What Type of Forklift is Best For A Small Warehouse

What Type of Forklift is Best For A Small WarehouseSmall warehouses often do not require the same fleets seen in many distribution centers or main production plants.  Though the purposes are identical, operations in small-scale and large-scale warehouses differ greatly from an operational perspective. In addition to volume, these facilities also differ in personnel and space management. In some instances an organization may outgrow a small warehouse but maintain their current facility due to the budgetary constraints. In these scenarios, mezzanines and narrow aisles are all the more likely to emerge, as there is simply no other way to store raw products or materials. There are many benefits to utilizing a swivel reach forklift and a narrow aisle forklift. In any warehouse or material handling operation, both variety of forklifts can be the ideal tool of choice. Whether it is navigating a narrow mezzanine, improved handling, increased safety or reduction in costs, these machines can provide solutions for many small warehouse owners and workers.

1) Narrow Aisle Forklifts

Many warehouses are filled with inventory, stacked compactly in several rows, tiers or mezzanines. In some instances, the amount of inventory is greater than the holding capacity of these small warehouses. As mentioned, there are many situations where these same businesses do not have the means to acquire more space and or are taxed on the limited space that they already have. As a result, the strategy is to narrow the aisles to create more space and thus store more inventory. As the description would entail, narrow aisle forklifts are a great option to streamline shipping and revamp the storage of goods and products in this style of warehousing. Narrow aisle forklifts are generally easy to maneuver and operate and are far easier to master for novices. As a result, narrow aisle forklifts can improve overall material handling efficiency and productivity within small warehouse and factory settings.

2) Swivel Reach Trucks 

For high-volume and extensively dense storage operations, aisle space will typically be much narrower and storage heights as mentioned can be potentially much greater. Telescopic lift trucks operate in narrow-aisle, high-bay stores and offer operators a great vantage of stacking processes, which makes things easier for everyone involved. Swivel reach trucks are versatile, in that they can be used for both stacking and order picking, and can be driven in narrow aisles or throughout the warehouse. According to Welfaux Materials Handling, “Side stackers offer good stability for working at greater heights. Swivel reach trucks have forks that turn 180 degrees.” This offers great flexibility in material handling processes and further embellishes the principle of swivel reach trucks being a great option for manufacturing and procurement.

Both varieties of forklifts are offered in traditional internal-combustion and electric varieties. Each again serving their own purpose. Electric forklifts are more fuel efficient and less focused on heavy operations or rough terrain, but still can lift up to 15,000 pounds of cargo. Traditional gas forklifts are ideal for heavy duty work as they are geared and wired to get the toughest and rugged jobs done. However, in many instances an electric forklift can be used to maximize material handling applications as easy as internal-combustion forklifts are stereotypically honed for.

About Tom Reddon

Tom has been involved in the forklift industry since 1986. He loves doing research, blogging, and speaking about forklifts. You can contact Tom on his Twitter or Google+ profiles.

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