High Reach finds its niche with Orion forklift trucks 

an Orion forklift truck at High Reach

In 2009, High Reach Inc. created its first Orion forklift truck. 

The Model 120K, named for its 120,000 lbs. (54,431 kg) lift capacity, was manufactured to fulfill a wish list of features required by a client in Melbourne, Australia.  

Since creating the first model, the Orion forklift truck line has grown to include nine machines ranging in lift capacity from 24,000 lbs. (10,886 kg) to 160,000 lbs. (72,575 kg). 

“We felt there was a gap missing. After listening for 30 years to our many rental clients and end users, we decided to fill that gap,” said Santo De Arcangelis, President of High Reach Inc. “We do not think we reinvented the mouse trap; we just made a smarter one.”

Designed and manufactured at the High Reach headquarters in Oakville, Ontario, the Orion forklift trucks are operating throughout Canada, as well as 12 US states, Puerto Rico and Mexico. 

The forklift trucks are used for a variety of material handling operations, including nuclear installations, military applications, port facilities, die handling, moving machinery and plant relocation. 

De Arcangelis explained the name Orion and the brand’s compass rose logo were selected to mirror the company’s values and growth strategy. 

“The compass rose of our High Reach logo is a symbol of knowing where we are, where we are going and where we came from,” De Arcangelis said. “The Orion constellation is visible throughout the world, conspicuous and recognizable, and is one of the brightest in the night sky. It is our intention to expose our product to potential users as broadly as our growth allows.”

All Orion forklift trucks feature the Orion Quick Change Carriage, which allows the user to switch between using forks, a boom attachment or a coil prong in about 10 minutes. 

As well, a unique tire design provides a light footprint, allowing indoor or outdoor use of the forklift trucks. 

For operator comfort and safety, the Orion line includes high quality seats, tilt steering, back up camera, a digital load scale and an optional remote control.

The machines are also equipped with hydrostatic drives to ensure smooth load handling, while the full-power vertical and horizontal boom function delivers another boost to versatility. 

In the field, the 40K has become the most common Orion forklift in the nine-model line. 

“We like to think that all our models are built with a destination and purpose in mind to serve our multifaceted customers in various industries, some are for niche applications,” De Arcangelis said. 

Tony Villa, of Villa Float Service, has worked as High Reach’s main transportation contractor for more than three decades. When picking up an Orion machine at the end of its rental period, negative feedback is rare. 

“They have really come on board and become a manufacturer who produces a state-of-the-art machine,” Villa said. 

Since the Orion line was introduced, Villa had delivered the forklift trucks to various industries, from steel companies to nuclear facilities to cricket breeders that farm the bug for protein. 

“They really shine on a cycle duty application,” Villa said. “When you put (a different forklift truck) against the Orion in a cycle duty application, there’s no comparison because they have the bigger engines, the bigger transmissions and the bigger footprint on the wheels.”

Alongside the Orion forklift trucks, High Reach maintains Canada’s largest inventory of Broderson Carry Deck Cranes and Versa-Lift’s large capacity forklifts. For the Orion line, De Arcangelis hasn’t ruled out introducing new models in the future. 

“At the age of 87, Michelangelo said ‘Ancora Imparo’ (still learning). We intend to learn more by listening to the needs of the ever-changing industry and our clients,” he said.