Electric vehicles need modern joysticks

Digital computer screen with code

Incorporating a joystick specifically developed to match the ongoing electrification of industrial vehicles brings many tangible benefits. You will get higher precision, better safety, more economic integration, and use much less energy.

The technical progress of electrification advances both working conditions and overall efficiency. The off-high-way industry is transforming, and the advantages are huge. While electrification might have had a slow start about thirty years ago, it’s now taking off at high speed. As the overwhelming superiority becomes obvious, designs are changing rapidly so as not to be left behind.

Caldaro sold its first electric joystick for vehicles in serial production in 1994. Since then, the company has gained a lot of knowledge and experience and is a clear leader in reliability, durability, and innovation.

The gains of electrification are in the human experience of handling the machines, the technical possibilities, and even sustainability. This enhances the value of the joystick, which acts as a key that opens up many of these benefits. That is, when you choose a joystick that matches the electrification progress, it empowers you with numerous possibilities for customisation concerning everything from angle deflection, grip, type of buttons and much more.

The joystick talks with the machine

Working with traditional pilot valves meant the operator had to compensate for uneven ground, and the wind and add more muscle power to perform various movements. The operator’s particular way to move the controls would affect the machine’s movement.

”Working with an electric machine means the operator uses the joystick to tell the machine’s computer what shall be done,” explains Claudio Talamo, CEO of Caldaro. ”The machine then interprets the order and instantly calculates how to make the movements in the most efficient and precise way.”

Even if the operator is a bit shaky, the movement will be steady and straight. You work with a smart machine that understands your wishes, even if you don’t express them perfectly. You can work with less physical power and smoother movements, which reduces stress on the muscles.

Programmed to perfection

The machines are more intelligent thanks to the development of more advanced control systems. CAN systems simplify connecting multiple parts in an internal network. It’s a straightforward process to transfer signals directly and with less interference. CAN makes it possible to program, for example, the movements of a boom or a crane tip with ultimate precision.

You can program the crane to compensate for pendulum movements or the wind or make the control system automatically slow down when approaching the end position. It’s even possible to program a machine so that you get a vibration in the joystick if a digging grab hits a stone. Thus, operations become easier, faster and more intuitive.

One big bonus effect is how computerised precision saves energy because it helps the operator work more effectively with fewer mistakes. To get it right on the first try a hundred times a day (or more) makes a tremendous difference in the energy used, not to mention the time to completion.

Think one step ahead

Caldaro’s joysticks C14 and C15 take safety to a new level with built-in double redundancy, protected electronics, and no loose parts. Their self-developed CAN interface is incorporated into the compact design of their joysticks and pedals. Additionally, assembly is simplified with fewer wires, and in the end, becomes more robust.

Talamo concludes:

”I think Caldaro’s years of experience, our obsession with innovation, our dedication to quality; all this provides an engaging platform for anyone who wants to develop the machines of the future.”


This article has been published in IVT International, December 2021


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