Hand Controls

Our range of rotary and lever vehicle hand controls is suitable for commercial vehicle applications for both on- and off-highway use. These include construction and agricultural vehicles, material handling, and other specialty vehicles. 

Our rotary hand control is environmentally protected, allowing it to be mounted inside or outside the cab. It provides an electrical signal proportional to the rotation of the ergonomic knob, with a friction-hold feature allowing the operator to set speed or direction and then focus on steering or other machines/vehicle functions. 

Our range of lever hand controls include: 

  • Single- and dual-axis self-centering mechanical levers for push-pull control of cables and rod linkages operating hydraulic valves.
  • Single-axis friction-hold mechanical levers for cable operation in hydraulic and hydrostatic systems.
  • Single-axis electronic lever hand control with the friction-hold feature.

All levers have a choice of handles and grips, which can also be supplied as separate products for attachment to OEM mechanical levers. 


Vehicle Hand Controls: Purpose, Functionality & Application

Improve vehicle safety and operator efficiency with vehicle hand controls suitable for your specific application. Curtiss Wright provides a wide range of rotary and lever hand controls suitable for specialty vehicles. 

They are an essential part of enhancing the operation and driving experience, offering the driver complete control over the vehicle. Both our rotary and lever hand controls work by providing an electrical signal in response to the rotation or place of the knob or lever. Thus, allowing the driver to accelerate, brake, reverse, and shift through gears with ease. They can also set speed or direction, enabling the driver to focus on the other vehicle functions. 
Primarily used in commercial vehicle applications, our rotary and lever hand controls are specifically designed for both on and off-road vehicles. This can range from construction and agricultural vehicles to material handling and other specialized vehicles.  

  • On-Highway Vehicles – Medium and Heavy-Duty Trucks, Buses and Motor Coaches, Recreational Vehicles, Refuse Trucks, Road Sweepers.
  • Off-Highway Vehicles: Construction, Road Building, Mining, Agriculture, Forestry, Airport Operations, Defense, Motorsport.
  • Material Handling – Lift Trucks, Telehandlers, Cranes, Aerial Work Platforms.
  • Medical Mobility – Wheelchairs and Scooters.
  • Static Machinery – Business Machines, Switchgear, Process Control, Security.

Types of Hand Controls

Rotary Vehicle Hand Controls

The design of our rotary hand controls protects the component from the harshest of environments. Meaning the controls can be mounted inside or outside the cab. In addition, our controls are infinitely variable between 0° and 90°, various shaft designs, and remote installation options. 


Vehicle Hand Lever Controls

Fully customizable for a wide variety of applications, Curtiss Wright's hand lever controls can be designed especially with shaft orientation, sensor position, and knob color in mind. Our designs offer several advantages, such as: 
  • Repeatable drag
  • Finer adjustment
  • Better resistance to side loads
  • Mountable inside or outside the cab
  • Easily modified to suit any requirement
  • Infinitely variable up to 90°

Vehicle Hand Controls: Purpose

Hand controls enable operators to control their vehicles without using foot pedals. Used in conjunction with steering aids, it allows the user to steer using the left hand and operate the acceleration and braking using the right hand. With each of the following systems, the car can still be driven using the pedals and standard controls dependent on your specific needs.  


What are hand controls?  

An automatic car can be driven without using foot pedals if hand controls are installed. While they are commonly used for people who are handicapped, they are also used in conjunction with steering aids, allowing the driver to steer and operate the accelerator or brake using the right hand.  

Can you add hand controls to a car? 

If your vehicle has an automatic transmission, it will have the ability to register hand controls offered by many manufacturers. However, if you need hand controls installed into a vehicle with a clutch, you will have fewer options and pay significantly more for them. 

What are hand controls in cars? 

Vehicle hand controls are used in not only domestic vehicles but commercial vehicle applications for both on- and off-highway use. These include construction and agricultural vehicles, material handling, and other specialty vehicles. Most vehicle hand controls use a spring-loaded handle to push a rod inward to activate the brake pedal. 'Push radial' systems use a lever to control the accelerator by moving it not only in and out for braking but also up and down for acceleration. 

What are the different types of hand controls? 

There are four main types of vehicle hand controls that are used in place of the accelerator and brake pedals. 

  • Push – Pull: pulls toward the driver's chest. These are the most widely used hand control and are suitable for the majority of vehicles. The conventional foot controls are still in place, but the option is to use hand controls if needed. 
  • Push Right Angle: pulls downward toward one's right thigh. 
  • Push – Rock: rocks downward toward oneself. 
  • Push – Twist: twists the handle grip (like a motorbike gas control) 

Are hand controls safe? 

Curtiss Wright’s technology is designed to protect the operator whilst maintaining the aesthetics and working functionality of the vehicle.  

Where are industrial hand controls used? 

Industrial hand controls are used to operate heavy-duty machinery such as cranes, winches, agriculture machines, and construction machines. These robust components offer high reliability, smooth operation, and long-life expectancy. The use of these components provides confidence for machine builders and operators! 


The Curtiss-Wright Industrial Division has locations across the world, including Europe, The USA, and Asia. Along with an extensive distributor network and after-sales support partners.

To find out further information on any product or service, read the related documents that feature assemblies and capabilities.

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