Reach truck is a type of material handling equipment and one of the most commonly used forklift trucks for lifting and moving loads. The reach truck is designed for work in narrow aisle warehouses and production facilities to keep the storage area in order.
There are different types of reach trucks, yet on general, the reach truck has a compartment for operator to sit inside, two stabilizing legs in front, one or two rear wheels located under the operator compartment, and a set of telescoping forks.
The forks controlled by a hydraulic mechanism allows the reach truck operator to pick up the load and retract it over the stabilizing legs, in this way, much less space is needed, meaning that the reach truck can operate easily in a narrow aisle between the shelves. Meanwhile, the combination of stabilizing legs and reach capability ensure that the reach truck is capable to lift loads higher than other material handling machines while to operate with high efficiency in narrow spaces.
Three types of reach trucks are commonly used: stand-up reach truck, deep-reach truck, and straddle reach truck. The stand-up reach truck is the simplest one. The operator slides the forks under the pallet, lifts and transports the load to the desired location for storage. The deep-reach truck performs like the stand-up truck, but is capable to reach deeper with longer telescopic forks. A pantograph mechanism with scissor design allows the deep-reach truck to place the load when the shelves are deep enough to accommodate two pallets. The straddle reach truck can not only lift but also grab the goods when move it, which is helpful when the shelving units are accessible for more than one direction.
Using reach trucks to place the various goods in order and at heights you rarely use will significantly increase your storage space. Compact in size, with high lifting capacity, they are your best choice for indoor material handling operations. However, the reach trucks are not suitable for outdoor material handling operation because its undercarriage clearance is very limited and can easily be damaged if work on uneven ground surfaces.