What Is A Reach Truck?
Reach trucks are designed with two primary purposes in mind: (1) operation in narrow aisles and (2) lifting of heavy loads at height.
Operating in Narrow Environments
The electric reach truck shines best when working in narrow spaces within warehouses. Unlike their forklift counterparts, they are best suited for indoor spaces with relatively smooth conditions. Their wheelbase is the same length as those of a forklift, but they feature a much more compact body. When lifting a load, they lift the weight back within the wheelbase, resulting in less of it protruding from the reach truck. Ultimately, it is this feature that allows them to maneuver in narrow aisles with load.
Reach Trucks Have Stabilization legs
Another feature that makes reach trucks unique is their stabilizing legs. When combined with the weight of their battery, they become capable of carrying heavy loads without the need of counterweight. Additionally, they have the ability to reach loads that have been stored at height and can extend distances beyond that of their stabilizing legs.
Automated Reach Trucks
While the world is still grappling at the idea of having self-driving cars on the road and all the social or legal implications of it, the material handling industry has been more successful in moving towards automation. Given the relatively more constant environment of warehouses and the repetition of tasks to be done, automating work seems like a logical choice.
Through the deployment of lasers, the internet of things (IOT) and smart technology in electric reach trucks, warehouse operations automation is possible. For example, using autopilot technology, reach trucks are able to carry and stack loads repetitively within a warehouse without the need for an operator. In the event that an abnormal task emerges, the autopilot should be simply switched off, allowing a revert back to manual operator control.
The Advantages and Challenges of Automated Warehouse Operations
The productivity that could be generated from automated reach trucks is pretty clear. It removes both operator cost and human error from the equation while allowing for, in theory, 24/7 working capabilities. Safety is another important aspect that will be improved with the adoption of automated technology. Since these electric reach trucks rely on pin-point laser sensors, the odds of accidents fall drastically from current standards.
A challenge to automation then emerges in the form of training required to upskill current workers to help manage such automated environments. Where workers are unable to upskill or insufficient positions exist, worker displacement is bound to happen. As such, the change in working environment will definitely result in disruption that management has to account for.
Keen to find out how to adopt such automated warehouse operations solutions? Contact a reputable reach truck reseller today.