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


A reach truck is a narrow-aisle, right-angle stacking truck designed for unit load handling with rack interface. These lift trucks are meant to operate in narrow aisles and are best for storing and retrieving pallets in racks. They are equipped with a pantograph mechanism and can shelve pallets one or two-deep. This version is known as a deep-reach lift truck. These lift trucks are designed to maximize unit load capacity by narrowing aisles and promoting product throughput. Reach trucks are categorized as Class 2 lift trucks in material handling.

Reach trucks are the lift truck of choice in the following scenarios:

* 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.


The reach truck typically works as part of a material-handling system where two requirements are equally important: cube utilization (ratio of occupied space to total cubic space available, usually expressed as a percentage) and selectivity (amount or percentage of product in a warehouse which is accessible to the aisle for picking). For example, a common system would involve a pallet truck feeding a reach truck in a unit load storage application, while the reach truck provides let-down for the pallet truck in low-level order picking.

When you consider purchasing a reach truck, it is important to properly specify your needs. The following information is necessary:

Other important warehouse components to specify when purchasing a reach truck include floor issues, aisle entry, base leg openings, side shift and battery voltage and charging systems.

Raymond Handling Concepts Corporation offers a few varieties of the reach truck.

The Universal Stance Reach-Fork Truck allows the operator to look comfortably straight up while storing and retrieving loads. With the universal stance, the driver can face forward with an open view when handling and storing pallets, and face the direction of travel when moving tractor-first.

The Dockstance or side stance Reach-Fork Truck has a compartment designed to allow operators to vary positions throughout their shift. Multiple lean points are its key feature, helping reduce operator fatigue.

The reach truck does not work for all warehouse operations. This lift truck is not suitable for general dock work such as loading and unloading trailers, case or piece picking and working in very narrow aisles that do not allow right angle stacking.

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