Narrow Aisle Forklifts & Other Warehouse-Space Saving Solutions
More and more North American facilities are finding that their costs, volumes, and SKUs are going up, resulting in a need to maximize existing space.
If you, like many others, have found the need to optimize existing storage capacity, then you’ll require specialized material handling equipment designed for warehouses with less space.
Fortunately, there are many material handling solutions designed to optimize both productivity and maneuverability to get the most out of your warehouse space, no matter how limited.
From VNA forklift and reach trucks to a variety of other options, here’s an overview of some of the most efficient and popular forklifts and other products on the market for optimizing your storage space.
The Aisle-Master Very Narrow Aisle (VNA) Articulated Forklift
Suitable for aisle widths as narrow as 66” and featuring lift heights up to 49’, the Aisle-Master very narrow aisle forklift (VNA) accomplishes the work of both a reach truck and counterbalance forklift with ease. This results in quicker operations and a reduction of fleet size and costs, plus a host of other benefits including:
- Increased Storage Space by 50%: The ability to operate in tight aisles while also increasing warehouse storage space by up to 50% are two key advantages of VNA forklifts.
- Enhanced Operator Ergonomics: The articulated mast of the VNA forklift provides clear visibility to the left and right, alleviating the need for the operator to twist his or her body to look around the mast while operating. Driver fatigue is also decreased because there’s no need for constant standing while using the VNA forklift.
- Indoor & Outdoor Usage: The Aisle-Master’s large, super elastic tires and hydrostatic drive capabilities make light work of loading and off-loading. In turn, the operator gets a smooth ride regardless of the terrain. Meanwhile, virtually all types of ramps and gradients are easily mastered.
- Low Maintenance: The LPG-powered hydrostatic drive system of the Aisle-Master VNA Articulated Forklift eliminates many of the most common maintenance problems associated with batteries, electric motors, and proprietary control boards. This, in turn, reduces overall maintenance costs – and additional frustrations – as a result.
- Added Safety & Comfort: Manufacturing standards for Aisle-Master forklifts are fully in accordance with the most stringent US regulations. That means that all the fundamental aspects of its design, from the overhead guard to the ergonomics of the controls to the high-quality seating, guarantee the highest level of operator safety and comfort.
- Specific Warehouse Planning Benefits: One particularly beneficial area of the Aisle-Master revolves around its warehouse planning features, including layout proposals and storage density calculations.
Learn even more about the space-saving, high-performance benefits of the Aisle-Master!
Reach trucks are also an ideal material handling solution for navigating through the narrow aisles of a warehouse. Unique options and accessories here include:
- Acculasers: Acculasers project a laser line even with the fork tips, allowing reach truck operators to quickly see if the forks are lined up with the pallet opening.
- Height and Tilt Indicators: These indicators display the fork height for the operator to see, which gives an indication of whether or not the forks are level. This is especially helpful tall heights where this would otherwise be difficult (or impossible) to determine visually.
- Reach Interlock Switches: Traveling at high speeds with the reach extended can easily increase damage to the reach truck and its load. Fortunately, there are convenient and adjustable reach interlock switches which can limit the travel speed whenever the truck’s reach mechanism is extended, helping prevent wear and tear.
- Mast Lift Limit Switches With Bypass Functionality: This switch allows a height to be pre-set in the truck’s programming. Then, whenever this height is reached, the mast will stop lifting and a message will display on the screen. The operator can then continue lifting or stop then and there. This functionality is particularly helpful in locations with low ceilings and other obstacles.
Want to learn more? All the details on our reach trucks can be found here!
Double Reach Trucks
Compared to reach trucks, double reach trucks are more frequently used in factory, food processing, and general warehousing industries, but can be found in a wide variety of other environments as well. Key benefits here include:
- Storage Space Optimization by Up to 50%: Like VNA forklifts, double reach trucks have the potential to increase pallet racking storage by up to 50%. However, it’s worth noting that double reach trucks are best for applications that have a high quantity of pallets and a low number of SKUs.
