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Reach Trucks – What is their purpose?

A reach truck is a piece of material handling equipment that is designed to work in narrow aisles in factories and warehousing applications. The aisles can be as little as 2.4m compared to the width required for a forklift of at least 3.4m. Thus, giving the warehouse the ability to hold more stock as it maximizes floor space.

The reach truck also has the ability to lift a lot higher than most forklifts. It has stabilizing legs which distributes the load weight of the machine. This is advantageous for warehousing as you have the ability to stack your goods on pallet racking up to 12m or higher, therefore allowing for more stock storage.

The driver generally sits sideways when operating the reach truck. There are different types of reach trucks available. These include deep-reach (double deep or pantographic) trucks, stand-up or sit-down reach trucks and reach straddle trucks.

Pantographic reach trucks have the ability to reach out further than a stand reach truck, which can be advantageous for storage of stock as pallet racking can be double deep.

Stand-up reach trucks are the most simple of the reach trucks, with the operator standing inside the truck whilst operating. Good for small jobs where the operator does not need to b in the machine for great lengths of time.

Sit-on reach trucks, which tend to be the more popular, are where the operator sits inside the machine. This is best suited for when the operator performs tasks at greater lengths of time.

Advantages and Disadvantages versus a counterbalance forklift


  • Higher lift than a forklift
  • Works in narrow aisles
  • Greater manoeuvrability


  • Needs to operate on flat surfaces, so no gutters or undulating surfaces
  • Outdoor use is limited due to the reach truck being battery operated, so unable to work in the rain
  • Incline ability reduced due to smaller wheels

For more information or assistance in selecting the correct reach truck, call All Lift Forklifts (Hire Pty Ltd) on 03 9796 3299.

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All Lift Forklifts

All Lift Forklifts