By working together with Nordic forestry machine manufacturers, Caldaro has become arguably the best joystick designer in the world. As a result, the insight into how important the working environment and ergonomics are for modern companies has now spread internationally. Today, operators themselves have very high demands.
The working environment and ergonomics have been on the Swedish agenda for decades, with a boost in the ’70s when Sweden enacted new laws for workplaces to keep employees healthy. Forestry is one industry where the number of fatal accidents is high, so finding safe technical solutions has been a strong motivator.
In 1992 Caldaro produced a joystick with a revolutionary, ergonomic design for forestry machines. Since then, we have continued to focus on both the ergonomics and the working environment. So what are the most important things to think about when you work with ergonomics and forestry machines? Fredrik Lundin, a Technical Salesperson at Caldaro, says:
“The old philosophy was to aim for a grip that was optimised to be held in one special way and still be able to reach all the functions. That possibly worked fine for a while, but one grip can never fit all operators. So today, we look more for solutions that allow the operator to vary how they hold the grip.”
Operators have high demands on their daily working place
The trend points towards reducing the manoeuvring power. Less power is needed today, and it takes only small movements to steer your machine. In fact, you can perform incredibly precise operations using just two fingers with Caldaro’s Heavy Duty joystick C14 or the compact joystick C15.
“Considering that forestry machines are costly, complex and used many hours a day, the demands are very high”, explains Petter Löfgren, Technical Manager at Caldaro. “Even the aesthetics become more important when operators spend their whole working day in the cab, of course, they want to be proud of their equipment!”
It is not only a matter of functions and precision; the feel itself of the joystick is important as well. The Viper series is double moulded, so you get a soft surface that feels both comfortable and safe.
Another critical factor is durability. Forestry machines do uncountable operations every day. To deliver high-quality joysticks, it’s necessary to guarantee that the feeling of perfection withstands rough, daily use for years. Caldaro has a very long experience in developing customer-unique products.
”We learn different things from different customer segments. For example, the knowledge we get from working oil rigs applications might be useful when we develop for mining applications. Our customers benefit from our cross segments knowledge and experience, making it possible to come up with the best solutions. We provide the very top quality and durability and have accumulated much knowledge over the years,” Petter points out. “Sometimes ergonomic demands and the amount of desired functions are not compatible; then we have to use our experience to give appropriate advice to our customers”.