Narrow-aisle warehouses: small improvements, large space savings

The name is self-explanatory: A narrow-aisle warehouse is a warehouse with relatively narrow transportation areas between the high-bay rows. Narrow-aisle warehouses are commonly used in the automotive, wood and aluminum industries, among others.  The aim of the warehouse operator is to maximize the use of the available storage space. Since the warehouse is restricted in terms of width, operators of narrow-aisle warehouses tend to extend upward. There is also very little space in the narrow aisle. Transporting and lifting heavy, bulky and long loads requires compact narrow-aisle trucks.  

What to consider when order picking in narrow-aisle warehouses

A narrow-aisle warehouse has many advantages, especially when space is limited. However, the volume of the warehouse still has to accommodate the product width and depth. Despite wanting to maximize the potential of the space, operators still need to comply with certain requirements.

Unlike in a narrow-aisle warehouse, standard warehouses have safety clearances of 500 mm on each side of the truck to avoid accidents. These safety clearances are measured from the parts of the truck that protrude the furthest, including the load, to fixed elements of the location or rack. A narrow-aisle warehouse, on the other hand, only requires a safety distance of 100 mm. This is mainly due to the fact that the operators of a narrow-aisle warehouse and the floor conveyor technology designed for the narrow aisle want to make optimal use of the space available. As a result, special truck features and additional warehouse equipment must be used to protect the employees, the environment and the goods to be transported. 

Safety systems in the narrow-aisle warehouse

Different safety regulations apply in a narrow-aisle warehouse due to the limited space available. To improve safety, operators can use appropriate truck equipment such as personal protection scanners or systems configured with individual protection fields. The system must meet the safety requirements for industrial trucks in narrow aisles set out in DIN 15185/2 or BGV D27. In addition, the operators can also make adjustments to the narrow-aisle warehouse. Level floors are a good place to start. Stationary warning systems that trigger a signal when a person enters the warehouse also greatly enhance safety in the warehouse. Additional emergency exits and structural partitions also help to compensate for the minimized safety distances.

The optimal forklift for driving in narrow-aisle racks

Compact, strong and maneuverable

The perfect narrow-aisle truck for a narrow-aisle rack must be compact yet able to move loads of different lengths and heights – a versatile all-rounder. As a manufacturer of custom-made industrial trucks and special solutions, HUBTEX developed the PhoeniX electrical multidirectional sideloader for precisely this application. Thanks to the optional patented HX steering, the PhoeniX can be easily maneuvered in all directions, making operation much more efficient. If necessary, the truck's electro-hydraulic steering can be replaced with an electric steering system, which will lead to reduced noise and a significant increase in efficiency, especially when combined with wire guidance technology. The drivers of the narrow-aisle trucks benefit from a cab with an ergonomic design and high all-round visibility.

Do you need a suitable industrial truck for your narrow-aisle warehouse?

Contact us and we will be happy to help.