Types of control systems

Types of control systems

Types of control systems

All self-propelled trucks can be equipped with the following types of steering systems:

  • VS (VSP1/VSP3) – front axle steering
  • VC (VCP1/VCP3) – front and rear axle steering
  • ± 90° – ± 90° front axle steering
  • OMNI – all-wheel steering independently

Handling heavy loads on the floor using self-propelled vehicles equipped with specific steering capabilities is a solution that is increasingly being used in industries around the world. The clear benefits in terms of safety and logistical efficiency are convincing leading companies in many industries to invest in self-propelled trucks with steerable wheels, moving away from transporting heavy loads using overhead cranes, gantry cranes, rail trucks and towed trailers.

Self-propelled vehicles using steerable wheels are therefore an extremely efficient and effective solution for transporting heavy loads weighing from 5 tonnes to over 1 000 tonnes; however, there are different types of self-propelled vehicles with different steering options and technologies that can further enhance the operational advantages and benefits of these vehicles.

Front axle steering

The simplest and most economical steering option is front axle steering. It’s similar to driving the cars we use every day. With this type of steering, the turning radius is quite large. As a result, this option is used where handling spaces are relatively large and loading and unloading points are easily accessible. Front axle steering is usually used for transporting moulds, steel materials such as coils, beams, pipes, for transporting heavy machinery and similar uses.

All-axle steering

All-axle steering is a relatively simple steering option, but with the advantage of a smaller steering radius. In this case, the front and rear axles are steered at the same angle so that the centre of rotation is at a point on the vehicle centreline. It is a very popular steering option because it allows you to reduce the steering radius at a relatively low cost. Self-propelled vehicles with all-axle steering are typically used in environments where spaces are not very large, but access points are not yet too complex and where extremely precise and complex loading and unloading positions are not required.

This steering option is again commonly used in the automotive industry (mould transport) and in the steel industry. It is also widely used in AGVs that must follow a predetermined path without the possibility of reversing, and therefore require independent steering on both front and rear axles to increase accuracy.

± 90° control

Half the cost and turning radius of the above steering options, this option, which allows the front axle to rotate ± 90°, is a half-way solution. In this case, the centre of rotation is located in the centre of the rear axle, thus ensuring a relatively small turning radius.

Morello often uses this option for its own electric pallet trucks for transporting heavy loads. It is often used in single-acting AGVs and in all applications that require a smaller turning radius, where budgets may be limited, or where the compact size of the machine must be maintained.

Omnidirectional control

The most technologically advanced and flexible control option Morello offers is omnidirectional control. In this case, all wheels of the self-propelled trolley are steered independently. It is therefore possible to work using any and all of the control options shown in the figure.

The Omni clearly allows for maximum steering flexibility, as it enables the self-propelled truck to work in even the tightest of spaces where the required precision can be a matter of millimetres.

Moving in both longitudinal and lateral directions, rotating around its centre or around a specific point, as well as the ability to move diagonally, the self-propelled vehicle is equipped with omnidirectional steering, making it the most efficient logistics solution. For this reason, the Omni is used to handle extremely large loads such as tanks, large refrigeration equipment, power transformers, precast concrete, long cylindrical items, etc.

Our clients who have opted for the Omni self-propelled vehicle operate in the oil and gas industry (where self-propelled vehicles have to work on ships or offshore platforms in extremely confined spaces), in the energy industry (manufacturers of transformers, chillers, turbines, compressors, heat exchangers, ….), in the maritime industry, in prefabrication, in nuclear power (where the loads to be handled are always large and heavy), in turbines and wind turbines, and in many other sectors.