Very Narrow Aisle (VNA) trucks are designed specifically for replenishment and order picking in high-density warehouses and distribution areas. High density means more can be stored simply by narrowing the aisle width, helping to maximise storage space. The majority of the Toyota VNA range comes with an articulated chassis, making this series, with its excellent stability and manoeuvrability, perfect for work in very narrow aisles.
Driving in narrow aisles and lifting to elevated heights is not an easy job. Operators need to be properly trained when working in these demanding applications. Luckily, they can count on a range of tools and features to support them throughout their shift.
The Personal Protection System (PPS) is a feature that enables the truck to slow down before coming to a complete stop when it finds an obstruction on its path, taking over from the driver. The PPS consists of two safety scanners, one in the front and one in the rear of the truck.
Especially when working at high altitude, the driver has limited visibility on the ground below. The scanner in front of the truck creates 2 zones, a warning zone and a stop zone, to help the driver avoid possible collisions in the aisle.
Driver ergonomics is a priority. Operators spend many hours per day in these trucks. A comfortable seat and intuitive controls with colour touchscreen make operating Toyota's VNA trucks agreeable. Integrated pre-op check and smart access allow an easy and safe start-up. Situation based information is being collected to boost productivity and guarantee safe operation.
The compact driver compartment allows operators to hop on and off the truck easily, and to work upright if they desire, increasing their productivity.
The energy required to lift the cabin and load on the BT Vector range is reduced up to 35% by Toyota’s Advanced Lifting System (ALS). A balanced lift system where the gas tank is connected to a hydraulic cylinder forms a fully closed loop system. Precise electronic control guarantees seamless and smooth operation.
Energy converted into nitrogen is compressed while lowering the cab, building up gas pressure. The energy stored as compressed gas is then used to aid the next lifting movement. As a result, the hydraulic lift motor is working to lift little more than the weight of the load itself, saving energy. Forks carriage and mast are lifted thanks to the expansion of nitrogen gas.
By programming the pallet locations in the truck, Toyota's VNA trucks calculate the optimal route from point A to B and take the most effective route. The BT Vector adapts its driving speed by going faster at a lower height and slower at an elevated height. This results in a leaner operation, reduced cycle times, and significantly improved productivity.
The VNA trucks from Toyota adjust the travel speed thanks to aisle indication tags. At both ends of the aisle, where in-aisles control is extra important, the truck safely decelerates, while using maximum speed along the middle of the aisle. This is thanks to the aisle indications AEB (aisle end braking) and AES (aisle end stop).
The Toyota BT Vector VNA range prioritises safety, by adapting to different local building constraints like roof beams and ventilation shafts. This is done thanks to the zoning function: sensors on the VNA truck communicate with RFID tags spread across the aisle.
Adveo is one of the main European players in the wholesale distribution of office supplies, services and solutions. They wanted a partner that could support in their project from start to finish. Romain Thénard, Supply Chain Director at Adveo, admits: “Our job is to prepare orders, not to define all the technical elements in site building. We lack the engineering capabilities to do so.”
Toyota was able to help in the design, the definition, the implementation, the execution and even in the financing.