Calculating Forklift Aisle Width Minimums

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Purchasing the right forklift for your operation requires that you take into account several factors that are unique to your situation. From determining the right rated capacity you’ll need to understand the difference between pneumatic and cushion tires, there’s a lot to consider. And the actual physical space of your workplace can’t be forgotten.

Calculating forklift minimum aisle width will help you make an informed decision about what warehouse forklifts to acquire. But how do you know how much space you’ll need to effectively navigate?

How Wide Does a Forklift Aisle Need to Be?

You should always check your calculations with a certified Toyota dealer, but you can use this simple formula to help you get started in determining how much aisle space your forklift will need.

  1. Take the Basic Right Angle Stacking Width
  2. Add the Load Length
  3. Add 12 Inches of Clearance

The basic right angle stacking width measurement is the smallest amount of space a forklift needs to be able to turn and enter a pallet. It does not include the length of the load that is picked up or any room for clearance. Basic Right Angle Stack measurements are listed in specification manuals. Toyota lists this spec for all of its models on each model’s specific product page.

Load lengths will vary depending on your unique circumstances, and you should always be sure to know your forklift’s rated capacity at certain load centers. But a rule of thumb that might be used as a starting point would be a standard pallet, which is 48 inches in length.

Calculating 12 inches of clearance will help to ensure you have enough space to accommodate your forklift’s turn radius, so you can turn in the aisle and help protect against potentially unsafe situations resulting from operator error.

Basic Right Angle Stacking Width + Load Length + 12 Inches = Your Minimum Forklift Aisle Width

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Forklift Aisle Width Calculation Example:

Let’s say you’re considering purchasing a Toyota Core IC Cushion Forklift for your warehouse and want to make sure you would be able to turn in your aisles with a standard pallet. According to the forklift specs, the model you are considering has a Basic Right Angle Stack spec of 86 inches.

86 in. (Basic Right Angle Stacking Width) + 48 in. (Load Length) + 12 in. (Clearance) = 146 in. Minimum Aisle Width

Remember that this is just a start to your assessment practice. Always be sure to have your forklift dealer verify your results before you make a purchasing decision!