Truck of the month – April
April – Sany SRSC 4531 H9 (The Innovator)
Reach stacker evolution has been slow since the launch of the concept in the 1980s. Once manufacturers had managed to place 31 tonnes into the second row or second rail, within a reasonable wheelbase and acceptable axle width, development has been slow with only minor improvements here and there. Full electrification remains a holy grail and unforeseeable in the next 10-15 years so manufacturers have little option but to work and minimise fuel and emissions that retain an i.c engine as its core power source. Enter the Sany H9, arguably the most significant and radical development in reach stacker concept in 20 years, possibly even 30 years.
The Sany H9 is revolutionary in that it has two additional cylinders mounted lower down the boom which sits behind the driver’s eye. On the downward motion, the combined weight of load, spreader and boom (a little over 50 tonnes weight) charges nitrogen-filled accumulators that stores the energy created with the descending load. Once the operator selects lift-mode, these same cylinders reverse and release the energy to offer additional lifting power to the standard lift cylinders. This can be as much as the equivalent to 70kw of engine power and will save as much as 35% in fuel. This could equate to 14000 litres of fuel per year if working 2000 operating hours.
However, the benefits do not stop there. With additional available lifting power, the main lift cylinders afford smaller diameter lift cylinders so with equal pressure acting on a smaller surface area equates to greater oil flow thus enhancing lift speeds and productivity by as much as 2 additional containers per hour.
Despite these huge technical advances, it is the payback that is the most impressive element of the H9. With fuel-saving technology comes a cost premium. This up-front premium can only be justified by the savings the technology brings. This can be as much as the machine price again and will take a machine’s lifetime to recover. The H9 is different – there is a premium but depending on fuel costs and usage, it could recover its cost premium in as little as 12-months.
The jury of the FLTA Awards for Excellence clearly saw the benefits of this energy recovery technology and duly awarded the H9 with its highly prestigious Award for Innovation 2019 amongst a shortlist of some extremely credible alternatives.