Flexi very narrow aisle forklifts will typically store 20% to 25% more pallet positions than a reach truck can store in the same amount of space. This will significantly lower your cost per pallet position.
In FEM (European Federation of Materials Handling) testing, the Flexi was able to produce cycle times 37% faster the reach trucks, because there is no reach mechanism. Faster cycle times reduce the number of personnel, and the amount of equipment required to get the job done, which reduces operating costs.
It’s much easier for a conventional truck operator to learn to operate a Flexi than it is to learn to operate a reach truck, because the overall truck design and hydraulic levers are the same as conventional forklifts.
Flexi forklifts cost about 20% less to maintain than reach trucks. Most people will agree that maintenance expense is directly proportional to the number of moving parts. A Flexi has much fewer moving parts than a reach truck, and the parts are located where they are easier to access on a Flexi when service is required. The reach mechanism requires a lot of maintenance.
A Flexi operator can see the load being handled better than a reach truck operator can see his load. This is because the Flexi operator will pick and place loads at a 90° angle to the machine. Visibility from the side is unobstructed when compared to a reach truck operator trying to see through the mast and reach mechanism. In fact reach trucks operators can often be seen leaning outside of the operator’s compartment to get a better view of the forks or the load being handled.
Outside of the aisle, the Flexi operator’s visibility can be improved in much the same way as it is in the aisle by picking and placing loads at an angle instead of straight ahead, whenever possible. The reach truck operator is always working from a position behind the mast and reach mechanism where visibility is obstructed.
Another big advantage over reach trucks, depending on the application, is that the Flexi as it can be configured to load and unload trailers. This trailer to rack capability eliminates the expense of additional equipment and personnel needed to operate that equipment.
A reach truck requires staging areas for temporary storage between the dock and the rack. Because the Flexi can work trailer to rack and back, staging areas are not required and additional pallet positions are created. Reach trucks are rarely able to load and unload trailers because of their small front wheels and low ground clearance.
Reach trucks steer from the rear. The counterweight swing side to side when making turns. It is this side to side movement that causes most of the rack and product damage that occurs in warehouses.
Flexi can negotiate ramps like more conventional electric forklift trucks with its 12% loaded/16% unloaded climbing capability. Reach trucks typically are not used on ramps.
If you’re considering a reach truck solution we recommend that you include Flexi in your analysis too. The numbers may surprise you! You’ll find our contact information at our Contact Us page.