Reach stackers seem to be more dangerous than traditional forklifts. After all, you could be lifting shipping containers that are over 40 feet in the air with them. Compare that to a forklift, which typically only carries standard-sized pallets at usually no more than 15 or 20 feet. Considering those numbers, you would think that reach stackers would tip over more frequently than forklifts given the same amount of use. While we’re not sure how often these things fall over, this video is further proof that reach stackers can be dangerous if you don’t know what you’re doing and don’t follow the safety precautions.
What Do You know About Reach Stackers?
Also known as reach trucks, reach stackers are used to transport shipping containers over short distances. Many are capable of stacking containers up to 6 high and 4 deep, making them an incredibly useful tool for conserving space. This reach stacker is a Linde stacker. It’s difficult to tell the exact model, but it is definitely one of their heavy-duty stackers, likely a 100D. The “100” signifies that it’s a 10-tonne reach truck. The 100D has a high-torque engine combined with a hydrostatic transmission. It has a modular design and spacious, comfortable cab. As far as capabilities, it has…
- a 6.7L, 6-cylinder Cummins engine,
- 129 kW of power and 800 nM of torque,
- a cabin that elevates up to 18 feet off the ground,
- a twin-pedal drive system,
- a top traveling speed of 30 km/hr,
- and a load capacity of up to 22,046 pounds
And in case you were wondering, here are some of its key measurements:
- 9-foot 11-inch cabin height
- 10-foot 11-inch mast height
- 19-foot 6-inch overall length
- 13-foot 5-inch turning radius
- 4-foot 6-inch minimum pivoting point distance
- 17-foot 5-inch extended mast height
- 40,300 pounds service weight
Why You Should Be Extra Careful Operating Reach Stackers
Unlike a traditional forklift, a reach stacker’s wheels extend past the mast, which means the center of gravity is usually within the wheel base. While this means it doesn’t require a counterweight, lifting or reaching out with a load causes the center of gravity to shift forward, while going sideways or turning will cause the center of gravity to shift to one side. If the center of gravity shifts enough, the reach stacker will tip over. Another concern is that a reach stacker has a narrow wheel base and rear-wheel steering, so it needs to be turned slowly and carefully to avoid tipping as well as collisions with the wide-swinging rear. Here are a few tips recommended by ERI safety to avoid tipovers and other accidents:
- Never travel with a raised load (like this operator does)
- Do not travel while lifting the load up, down, forward, or back
- Make sure to know what the decreased lift capacity while reaching is
- Make sure to drive the reach truck at a safe rate of speed at all times
- Ensure that the forks are spread as widely as possible before lifting a load
- Ensure that you are maintaining adequate clearance at all times
This isn’t an extensive list, and you would obviously need to go through safety and operation training before using one of these machines.
Transporting the Shipping Container
A standard shipping container is 9 feet, 6 inches tall, and the reach stacker operator is grabbing one that’s 4 high, which means it’s 38 feet up when he grabs it. An empty container weighs 9,150 pounds, while a full one can be up to 67,200 pounds. So even if it’s empty, imagine carrying all that weight 38 feet up in the air. That’s why, going back to the tips, you should never travel with a raised load and why these machines are capable of moving a load back and forward a certain amount without having to move the actual truck.
Not Too Big to Fail
As you’ll see here, just because a machine weight a lot, just over 40,000 pounds in this case, doesn’t mean it can’t tip over. This guy shouldn’t have even been backing out with it, but the real problem began when he started to turn. He really had no shot of saving it after that. It looks like he may have been strapped in well so he likely didn’t get hurt too bad, but hopefully he learned his lesson and will follow the safety rules in the future. Check it out to see the dangerous but entertaining flip.