In most distribution centers or warehouse environments, overall space is usually limited. If you can get a machine to operate in smaller aisles and spaces, the more storage space a company will be able manage. Thus, specialized machine has been designed to be utilized in extremely narrow aisles in order to maximize efficiency and space.
The specialized reach lift truck has a mast which extends away from the forklifts body. Usually, it is attached with a scissor apparatus. When the scissor is compacted or drawn in, the forklift becomes much narrower compared to the standard forklift.
The majority of reach trucks are designed so that the operator is standing while using the unit. This is a contrast to the typical lift truck where the operator is normally sitting. The standing operation area lessens the amount of room required for the driver compartment, enabling the machine to achieve an even smaller profile overall.
With a reach truck, aisles can be made as narrow as 7 feet. Nearly all typical lift trucks require a minimum aisle space of approximately 11 feet; thus, using a reach truck gives about a savings of 5 feet on every aisle. When renting a warehouse on a square foot basis, this is a significant amount of space.
Usually, a reach truck is steered using a rotating lever located beside the driver on a platform. There is another lever used to control the mast and for extending the mast and also to control reverse and forward. These controls are somewhat different than standard forklift controls.
Normally, the load capacity for a reach truck is less than that of a standard forklift, depending on the model. This is largely due to the equipment's narrow design, which could result in a very high center of gravity. When the load is raised and the mast is fully extended, this is particularly true.