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Types of steering systems

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Electric-power steering system Options

All Morello self-powered carts can be equipped with the following types of steering systems:

VS (VSP1/VSP3) – front axle steering
VC (VCP1/VCP3) – front and rear axles steering
± 90 ° – front axle steering by ±90°
OMNI – all wheels steer independently

The on-floor handling of heavy loads using self-propelled vehicles equipped with specific steering capabilities, is a solution increasingly used by industries all over the world. The clear advantages in terms of safety and logistical efficiency are convincing leading companies in many sectors to invest in steerable wheel-based self-propelled trolleys, thus abandoning the transport of heavy loads by overhead cranes, gantry cranes, rail trolleys and towed trailers.

Self-propelled vehicles using steerable wheels are therefore an extremely effective and efficient solution for transporting heavy duty cargo ranging from 5 tons to over 1000 tons; but there are different types of self-propelled vehicles, with different steering options and technologies which can further increase the operational advantages and benefits of these vehicles.

Front Axle Steering

Front steering axles
The simplest and most economical steering option is front axle steering. This is similar to car steering which we use every day. With this type of steering, the turning radius is quite wide. As a result, this option is used where handling spaces are quite large and the loading and unloading points can be easily accessed. Front axle steering is usually used for the transport of molds, steel materials such as coils, beams, pipes, for the transport of heavy machinery, and similar uses.

All Axles Steering

All Axles Steering is a relatively simple steering option, but with the benefit of a tighter steering radius. In this case, both the front and rear axles steer at the same angle, so as to have the center of rotation at a point on the centerline of the vehicle. It is a very popular steering option, as it allows a reduced steering radius at relatively low cost. Self-propelled vehicles with all axles steering are usually 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 commonly used again in the automotive industry (mold transport) and in the steel industry. It is also widely used for AGV carts, which, having to follow a predetermined path, without being able to reverse, require independent steering on both front and rear axles for greater precision.

± 90° steering

A halfway solution relative to the steering options already mentioned above, both in terms of cost and turning radius, is this option where the front axle can rotate ± 90 °. In this case, the center of rotation is located in the center of the rear axle, thus ensuring a quite small turning radius.

Morello often uses this option for its own electric pallet trucks for moving heavy loads. It is often used in one-way AGVs and for all applications which require a reduced turning radius, where the budget may be limited, or the dimensions of the machine must be kept compact.

Omnidirectional steering

The most technologically advanced and flexible steering option which Morello offers is omnidirectional steering. In this case all the wheels of the self-propelled trolley steer independently. It is therefore possible to operate using any and all of the steering options presented in the diagram.

The Omni clearly allows maximum steering flexibility, as it allows the self-propelled trolley to work even in the narrowest spaces, where the precision required may be a matter of millimeters.

Moving both longitudinally and laterally, rotating around its center or around a specific point, as well as being able to travel diagonally, a self-propelled vehicle equipped with omnidirectional steering is the most efficient logistical solution. For this reason, the Omni is used for handling extremely large loads, such as tanks, large chillers, power transformers, prefabricated concrete, long cylindrical objects, etc.

Our clients who choose the Omni self-propelled vehicle operate in the Oil & Gas sector (where self-propelled vehicles must operate on ships or offshore platforms in extremely tight spaces), power generation (manufacturers of transformers, chillers, turbines, compressors, heat exchangers, …), the naval industry, prefabrication, nuclear energy (where the loads to be handled are always large and heavy), turbines and wind turbines, and many other sectors.
Omnidirectional steering