When Combilift launched their Combi-WR4 pallet truck in early 2014, it was both a surprise and completely expected, extending as it did, the concept of their groundbreaking multi-directional machine to the pallet truck level. As Combilift themselves put it: “Given Combilift’s reputation for multi-directional technology it will come as no surprise that the company developed the Combi-WR4 as an addition to its Combi-WR  range.”

The “WR” part of the name comes from “Walkie Reach” – a nod to the fact the original Combi-WR pedestrian pallet truck features a pantograph to reach out beyond its straddle legs, into a load or rack location. The Combi-WR was said to be prompted by customers using the company’s Aisle-Master articulated range for a pedestrian operated machine along similar lines, perhaps leading to it’s Aisle-Master colour, although it probably lends as much to it’s green multi-directional cousins, as it encompasses sideways movement, hence the Combi name. The “4” was added as Combilift added the capability to travel laterally (i.e. in 4 directions) as well as forward and backwards when standing to the side.

Whatever the origins, it’s a bit of a hybrid that seems both obvious and unusual at the same time. Combilift’s engineers worked on the design to offer a smaller, compact and cost-effective solution. Focus on easy and safe operation also led to the multi-directional Combi-WR4 winning the Ergonomics category at the 2014 FLTA awards.

Combining multidirectional travel with a pantograph reach, side shift and tilting fork carriage, the new Combi-WR4 forklift was unveiled by Martin McVicar, managing director of Combilift to overseas customers in 2016.

“The Combi-WR4 is the smallest model in our range of four-directional units, and it is the first purpose built four-way pedestrian reach stacker,” said McVicar at the time. “It also features a multi-position tiller for right angle stacking with the tiller arm rotated to either side for easier maneuvering,” he added.

Incorporating the benefits of AC technology in its traction pump and steering motors, and available with various lift heights, the WR range uses a single button to rotate the rear wheel parallel to the chassis and back again -plus electronic power steering and fingertip controls ensure precise and smooth travel.

The compact dimensions allow it to work in aisle widths of just 2.1m, making it ideal for operations where space is at a premium. Operators too appear to grasp the concept quickly and easily and 2-speed operation is controlled by a rabbit/turtle switch, although the customization of travel speeds to suit the level of the operator’s experience is also possible.

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