Narrow Aisle Lift Trucks
Narrow Aisle Lift Trucks are electric trucks designed to operate in narrow aisles. A counterbalanced lift truck could turn within the aisle as standard storage aisles are just 3.6 meters wide and this is sufficient space. On the other hand, narrow aisles can be around 2.4 meters wide to as little as 1.8 meters. The narrow space needs specialized types of lift trucks which are capable of tight turns, small, and able to put away loads without turning. The popular kinds of narrow-aisle trucks are reach trucks, turret trucks and orderpickers.
Narrow-aisle reach trucks
The first types of narrow-aisle lift trucks manufactured for warehouse use are the reach trucks. These small trucks could turn without problems in narrow aisles since their design has eliminated the requirement for a large counterweight. Instead, stability is provided by outrigger arms which extend in front of the truck. The disadvantage of this particular design is that the outrigger arms can hinder access to the storage rack because the truck cannot get near enough. These types of trucks work well within a warehouse which is well lit, has even, clean floors, good traffic flow and enough space for turning.
The design of a turret truck consists of forks on the side which pivot. The forks pivot 90 degrees and move from side to side. The load faces forward while the operator drives down the aisle. Once stopped at the designated storage place, the forks of the truck turn to the storage side and lift the load to their full extension, and next easily deposit the load prior to resuming their original position. Turret trucks can come with a wire guidance system which keeps the truck on its path in very narrow aisles. In man-down trucks, operators remain at floor level.