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What is a Very Narrow Aisle Forklift?
A very narrow aisle forklift is a specialised type of forklift that is designed to operate in extremely tight spaces. These forklifts are typically used in warehouses or other indoor facilities where space is at a premium. Unlike traditional forklifts, a very narrow aisle forklift is designed to operate in aisles as narrow as 5 feet wide. They accomplish this by using a variety of advanced features, such as articulating masts, side-shifting forks, and turning wheels that allow the forklift to manoeuvre in tight spaces. This allows users to maximise their storage capacity and operate more efficiently in indoor environments.
Top Narrow Aisle Forklift Types
Narrow Aisle Order Picker
A narrow aisle order picker is a specialised type of forklift that is designed to select individual items from high shelves in narrow warehouse aisles. As the name suggests, these order pickers can operate in very narrow aisles, typically between 7 and 9 feet. The operator stands on a platform which elevates to reach heights of up to 30 feet.
These forklifts are equipped with features that allow the operator to pick items at height, including a picking tray that can be raised and lowered, as well as a set of controls that the operator can use to direct the machine’s movement. Narrow aisle order pickers are designed to be highly manoeuvrable, which allows the operator to move around the warehouse with ease, even in tight spaces.
In addition to their ability to operate in narrow aisles, narrow aisle order pickers come with a variety of safety features designed to prevent accidents. This includes features like automatic braking systems, warning lights, and backup alarms. Overall, narrow aisle order pickers are a valuable tool for any warehouse or distribution centre that needs to maximise their storage capacity while maintaining productivity and safety.
Narrow aisles can pose a challenge for forklift operators, but the highly specialised turret truck is designed to tackle them with ease. With an ability to rotate the entire mast and carriage assembly, as well as the load, turret trucks can easily access items on either side of an aisle that’s an average of 6 feet wide.
Turret trucks are perfect for high-density storage facilities such as cold storage and manufacturing plants, where space is a premium. With an impressive carrying capacity of several tons, and a lift height of up to 50 feet, these trucks ensure maximum utilisation of vertical space, thus increasing storage capacity.
Safety is a primary concern, and turret trucks come equipped with advanced features such as sensors that prevent collisions with other infrastructure or vehicles, and warning systems that alert operators to potential hazards. Despite their size, turret trucks are highly manoeuvrable, and can move smoothly through narrow spaces, making them ideal for safely maximising productivity in the warehouse.
Very Narrow Aisle Trucks
Very narrow aisle (VNA) trucks are a type of forklift that are designed to operate in extremely narrow aisles that are less than five feet wide. These specialised trucks offer a number of advantages, including increased storage capacity, greater operator productivity, and improved safety.
VNA trucks are an essential tool for businesses that operate in high-density storage environments. They are designed to help businesses maximise their storage capacity while maintaining safety and productivity, making them a valuable investment for any business that wants to improve their bottom line.
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How Much Does a Narrow Aisle Forklift Cost?
*based on 7 day hire in the UK
The Most Common Uses For Verry Narrow Aisle Forklifts
Cold Storage Warehouses
In cold storage warehouses, narrow aisle forklifts are used for picking pallets and cases of goods from high-density racks up to 11 metres high. Based on their narrow design, there’s no need to leave wide aisles between storage racks allowing businesses to maximise their storage capabilities. These cost-effective pallet racking systems require forklifts like the Narrow Aisle Articulated Forklift, which allows the operator to access the pallets from both sides of the aisle due to its capability of 180-degree rotation of its mast.
Narrow aisle forklifts are incredibly important in distribution centres as they allow for efficient and effective material handling, storage, and retrieval. These forklifts are used to move a wide range of goods, including pallets of boxes and other materials, in and out of storage racks, and from one end of the distribution centre to the other. They allow for maximum storage space by placing racks closer together; this is a huge bonus!
Narrow aisle forklifts are commonly used in E-commerce warehouses due to their ability to navigate through tight spaces and narrow aisles. These forklifts are designed with a smaller frame which allows them to have a tighter turning radius and move more easily in confined spaces. In an E-commerce warehouse, narrow aisle forklifts are mainly used for picking and storing items in high racks.
When it comes to picking orders, narrow aisle forklifts are ideal for navigating through cramped spaces to collect items required for a particular order.
Narrow Aisle Forklift Specification
|Weight||Up to 4,000kg|
|Dimensions (LxW)||2m x 1.5m|
What Our Expert Says
“The narrow aisle forklift is a revolutionary piece of technology, without this piece of material handling equipment many warehouses, distribution centres and cold storage facilities would have had to close as they couldn’t keep up with demand!”
Will Bradley, Co-Founder at Forkify
Should I Buy or Hire a Verry Narrow Aisle Forklift?
