What is a Reach Truck?

In the material handling and warehousing world, reach trucks are an important machine to elevate the efficiency of your business operations.

A reach truck is a specialised forklift designed for narrow aisles and handling palletised goods in warehouses. These machines have a unique ability to reach impressive heights, maximising vertical storage space. With an extendable mast, reach trucks provide a versatile solution for businesses looking to optimise their storage capacity.

Benefits of Reach Trucks

One of the key advantages of a reach truck is its ability to operate in small and tight spaces. Since the turning radius of a reach truck is less than a normal warehouse forklift, reach trucks are one of the most ideal types for narrow spaces.

Differing from traditional forklift trucks in a few ways, reach truck masts can move both up and down, as well as back and forth. Not only this, reach trucks don’t have a counterweight and instead use base legs to handle the weight on the forks, meaning they are more suitable for handling goods in warehouses where manoeuvrability down aisles is essential.

Reach trucks polyurethane wheels, meaning they are best for indoor use where the flooring is smooth and even. You can only use a reach truck outside if you have a model specifically designed for outdoor use, with solid wheels.  

For maximum control and accuracy in handling goods, the driver sits sideways when operating a reach truck. To further increase safety during operation, reach trucks can be equipped with height indicators, lasers and camera systems to prevent an accident. Operators will need additional training specifically on reach trucks, if your certification only covers counterbalance forklifts.

Different Types of Reach Trucks

Whilst generally being best suited for indoor use, reach trucks have several variations to cater for different warehouse needs and requirements:


Known for their enhanced manoeuvrability in narrow aisles, operators stand on a platform while driving and operating the reach truck. Ideal for quick and efficient tasks, easy entry and exit for operators, and better visibility.


Offers better stability compared to stand-up models. With a seated compartment for the operator, they are suitable for longer periods of operation.


The most common type of reach truck, these models are ideal for single-deep pallet storage.

Double Deep

Specially designed to handle two pallets deep in the racks and maximise storage capacity. Best suited for facilities with high-density storage requirements.


Equipped with wide straddle legs that can wrap around pallets for stability, they are capable of handling various pallet sizes and configurations and are well suited for handling non-standard pallets and loads.

Articulating Reach Truck

Has an articulating mast that can pivot, providing enhanced manoeuvrability in aisles and tight spaces with irregular layouts or obstructions.


This truck can move forward, backward, left, and right. The unique steering system enables lateral movement, ideal for navigating narrow aisles and efficiently handling long or wide loads.

Moving Mast

Instead of extending the forks, the mast on these trucks moves forward and backward on rails, this movement is enabled by a hydraulic system that’s installed on tracks above the base legs.

It is important to thoroughly research your business needs and consider factors such as the working environment and lifting capacity to understand your machines needs.

Buying a Reach Truck

 Before purchasing or hiring your reach truck, you should consider:

  • Usage - How often will you be using the truck? This is important to ensure the battery can meet the requirements.
  • Mast Height - Lift height is important to ensure you can reach the top of your racking. Checking the lowered mast height is equally important to ensure that it isn’t too tall for internal and external doorways.
  • Aisle Width - The width of your aisles is important to ensure your truck is able to effectively manoeuvre in your warehouse.
  • Capacity - Choose a truck that is suitable for the load you need to lift.
  • Structure - Consider how strong and durable does the reach truck need to be to for your working environment.

Looking For a Reach Truck?

In need of your own reach truck or other type of forklift? Our teams’ wealth of knowledge allows us to assess your needs and recommend a suitable machine for your requirements. Get in touch today.


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