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Reach Truck vs Forklift - Differences, Pros & Cons [2024]

by Ion Rotaru 17 Aug 2023 0 Comments

In the world of warehouse management, efficiency and precision are king. The choice between a reach truck and a forklift isn't just a matter of picking a machine; it's about selecting the right partner for your unique operational needs. Though seemingly similar, these 2 giants have distinct characteristics that set them apart.

Whether it's the nimble navigation of a reach truck in tight spaces or the power of a forklift handling heavy loads, understanding their differences, pros, and cons is crucial. Let's dive into this together, and find out everything there is to know!

Reach trucks

Reach truck vs forklift

A reach truck is a type of industrial vehicle designed to transport and stack goods in narrow aisles and tight spaces. It's equipped with extendable forks that can 'reach' into racking systems, hence the name. The operator's compartment is typically open, offering better visibility, and the truck's compact size makes it highly maneuverable. Often used in warehouses with high-density storage, reach trucks are a valuable asset for businesses looking to maximize space utilization and improve efficiency in material handling.


  • Excellent maneuverability in tight spaces
  • Capable of reaching higher shelves
  • Reduced aisle width requirements


  • Generally limited to indoor use
  • Requires skilled operators
  • Can be more expensive to maintain


Forklift vs reach truck

A forklift is a powerful industrial vehicle used to lift and move heavy loads. It's versatile and can be used both indoors and outdoors. Forklifts come in different sizes and types, including electric, diesel, and propane-powered models. Some models are designed for rough terrains, while others are tailored for smooth warehouse floors. With various attachments and accessories available, forklifts can be even be customized to perform specific tasks, such as rotating or clamping loads.


  • Versatile and can handle various types of loads
  • Suitable for indoor and outdoor use
  • Generally more robust and durable
  • More affordable than reach trucks


  • Requires more space to operate
  • Can be more challenging to maneuver in tight spaces
  • Fuel costs can be higher

Why use a reach truck?

Using a reach truck is ideal when space is a constraint. Its ability to maneuver in narrow aisles and reach higher shelves makes it perfect for warehouses with limited space. It's efficient, reduces the need for wider aisles, and can increase storage capacity.

Reach truck in a narrow isle

What is another name for a reach forklift?

A reach forklift is often referred to as a 'reach truck.' Other names might include 'narrow aisle forklift' or 'reaching forklift.'

Can a reach truck go outside?

Generally, reach trucks are designed for indoor use. Their tires and overall design may not be suitable for rough outdoor surfaces.

How high can a reach truck lift?

The lifting height of a reach truck can vary based on the model and design. Typically, they can lift anywhere from 8 to 15 feet, but some specialized models may reach even higher.

Find your next forklift at WarehouseWiz

If you're looking to enhance your warehouse operations, look no further than WarehouseWiz. Whether it's reach trucks, new forklifts, used forklifts, or other essential warehouse equipment, we've got you covered. Don't miss out on our top-notch products that can take your business to the next level. Visit and contact us for your needs today!

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