Deciding to buy or hire a very narrow aisle forklift involves considering the pros and cons of each option. Buying a forklift means you own it outright and can customise it to your specific needs, potentially saving you money in the long run. However, the upfront cost can be high and maintenance and repairs are your responsibility.
Hiring a forklift means you don’t have to pay the upfront cost and maintenance is typically included, but the cost can add up quickly and you may not have access to it whenever you need it. Ultimately, the best choice depends on your specific needs and level of usage.
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Popular Narrow Aisle Forklift Brands
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the most common uses for a very narrow aisle forklift?
Narrow aisle forklifts are most commonly used in warehouses where space is limited. The design allows it to navigate through aisles as narrow as 1.6 metres, making use of every inch of floor space. Some common uses for a VNA forklift in the UK include:
- High-density storage: VNA forklifts used to store large quantities of goods in a small space.
- Order picking: VNA forklifts used for efficient access of products on high shelves during order picking.
- Manufacturing: VNA forklifts transport raw materials or finished goods to and from production lines in manufacturing facilities.
- Retail: VNA forklifts used in retail warehouses for storing and moving products before shipment to stores.
Who makes the best narrow aisle forklift?
There are several manufacturers of narrow aisle forklifts in the UK, each with their own strengths and unique features. Some of the top manufacturers of narrow aisle forklifts in the UK include:
- Crown Equipment Corporation: offers a range of narrow aisle forklifts designed for productivity and efficiency in narrow spaces.
- Linde Material Handling: known for high lifting capacities and exceptional ergonomic design.
- Jungheinrich: agile and manoeuvrable, great for use in narrow aisles and tight spaces.
- Toyota Material Handling: known for durability, reliability, and advanced safety features.
- Hyster-Yale Group: designed for high-density warehousing environments, with impressive lift heights and weight capacities.
Ultimately, the best narrow aisle forklift for your business will depend on your specific needs and preferences. It’s a good idea to consult with a forklift dealer or supplier for advice on which model will work best for your operations.
What’s the difference between a narrow aisle forklift and a counterbalance forklift?
Narrow aisle forklifts and counterbalance forklifts are both used for lifting and transporting heavy loads, but they have some key differences:
A narrow aisle forklift is designed to operate in narrow aisles and tight spaces. It has a smaller turning radius and can handle tight turns better than a counterbalance forklift. This makes it perfect for use in warehouses with narrow aisles or for stacking pallets in tight spaces. Narrow aisle forklifts also typically have a higher lift height and can lift heavier loads than counterbalance forklifts.
On the other hand, counterbalance forklifts are designed to operate in wide open spaces. They are equipped with a heavier counterweight at the back of the forklift to balance out the weight of the load being lifted. Counterbalance forklifts have a larger turning radius, so they are not as manoeuvrable in tight spaces as narrow aisle forklifts. However, they have a more stable base and are better suited for lifting loads with heavy weight distribution than narrow aisle forklifts.
Overall, the choice between a narrow aisle forklift and a counterbalance forklift will depend on the specific needs of your workplace and what tasks the forklift will be used for.
Why use a very narrow aisle forklift?
The main reason warehouses use a very narrow aisle forklift is to maximise storage space. A very narrow aisle forklift (VNA forklift) is used to optimise storage space by allowing for narrower aisles and higher shelving. This type of forklift can operate in aisles as narrow as 5 feet (1.5 metres), allowing warehouses and distribution centres to maximise their available space.
VNA forklifts are typically guided by wire, rail, or other automated systems, eliminating the need for operators to navigate in tight spaces. Additionally, VNA forklifts have the ability to lift heavier loads to greater heights than traditional forklifts, improving productivity and efficiency in the warehouse. Overall, using a VNA forklift can help businesses save space, increase productivity, and optimise their storage capabilities.
Can anyone drive a very narrow aisle forklift?
In the UK, it is illegal for anyone to operate a forklift truck without having undergone the appropriate training and being in possession of a valid certification. This applies to all types of forklift trucks, including very narrow aisle forklifts. In addition, employers have a responsibility to ensure that their workers are adequately trained and competent to operate forklifts. Proper training and certification are important not only to meet legal requirements but also to ensure the safety of operators and those around them.
How much does it cost to hire a very narrow aisle forklift for a day?
The average cost to hire a very narrow aisle forklift for a day in the UK can vary depending on factors such as location, duration of the rental, and the specific model of forklift required. However, as a rough estimate, the cost to hire a very narrow aisle forklift for a day in the UK can range from £60 to £300 per day.
To get a more accurate idea of the price, it’s best to contact Forkify and receive multiple quotes from different rental companies to compare and choose the best option for your needs.