Narrow Aisle Lift Trucks
The type of electric truck that is made to operate within narrow aisles is called a Narrow Aisle Lift Truck. Typical storage aisles are 3.6 meters wide, sufficient space for a counterbalanced lift truck to turn in the aisle. Nonetheless, narrow aisles could be about 2.4 meters wide to as little as 1.8 meters. The narrow space requires specific lift truck models that are small, capable of tight turns, could put away loads without turning. The common types of narrow-aisle trucks are turret trucks, order pickers and reach trucks.
Narrow-aisle reach trucks
Reach trucks were the very first narrow-aisle lift truck to be manufactured for warehouse applications. These small trucks could easily turn in narrow aisles because their design has eliminated the need for a big counterweight. Stability is instead provided by outrigger arms that extend in front of the truck. The disadvantage of this design is that the outrigger arms can inhibit access to the storage rack as the truck cannot get close enough. These trucks really work well within a warehouse which is well lit, has clean, even floors, ample turning space and good traffic flow.
The turret truck design includes forks on the side that pivot. The forks pivot 90 degrees and move from side to side. The load could face forward whilst the operator drives down the aisle. When it stops at the designated storage location, the forks of the truck pivot to the storage side and raise the load to their full extension, and then smoothly 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.