Featured Product – March 2022 – SEnS Operator Assist System

Toyota not only announced new equipment to make material handling easier, but also new features that will make the workplace safer for the operator and everyone around them.

Things can get pretty hectic in a warehouse, and it can be a challenge to stay aware of everything going on around you. Even with a whisper quite electric forklift, there’s a lot of noise: back up alarms, the whine of lift hydraulics, clanking of the racks, voices, and everything else all amplified by the echoing vastness of a storage space. Things are constantly moving, and storage racks can obscure vision. On top of that, focusing on managing the load in front of them can give them “Tunnel Vision.” It’s not hard to imagine accidents happening in this environment. In fact, according to the National Safety Council, “Forklifts were the source of 78 work-related deaths and 7,290 nonfatal injuries involving days away from work in 2020” (Work safety: Forklifts 2022, https://injuryfacts.nsc.org/work/safety-topics/forklifts/). Good safety practices should be practiced throughout a worksite and can mitigate a lot of risk, however the more safety measures you can implement, the better off your employees are.

With that in mind, Toyota developed the Smart Environmental Sensor (SEnS) pedestrian detection system. Designed and engineered in-house, SEnS gives your operators a second pair of eyes, always on the lookout for objects and people near the lift truck. In principle, it works terribly similar to technologies found on modern cars, such as Toyota Safety Sense™ or the Subaru EyeSight® system. Using a set of optical sensors and proprietary algorithms, the system scans the environment. If something is detected within a specific range, a buzzer and lights can flash to alert the operator.

Of course, if those alarms and lights were constantly triggering because of every guard rail, pylon, and column in your workspace, you’d tire of them pretty fast. Fortunately, the SEnS system is customizable. You can program up to 3 different detection zones, each with their own combination of sound and lights.

You might expect this system to be limited to brand-new forklifts only. However, Toyota is making SEnS available as an add-on kit! You’ll be able to retrofit select forklift models thanks to its ability to work with multiple input voltages. If you’re interested in learning more about how this operator assist system can benefit your operations, contact our sales team and schedule your demo today.