Deep reach telescopic forklift trucks are helping distribution centers to achieve much more economical and high-density use of warehouse space. Recent years have seen a rapid increase in the use of “reach” forklift trucks because rising warehousing costs dictated optimum use of space in both new buildings and additions.
Reach trucks, warehousemen learned, could work in much narrower aisles than conventional counterbalance trucks. Space use could be improved by up to 21 per cent with such equipment.
“Deep reach” trucks sometimes are described as double-deep because of their ability to place and retrieve pallets set one behind the other from a single aisle position. Recently added to the materials handling field is the “swing-reach” lift, or “turret” truck. The truck works on both sides of an aisle without turning and is used in conjunction with routine pallet storage.
Use of the “swing-reach” forklift trucks is consistently doub1ing or even tripling the national averages for conventional fork truck movements per hour, some industrialists report.
Hundreds of deep reach and swing reach trucks are seen in hundreds more warehouses today, compared to five years ago.
The deep reach concept features the use of racks two pallets deep – with one pallet stored behind the other so both from the same aisle position. As the first is removed, the second pallet becomes available.
Basically, the truck is a normal reach forklift truck tractor unit fitted with a different telescopic mast and each mechanism geared to picking up and depositing two pallets deep into the racking.
Space use is improved by one-third over the traditional reach truck which moves in for only one pallet off the rack. The approach, in a warehouse, could eliminate two aisles out of every five required in normal rack storage. Twelve racks can be put in somewhat less space than that which is normally required for 10.
Some warehouse veterans say swing reach telescopic forklifts are the most productive fork truck innovation ever. Such equipment, they say, works in guided aisles, can travel at high speed and lift while traveling. Added performance advantages are semi-automatic horizontal positioning and completely automatic vertical stacking and placement.
In addition, swing reach installations are experiencing successful application of current wire guidance technology. Thus, fantastic gains are likely, with direct vehicle-computer communication becoming feasible. Inventories would be reduced as movement of swing reach trucks is optimized.
Mike Spencer has been consulting with companies to help them increase their productivity for several years. To learn more about how you can improve your warehousing solutions visit Mikes forklift truck site.
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