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What’s the Difference Between Reach Trucks & Order Pickers

For those who aren’t in the warehousing and logistics industry, order pickers and reach trucks might seem like one in the same; mainly because they look relatively similar and perform similar tasks. However, professionals within material handling will be more than familiar with how reach trucks and order pickers perform, what their capabilities are and the applications they’re typically used for, paying particular notice to how they differ.

What is an order picker?

An order picker is designed specifically to raise the operator up to the right rack level, often to a considerably high level. The warehouse employee will stand on the order picker platform which will then move up with both the mast and the forks. Your employees will be able to reach warehouse shelves towering up to 36 feet high, making no job too big or too small for a team with a fleet of order pickers at their disposal.

Not only does this make retrieving items easier, but it also makes operations run far more smoothly, efficiently and quickly. In turn, this will make short work of order fulfillment tasks, meaning your customers will receive the right items within a relatively short time frame – a major selling point now that online shopping has boomed.

However, order pickers, as the name would suggest, are only really used for picking items, boxes and cases from tall racking and bringing them back down to ground level for packaging and distribution. Order pickers are not used for loading or unloading pallets of stock.

What is a reach truck?

Used mainly in warehouses with particularly narrow aisles, reach trucks function similarly to a conventional forklift, making them an attractive alternative within the industry. Usually, a reach truck is operated standing up, with two wheels located underneath where the driver stands and another set of wheels fixed towards the outer part of the machine, a reach truck has no problem distributing the weight of even the heaviest loads.

The mast is attached to a pantograph that can be extended outwards to allow the machine to reach pallets that are stored in either single or double racking. Particular reach trucks, depending on the model, will have exceptionally tall masts, making them an important asset for warehouses and in and around the distribution industry as a whole.

Charnwood Lift Trucks are pleased to provide our customers with high-calibre new and used warehouse equipment, including second-hand reach trucks and refurbished order pickers for those on a budget but who are also looking for quality and durability for many hours of uninterrupted, reliable service. We also have brand new reach trucks and order pickers available for those looking for luxury and robustness. If you’d like more information about the used and new warehouse equipment we’re able to supply, get in touch with a member of our expert team – we’re always on hand to help.