
The company has recently seen a significant increase in demand for its GKD 1HLI height restrictor system for construction machinery in both the UK and Ireland. GKD was keen to discover why there was a sudden surge in requirements for this ‘entry-level’ height limiting system.
The 1HLI height limiter is a simple, accurate and cost-effective system that is designed to protect workers from overhead danger when operating in restricted conditions.
Once the system is installed the machine operator can define a pre-set limit of the machine’s boom on the 1HLI operator station, preventing movement of the boom outside of the pre-set limit. This system monitors the angle of a single boom and provides a motion cut signal output when the angle is exceeded.
Enda McGloin, owner/director of Wrench Hydraulics, based in Ireland’s County Leitrim, has been fitting GKD machine control systems for more than 10-years he commented on the 1HLI, “We have installed a significant number of height limiting systems over the years and we always recommend a gravity sensor system to our customers.”
When asked why the sudden surge in demand, Enda reported, “Our customers are becoming more aware of how important it is to fit a CE certified system. The future is pointing more and more towards safety and most construction sites, since the new safety directive law came into effect in April, contractors are now insisting that all machines are fitted with machine control systems. We are also educating customers that a simple ‘proximity switch’ is just not sufficient or safe.
There are very few companies that offer the type of systems that are fully compliant and meet the full safety criteria – GKD’s systems fulfil and exceed all the safety standards and I really like the company and its products.
The GKD’s 1HLI is extremely user friendly, 100% tamper-proof, and they also offer easily accessible technical support over the telephone, should a driver have any issues.
A 1HLi system that I fitted to an agricultural machine more than 10 years ago is still working efficiently to this day – customers really like systems that last and are reliable.”
Enda added, “We fit the height limiter to machines ranging from 6 to 30 ton – and the system comes with a well-detailed user manual which makes it very easy for a new or different operator, who is not familiar with the system, to set his/her height limit.”
Enda McGloin also acts as a machine safety advisory consultant for local councils, H&S executives, electricity boards, and other official bodies in Ireland, where he provides advice on the compliancy of a machine.
Height limiters for telehandler machines
In addition to excavators and agricultural machinery, Enda installs the 1HLI system to a number of telehandler machines, the latest being a Cat TH580B Telehandler, which was working in an area where there were overhead powerlines. Although the system is the same, the installation is quite different.
Enda explains, “There are significant differences between the boom shapes and the manner of how a telehandler and an excavator operates – the machines are designed for completely different tasks on site.
The 1HLi system can be calibrated and set to cope with these differences because of the gravity angle sensor, and its main ‘in cab’ control unit, which can easily read the boom angles. It also offers an early warning indication before you reach your height limit.”
Enda continued, “The telehandlers boom is in a horizontal position; therefore, the gravity angle sensor is fitted completely horizontal and calibrated in the lowest position. The boom is then fully extended and raised to the desired height and set as the vertical angle position. Once the height is set for the job – the key can be removed and is then tamper-proof!”
“Once the telehandler height limit has been set – it would then be the only machine allowed to enter the restricted area on site with overhead power lines.” Concluded Enda.
The 1HLI’s increase in popularity, it seems, is due to increasing safety demands and the desire to protect both man and machine.