What is a reach truck and why do I need one?

Reach trucks:

  • Fit within narrow aisles
  • Provide right-angle stacking
  • Store and and retrieve pallets in racks
  • Provide right-angle stacking
  • Designed for unit load handling with rack interface
  • Best used indoors

A reach truck is designed to work in the narrow aisles of a warehouse.

Reach truck forklifts offer maximum lift height capacity with great maneuverability, for these reasons, they are best suited to warehouse operations. They have two outer legs that distribute the load weight; with a wheel configuration of two or one wheels per leg. The drive wheel is located under the operator’s seat. A reach truck’s driver sits sideways when operating it. This makes it very easy to reach out into racking and allows the truck to lift up to great heights in very tight working environments. The stabilizing legs and batteries of  a reach truck also removes the need for a counterweight.

Many manufacturers design reach trucks with a tilt mechanism, allowing the cab to tilt slightly which provides a more comfortable viewing position for the driver. Alternatively, a reach truck may feature a totally open overhead guard for open overhead viewing. For even more visibility, reach trucks can be fitted with cameras that transmit video to an LCD screen within the cab.

A reach truck is not ideal for the outdoor use because the low under-carriage clearance can cause issues, especially on uneven surfaces. In addition to this, the electric power systems can also suffer from contact issues if regularly shaken when driving on an uneven surface.

Reach trucks are the best choice when:

  • You need unit load handling
  • You have to maintain capacity at height
  • Cube utilization is important
  • Productivity is important
  • Cube is required and two-way traffic must be maintained
  • When FIFO* or FILO** is demanded
  • When you require selectivity

* First-in/first-out method of maintaining product rotation by always picking the oldest first. The first product put away is the first product picked.

** First-in/last-out storage system where inventory first stored is last removed. Generally other than single deep, that allows minimal selectivity.

Things To Consider Before Buying a Reach Truck:

Load requirement (weight, shape and dimension)

  • Load capacity to full elevation
  • Lift off space (8 inches to 12 inches)
  • Top load beam
  • Clear aisle (6 inches to 12 inches over minimum aisle required for right angle stacking)
  • Clear ceiling height
  • 24- vs. 36-Volt systems
  • floor issues
  • aisle entry
  • base leg openings
  • side shift
  • Battery voltage and charging systems.

We sell and lease reach trucks from Crown, Hyster, Linde, Octane, Raymond, Yale

You might also be interested in this forklift information:

Common forklift questions
6 forklift safety tips
8 benefits of buying a used forklift
The most common types of forklifts and what they are used for

Categories: Education

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