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A warehouse, distribution center, or other workplace with narrow aisles is the ideal setting for a reach truck, also known as a reach forklift or narrow aisle forklift. Reach forklifts are narrower than a typical forklift, allowing them to navigate in spaces their beefier brethren would dare not roam. These machines make it possible to forego paying for more warehouse space by maximizing the storage potential of an area already in use. Their ability to operate in tight quarters is a boost to a business' bottom line. Not to mention, using the right machine for the job helps minimize damaged product and workplace accidents.
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What is a Narrow Aisle Reach Forklift?
- While standard forklifts require aisles that are at least eleven feet wide to operate, a narrow aisle (NA) forklift can work in spaces that are 8 to 10 feet wide, while very narrow aisle forklifts (VNA) can operate in aisles as narrow as 6 feet.
- Reach forklift trucks, because they're intended for indoor use, are outfitted with electric motors (a few internal combustion, propane-powered models are available) and soft cushion tire that are meant for flat, even surfaces.
- The design aspect of narrow aisle forklifts that greatly reduces its space requirements is a fork that turns at a right angle to the truck's body. This means the lift truck doesn't have to face the shelves—it can drive straight while still picking up loads to the side.
- The maximum capacity of reach forklifts is generally around 5,000 pounds.
Instructional Video: How to Use a Reach Truck
Watch the video below to see how a narrow aisle reach truck moves a load of pallets.
Reach Forklift Options
Useful add-ons for reach forklifts include:
- A guidance system: Guidance systems that use optics or wires ensure that a narrow aisle forklift stays on track in tight spaces.
- Extendable fork: An extra long fork makes it possible for a narrow aisle forklift double stack pallets, one in front of the other.
- Operator platform: The higher a load is raised, the more limited the visibility of an operator at ground level. An operator platform eliminates this potential risk by raising and lowering the driver with the fork.
- Sideshift: Loads can be delivered with greater precision through the use of sideshift, which allows a load to be moved left and right without the truck moving.
- Tilt Mast: Changing the angle of the mast and forks helps to load items and keep them balanced.
Average Reach Forklift Costs
If a narrow aisle forklift sounds right for your business, then the following prices should provide a better idea of how much you can expect to pay.
- Depending on its capabilities and features, a new reach forklift might cost approximately $15,000 to $35,000 and up.
- A walk-behind narrow aisle lift truck with a 3,000 to 4,000 pound capacity costs approximately $15,000 to $18,000.
- A sit-down electric reach truck with a 4,500 lb capacity might cost around $30,000 to $40,000.
- An electronic narrow aisle forklift with an operator platform costs roughly $25,000 to $30,000.
- A used stand-up narrow aisle forklift with a 300 lb. capacity and 212 inch lift height might cost around $7,000 to $9,000.
- A used sit-down electric narrow aisle forklift with a 4,000 to 5,000 lb. capacity might cost anywhere from $7,500 to $17,500 or more depending on condition, operating hours, and capacity.
- The cost to rent a narrow aisle forklift is roughly $200 to $300 per day, $400 to $500 per week, and $1,000 to $1,500 per month.