Narrow Aisle Lift Trucks
The kind of electric truck which is designed to function within narrow aisles is referred to as a Narrow Aisle Lift Truck. Standard storage aisles are only 3.6 meters wide, adequate space for a counterbalanced lift truck to pivot within the aisle. Then again, narrow aisles could be 2.4 meters wide to as little as 1.8 meters. The narrow space needs specialized kinds of lift trucks which are capable of tight turns, small, can put away loads without turning. The popular types of narrow-aisle trucks are turret trucks, order pickers and reach trucks.
Narrow-aisle reach trucks
The first types of narrow-aisle lift trucks manufactured for warehouse applications are the reach trucks. These small trucks can turn easily in narrow aisles since their design has eliminated the requirement for a large counterweight. Stability is instead provided by outrigger arms extending in front of the truck. The disadvantage of this particular design is that the outrigger arms could inhibit access to the storage rack as the truck cannot get near enough. These kinds of trucks really work well inside a warehouse which is well lit, has clean, even floors, good traffic flow and enough turning space.
The design of a turret truck has pivoting forks on side of the truck. The forks pivot 90 degrees and move from side to side. The load could face forward whilst 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 then easily deposit the load prior to 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.