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What is a Reach Truck?

A reach truck is a specialized forklift designed for narrow aisle storage, maximizing warehouse space. Its extendable mast and reaching mechanism allow it to lift loads higher and reach further than standard forklifts. With precise handling and maneuverability, it's essential for efficient inventory management. Intrigued by how a reach truck can optimize your storage solutions? Discover its full potential in our comprehensive guide.
Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum

The reach truck is a loading device that is used by a number of different types of businesses that maintain a storage area that involves the arrangement of supplies and finished goods on pallets that are inserted into tall shelving structures. The truck provides safe and easy retrieval of the loaded pallets, as well as efficiently storing pallets of goods that are not required for immediate use.

A basic reach truck has an outrigging mechanism on the front of the truck. Mounted to the outrigging is a set of telescoping forks that move up and down. The forks also include a hydraulic setup that allows the operator to pick up the load and reposition it over the outriggers. This not only provides a more even balance of the load, but also makes it easier to maneuver the truck into narrow aisles between the storage shelves.

Man with a drill
Man with a drill

When the truck arrives at the shelves designated for the pallet, the hydraulics allow the forks to swing and lower the pallet into the shelving, sliding the pallet into place. Generally, these machines easily fit into an aisle that is less than ten feet across with no problem, assuming there are not pallets sticking out from the shelving.

There are several models of reach truck. The stand-up reach model is the most simple. This will slide the forks under the pallet, transport it to the desired storage location, and slide it into place. For shelving units that are no deeper than required to place one pallet of goods, this model is ideal.

The double-deep reach truck performs in the same basic manner as the stand-up type, but has telescopic forks that are long enough to slide a pallet into place when the shelves are deep enough to accommodate two pallets of goods. Because the double-deep model can easily place the pallet at the back of the shelving unit, there is no need to push the pallet back when there is another pallet to go into the same shelving section.

Straddle reaches are a third variation of the reach truck. They can not only slide under the pallet, but also grab the sides as well, the straddle reach model works well when grasping the sides of the pallet and goods will not result in damage. These can be helpful when the shelving units are accessible for more than one direction, allowing the easy retrieval of a pallet that may be third or fourth in the line.

Warehouses often make use of one or more types of reach trucks, as well as the supply areas for many textile firms and manufacturing facilities. Using a reach truck to store supplies, pallets of finished goods, and in general to keep the storage area in order is a common practice.

Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum

After many years in the teleconferencing industry, Michael decided to embrace his passion for trivia, research, and writing by becoming a full-time freelance writer. Since then, he has contributed articles to a variety of print and online publications, including AboutMechanics, and his work has also appeared in poetry collections, devotional anthologies, and several newspapers. Malcolm’s other interests include collecting vinyl records, minor league baseball, and cycling.

Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum

After many years in the teleconferencing industry, Michael decided to embrace his passion for trivia, research, and writing by becoming a full-time freelance writer. Since then, he has contributed articles to a variety of print and online publications, including AboutMechanics, and his work has also appeared in poetry collections, devotional anthologies, and several newspapers. Malcolm’s other interests include collecting vinyl records, minor league baseball, and cycling.

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Discussion Comments

anon259527

Thank you. This is helpful in understanding the purpose of using reach trucks in a warehouse.

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      Man with a drill