Narrow Aisle Lift Trucks
Narrow Aisle Lift Trucks are electric trucks designed to operate within narrow aisles. A counterbalanced lift truck can turn within the aisle since typical storage aisles are only 3.6 meters wide and this is enough space. On the other hand, narrow aisles could be 2.4 meters wide to as little as 1.8 meters. The narrow space requires specialized types of lift trucks which are small, capable of tight turns, and able to put away loads without pivoting. The common types of narrow-aisle trucks are order pickers, reach trucks and turret trucks.
Narrow-aisle reach trucks
The very first kinds of narrow-aisle lift trucks developed for warehouse applications are the reach trucks. These small trucks could easily turn in narrow aisles as their design has eliminated the requirement for a huge counterweight. Stability is instead provided by outrigger arms extending in front of the truck. The downside of this design is that the outrigger arms could inhibit access to the storage rack since the truck cannot get close enough. These kinds of trucks truly work well in a warehouse which is well lit, has clean, even floors, enough turning space and good traffic flow.
The turret truck design has turning forks on side of the truck. The forks pivot 90 degrees and move from side to side. The load could face forward while the operator drives down the aisle. When stopped at the designated storage location, the forks of the truck turn to the storage side and raise the load to their full extension, and next easily deposit the load before resuming their original position. Turret trucks are available with a wire guidance system which keeps the truck on its path in very narrow aisles. Operators remain at floor level in man-down trucks.