8 warehouse efficiency benefits of reach trucks

8 warehouse efficiency benefits of reach trucks

In this article, we explore the real benefits of reach trucks and how they can really improve warehouse efficiency if used correctly...

Reach trucks are a type of forklift truck which are particularly well suited to modern warehouses due to their vertical lifting height and ability to perform well in narrow aisles. In this post we will explore the benefits of using reach trucks and how they can be used to solve some common challenges.

Reach trucks for vertical space

One of the biggest benefits of reach trucks is their ability to lift loads higher than a traditional forklift truck. By offering the capability to reach higher, these trucks can enable warehouse operators to use more vertical space for racking on which to store goods.

By adding extra height to the reachable area of a warehouse, higher racking can drastically increase the capacity of a warehouse without the need for extra floor space. Our FM-X reach truck offers stability and speed even with a huge 13-meter lift height.

Reach truck accuracy

Any increase to accuracy will help to improve efficiency. If an operator’s view is restricted, or if they need to reposition the forks this will cause a delay which can really add up.

Modern reach trucks can make use of positioning lasers, a panoramic glass roof, camera systems and lift height displays which help a driver to be accurate with every pick.

With STILL’s Easy Target Plus, goods can quickly and precisely be positioned in the desired shelf level at the touch of a button without manual height corrections.

warehouse efficiency benefits of reach trucks

Automated reach trucks

Reach trucks do not have to be manually operated, they can play a part in a semi-automated or fully automated materials handling system. Multiple reach trucks can be controlled by automation software which runs truck control/traffic regulation, achieves effective fleet utilisation and monitors all battery charges.

Automated trucks can also be operated in manual mode when required – see our iGo automation systems.

warehouse efficiency benefits of reach trucks

Reach truck stability

Stabilisation is an important factor in reducing pick times. Waiting for a reach truck’s mast to stop oscillating is not a good use of your operator’s time.

The STILL FM-X features Active Load Stabilisation (ALS) technology to prevent the mast from oscillating. An automatic equalising pulse is used to stabilise the mast and reduce the waiting time at the shelf by up to 80 per cent.

Reach trucks for narrower aisles

Reach trucks are compact in nature due to the way in which they operate. Unlike a standard forklift truck, they do not use a counterbalance to maintain stability when lifting a load. Instead, they have stabilising legs which allow them to reach out beyond their compact frame whilst utilising the load as part of the counterweight.

The narrow frame of a reach truck allows them to operate in warehouses with narrower aisles. A narrower aisle obviously means a warehouse can have a greater storage capacity while still operating quickly and efficiently.

Reach truck speed

In order to ensure efficiency, reach trucks must be fast to operate within the bounds of safety. Our FM-X reach truck has travel speeds of up to 14km (8.6 miles) per hour so will help you to maximise goods handling.

As well as fast travelling speeds, reach trucks can reduce idle time due to high lowering and lifting speeds. Combined with load stabilisation this reduces pick time.

Modern reach trucks are not only fast in operation, they are also much quicker to charge than previous generations. With fast charging you can minimise down time and get your reach trucks operational again with the option of lithium-ion battery power.

Reach truck safety features

As you would expect with modern materials handling equipment, safety is a key priority for reach trucks. Misuse or accidents can slow down your operations as well as risking the safety of your operators.

The STILL FM-X includes a range of safety features including a warning light and acoustic signal which make it hard to miss. Optional access authorisation ensures only trained operatives can start the truck.

A shift and lowering lock eliminate the risk of damaging goods when lifting goods. Pallets that have been lifted crookedly lie on the wheel arms when they are lowered and are tilted or pushed when pulling in the forks.

When travelling, the load is handled behind the operator, meaning a totally clear line of vision which is especially important when negotiating small spaces.

Reach trucks and connectivity

Reach trucks can be easily incorporated into a warehouse management system or a fleet management system. This allows you to monitor performance and integrate them into a material flow management system.

STILL’s FM-X reach truck offers easy integration into material flow management systems thanks to MMS provision.

Find out how our professional team can help

We can help your business improve warehouse efficiency, if you need advice on any of the topics or products mentioned above, please feel free to Contact us today!

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