- Specialized Pallet Racking Configurations: Amongst a host of other customizable features, double reach trucks come with the space- and time-saving ability to place two racks back-to-back during transportation.
- Deeper Access Into Racking Systems: The double reach truck’s rack system further increases space utilization, accessibility to individual loads, handling time, and order fulfillment speed.
Stand-Up Rider Electric Forklifts
For optimal dock-to-stock applications in places with limited warehouse space, Toyota Stand-up Rider Forklifts offer a host of benefits. For example:
- Optimal Warehousing Maneuverability: With the ability to easily navigate even the narrowest aisles, the Toyota Stand-up Rider is an ideal asset for any material handling job. In fact, this forklift can maneuver aisles as small as 10-1/2 ft and handle up to a 4,000 lb capacity!
- Programmable Drive Systems: Advanced, programmable drive systems and step-less acceleration capabilities make precision control a key advantage of Toyota’s electric forklifts.
- Digital Load Weight Display: This display allows the operator to see the approximate weight of the load with an intuitive weight sensor and display.
- LED Rear Work Lights: Add an LED light to help increase visibility while traveling in reverse.
- Cold Storage Model: This particular unit is designed for use in cold environments. For example, it can easily maintain performance in a freezer at temperatures as low as -4 degrees F (-20 degrees C) for an extended period of time.
- Top-Tier Performance Features: From its AC drive system to its programmable performance parameters and independent lift, steer, and auxiliary motors, the Stand-up Rider offers a host of dynamic, customizable features that allow for optimal warehousing operability.
Looking for an alternative to forklifts? Then a stockchaser might just be what you need! This is yet another material handling solution perfect for navigating those smaller warehousing quarters with tighter spaces. In addition, Taylor-Dunn Stockchasers bring the operator closer than ever to the materials that need to be picked. Other perks include:
- Super Powerful Performance: Taylor-Dunn Stockchasers are capable of towing up to 5,000 lbs with ease.
- High Levels of Maneuverability: Taylor-Dunn Stockchasers are narrow aisle, highly maneuverable vehicles equipped to navigate even the tightest areas.
- Various Ladder Options: Choose between a 4-, 5-, or 6-step ladder.
- Zero Emissions: Since Taylor-Dunn Stockchasers are battery-powered, they produce zero emissions, resulting in a cleaner working environment. Batteries also come in a variety of options to best suit your unique application needs, including 24V, 36V, or 48V.
- Customizable Features: Everything from tires to hitches to additional accessories are customizable, resulting in the maximum level of functionality needed for any operation.
Learn more about the features and benefits of Taylor-Dunn Stockchasers.
Pallet Rack Protectors
One of the most practical ways to maximize warehouse space is to make an investment in pallet racking protectors. Fortunately, these pallet rack protectors come in various shapes and sizes, and they can all be used in a variety of applications – including those narrow aisles within cramped warehousing environments where less space is a continuous issue. Other benefits of include:
- Essential Protection for All Racking Systems: Naturally, the primary benefit of pallet rack protectors is the protection it provides against damage to your racking systems. Over time, repeated impacts compromise racking systems’ properties and make them vulnerable to collapse. Therefore, pallet rack protectors are an essential addition to decrease the likelihood of damage to products, equipment, and personnel.
- A Significant Return-on-Investment: The average cost of each pallet rack protector is only $50, a significantly lower price than what replacement would cost.
- A Variety of Shapes & Types for Different Applications: Pallet rack protectors come in various shapes and can be used in most applications, including narrow aisles where space is premium.
Learn more about the importance of pallet rack protection and related products.
Find the Right Material Handling Solutions for Your Unique Warehousing Needs
Interested in any of the above products? Want to learn more about them or any other space-saving material handling solutions? Contact the experts at ProLift Toyota Material Handling for assistance today! Together we’ll identify the perfect solution for your storage needs.