With tight corners, narrow alleyways and reduced room for manoeuvre a small warehouse can prove a challenging environment for many forklift trucks, especially if you’re using the wrong type for the job. There are many different trucks on the market for rent and hire which are suitable for more cramped conditions, so let’s take a quick look at the three best forklifts for a small warehouse.
Hand Pallet Trucks
Also known as pump-trucks, hand pallets work well in tight spaces as their human-operation means no bulky engine is included in their design. You can usually lift up to 3500kg with a hand pallet, and as loads are only raised enough to clear the floor for the subsequent journey you can also use them in areas of reduced height.
Hand pallet trucks are incredibly versatile and can come in many different varieties with a range of attachments, including long and short forks, wide and narrow forkspeads, foldaway capability and low profile designs. If your loads are suitable for movement through non-powered means, keep things simple with a sleek and efficient hand pallet truck.
A reach truck offers you outstanding manoeuvrability and a substantial amount of lift height for such a relatively slender machine. With their ability to reach out using their forks the reach truck is able to operate in very tight environments to heights in excess of 10 metres without compromising stability. The reach truck’s stabilising legs and heavy batteries mean no further counterbalance weight is required so long as you keep within the safe load limits.
Swivel reach trucks are also a fantastic reach truck variant and can be used at even greater heights thanks to their ability to turn their forks 180 degrees and collect loads that a typical truck would have to pull a two points turn to otherwise acquire. This offers you far more versatility in the way you stack your warehouse, in addition to the obvious benefits gained from stacking your loads higher and tighter than before.
Very Narrow Aisle Turret Truck
A very narrow aisle turret truck, or VNA, can operate at heights of up to 16 metres and allow for extremely high warehouse stacking procedures. The main benefit of a VNA is that the operator has a much clearer sightline of his or her loads thanks to the operator cab being lifted up the main mast, usually to heights of around 14 metres.
Usually with a typical reach truck or counterbalanced forklift the operator can be some eight to ten metres away from their load, but with a VNA the operator can take a closer look at the items they are loading. With 180 degree rotating forks mounted in front of the operator cab on a smaller mast, operators can also access both sides of a narrow aisle without having to move the entire forklift. And with many VNAs coming with ground-based laser or rail guiding systems these trucks can function safely at extremely high speeds.
If you are unsure of what type of forklift will work best in your warehouse then feel free to fill out our free forklift survey form and we will conduct a free site survey for you.