Looking to know what to use for a Reach Truck aisle? Not sure how far apart to set racking when using a reach fork truck? Use this handy calculator to estimate the aisle needed for a reach truck to operate.
How much space do you need between racks to operate a reach truck safely?
Most people, if asked what aisle a reach truck needs to operate safely in would say, 9 feet. But there are a lot of parameters at play when spec’ing a warehouse aisle that needs to be considered. Such items include the following:
Parameters that Impact the Warehouse Aisle Dimension
Length of Load
Consider the length of the pallet any product overhang on the pallet. The pallet might be a 48×40 pallet, but the product on top of the pallet might easily be 50″ x 42″. These dimensions will impact the narrow-aisle lift truck’s storage aisle dimension.
Width of Load
Notice if the product protrudes over the sides of the pallet.
Reach Truck Capacity
The mast on a higher capacity reach truck is an inch wider than the lower capacity reach truck. The wider mast makes the reach truck longer and therefore impacts the aisle dimension
If you want to move quickly, you will need more space in the aisle. We refer to this added space as maneuverability. Generally, we add an additional 12 inches to the aisle dimension to ensure the reach truck can move easily without hitting the product on the adjacent racking. It is possible to operate a reach truck in the engineered minimum, however, it is not easy and will add to the stress of the operator. Additionally, it will result in the possibility of increase rack damage, product damage, and will reduce productivity.
Baseleg opening (BLO)
Also known as outrigger inside dimension, the opening between the reach truck’s base legs impacts the aisle dimension. If the dimension is greater than 41″, add an inch to the width of the operating aisle.
Battery compartment size
Reach trucks come with various different battery compartment sizes to allow for longer shift life and increase capacity retention as the forklift lifts its load (pallet) higher in the air. The more lead in the battery compartment, the higher the weight capacity at full lift height. This is also called down-rating or d-rating. The wider the battery compartment, the longer the chassis length, and therefore, the wider the truck aisle needs to be.
Depth of the upright frame
Although the depth of the upright frame does not impact the width of the clear aisle, it is important to know when you are planning a warehouse and you are deciding where to put the racking. The aisle dimension is called the rack-to-rack dimension. It is different from the clear aisle dimension, also known as the product-to-product aisle.
Calculate the Aisle Needed for A Reach Truck
This calculator is provided for estimates only. Please contact us for a formal proposal with exact aisle dimensions. The other option is to contact the manufacturer of the reach truck to receive the aisle specification in writing from their engineers.
Now you know what aisle dimension you need for your Reach Truck to work in, use our online calculators to compare the number of pallets you can store in a warehouse using different aisle dimensions. Estimate pallet storage – click here!
How to drive a Reach Truck in a Narrow Aisle
Here is a newly trained operator learning and practicing how to operate a reach truck in a 104″ clear aisle. Watch this video to learn how to operate a reach truck correctly in a narrow aisle. The aisle shown is a 9′ 4″ rack to rack dimension (112″). The clear aisle (the space between pallets) is 104″.