Reach trucks are industrial vehicles used in material handling applications for industrial manufacturing, distribution, electronics, logistics, textiles, consumers, steel, granite, construction and more. The lift trucks are used to unload, lift, lower and stack pallet loads, or other bulk loads into storage and transportation racks and facilities. Items such as computers, drums, corrugated boxes, plastic bottles, furniture and beverages are examples of products which are stacked onto pallets and moved by reach trucks.
Efficient storage is an operational focus for many warehouse and industrial space owners and forklift trucks allow a company to make the most of their vertical storage capacity. Industrial trucks can lift and lower thousands of pounds of goods on the lifting mechanism attached to them. Reach trucks are often designed to work within narrow aisles and confined storage spaces, and are able to be tightly maneuvered around corners and shelves.
They consist of outriggers, or stabilizing arms, which are in the front of the truck. The telescoping forks are equipped with hydraulic lifting systems which raise the forks or lifting platform to reach pallets and items on the high shelves or racks. For intensive applications, a high strength, heavy duty mast can be used to provide support to the extra weight.
Constructed with either internal combustion engines or electric motors, reach trucks come in three main types: straddle reach trucks, standup reach trucks or double deep reach trucks. Straddle trucks have wider bases in order to provide stability for raising very heavy loads to maximum height. Standup trucks lift and slide pallets in a simple movement and double deep trucks have extra long forks which are able to be used in two pallet deep shelving systems.
Often one or more of these three types of reach trucks are used in warehouses. Many advantages exist for using reach trucks. They improve productivity, storage density, space utilization as well as offering easy pallet load retrieval. They cut back on labor costs however; length operator training is required to prevent accidents and product loss.
The complexity of the operator controls, the caution with which trucks much be operated and the care required in moving heavy and sometimes precarious loads are all elements of risk with fork lift truck use. In addition, while reach trucks can be used at heights up to 40ft, this position places physical strain upon the operator’s neck and eyes and so it not a recommended height for frequent use.