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After having a serious accident, a forklift driver suffered from massive restriction in movement in his right arm up to the shoulder and neck area. In order to allow him to continue working, the young man’s employer asked us to modify “his” truck in such a way that would allow access for disabled people.
The existing steering wheel has to be removed and substituted by a smaller steering wheel attached on the driver’s left side (preferably to the door). The handling of the joystick on the right side is to be realised by an armrest which can be moved in both x and y directions. The slide should allow for the maximum driving distance and joystick angle, and it should have a central basic/neutral position. The horn function must be integrated into the console, as the steering wheel with an integrated horn was removed. The armrest must be ergonomically designed in order to design the fixation of the arm. Existing components from the vehicle or from the (employer’s) range of spare parts should be used for the conversion where possible.
The right-hand control terminal in the truck was preserved with a variable overlay which means it can be traversed longitudinally and across. We exchanged the arm support with a supporting moulded foam pad to ensure the forearm does not slip off. In order to ensure the steering box assembly could be easily operated – along with a 90-grade-angled arm - the steering wheel was offset into the left door of the truck.
The young employee is now able to move his arm from the shoulder onwards, using the joystick’s operating lever and the armrest without needing to use his fingers.