Hyster® Reach Trucks are commonly chosen by warehouses looking to operate at greater heights with excellent stability, visibility, manoeuvrability and control. But what factors are affecting lift truck design?
Here, our experts discuss this and answer some other frequently asked questions about Reach Trucks.
How narrow/high can aisles/trucks go?
The height and width of aisles and trucks depends on the application. For example, the type of pallet, the required residual capacity at height, the truck power available before recharging, and the driver’s compartment and environment.
As an indication, with a Euro pallet (800mm x 1200mm) as a reference, a Hyster® Reach Truck powered by a compact lead acid battery can work in aisle widths of less than 2700mm. In regard to height, Hyster® Reach Trucks meet the needs of applications looking to take their warehouse racking higher, with the ability to lift up to 13.5m.
One area that is being explored within the industry is how lithium-ion battery cells can be distributed to save space and enable operation in narrower aisle widths. However, to specify the right reach truck for particular needs, applications should always consider their priorities, whether it’s complexity, cost or manoeuvrability in the working aisle.
What effect is this having on truck design?
Every centimetre counts in the warehouse, so this is important when considering the footprint and turning radius of reach trucks. Lithium-ion batteries are one new technology which may be able to help support this because they have the potential to store more energy in less space.
When looking to take loads higher, truck design may look at other factors, such as gross weight vs pay-load and the lifting/lowering speeds vs energy consumption. Reach trucks should also strike a balance between the precision of movements and speed.
Another very important consideration is the reach truck driver, and how they can be supported in retrieving or putting away pallets at heights or operating at ground level, from visibility to comfort.
To what extent are safety developments affecting reach truck design and use?
When lifting to 13.5m, speed is important, but so is helping the driver to put away or retrieve the pallet securely, without damage to adjacent goods. Even when the pallet is at ground level the reach truck driver must move goods quickly from racking to other areas, where there may be other equipment operating.
To support operators, Hyster® Reach Trucks are designed to offer good driver awareness, accuracy and performance as standard.
How will the effects of Covid-19 shape warehousing operations?
The effects of Covid-19 will vary in different countries and different applications and cannot be predicted at this time. However, many warehouses remain very busy and will continue to have a requirement for dependable, reliable equipment with ease of servicing and maintenance such as a Hyster® Reach Truck. Our warehouse simulator tool is also helping applications to optimise the use of their fleet to maximise efficiency and avoid bottlenecks at this time, or plan for higher or lower product throughput scenarios.
As applications look to reduce human interaction, enclosed reach truck cabins or automated equipment options may be of interest to some operations.
What are the innovations that will be most influential in the future?
While ‘self-driving’ trucks continue to be an area of interest in the materials handling sector, there are a number of driver assist options available for reach trucks that can make the difference now. These include lights, cameras, object detection systems, telematics and more.
Learn more about your options for Hyster® Robotic Lift Trucks.