Doing more with less space has become more important than ever in the warehousing industry. While manufacturing and distribution centers are on the rise in the United States, companies are uncovering new challenges when it comes to their narrow aisle warehouse spaces. There is a need to fit increasing volumes of products into the same warehouse buildings. How are we supposed to do this? Packing all of your product into smaller spaces usually calls for Narrow Aisles (NA) or Very Narrow Aisles (VNA) solutions.
Warehousing and The Forklift Equipment Used
General Aisle Widths
A typical aisle measures 10 ½ feet or more. While narrow aisles range anywhere from 8 ½ to 10 ½ feet, very narrow aisles may be only as wide as 5 to 7 feet. This is why NAs and VNAs can be a challenge when putting product away or stacking orders. Normally, counterbalance forklifts do not fit in these types of spaces, and even if they did, they would not have a tight enough turn radius to avoid hitting the racking. Below are some of the options you can look at to help you solve you narrow aisle problems.
3 Wheel Electric Forklift
The 3 Wheel Electric Forklift is great for narrow aisles. It leads the industry in run time, travel speed, and lift/lowering speeds. Having just one wheel in back allows for a tighter turn radius meaning it doesn’t need as much room as a four-wheel forklift to turn. The 3 Wheel Electric is also available in a “short” model, making it an even better fit for those compact areas. But just because it is smaller doesn’t mean it isn’t powerful. This forklift can lift up to 4,000 lbs.!
Toyota’s Order Picker is manufactured for specific applications. Order pickers are used to help employees reach goods stored on high racking, but does not necessarily stack products. There is a platform where an operator stands to pick things off of the shelves and place them on the pallet in front of them (that also raises and lowers with the operator). Toyota’s Lift Logic technology continuously monitors speed and lift height, allowing for optimized travel speed. This helps operators increase productivity. Order pickers also allow for very narrow aisles, because they do not need to turn for an operator to put things away. They just reach from side to side, making things accessible for your operator.
Electric Reach Truck
The last piece of equipment we are going to touch on is the Electric Reach Truck. This forklift allows you to put pallets behind each other, by “reaching” out. It comes in a single- or double-reach model, helping you utilize your space more efficiently. The other benefit to using this machine is its ability to lift up to almost 30 feet! And its lift capacity of 4,500 lbs., is ready to take on heavy loads.
These are just a few of the options that Toyota Forklifts offers for those tricky narrow aisles. Take a look at the infographic below to get an idea of the complete range of narrow-aisle equipment available to you. Remember, if you need help deciding on what product is right for you, contact your local Toyota Dealer, and they will gladly assist you.
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The original article was published by Toyota Material Handling U.S.A.
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