3 Tips to Get Your Pallet Jacks Ready for Peak Season
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Pallet jacks and lift trucks are important tools that can make or break your team’s ability to keep up with the accelerated pace.
It’s not too late to prevent broken, misaligned, or insufficient material-handling equipment that slows your team down, causes injuries, and damages product. Follow these three tips, and your pallet jacks and lift trucks will be ready for the year-end surge.
1. Ensure the equipment is right for the job.
Start by analyzing your current fleet of pallet jacks and lift trucks. Can the equipment handle the material loads headed your way? Consider:
- Length and width: Verify that forks are the right length and width for the pallets and containers you’ll be moving. Forks that are too long make equipment difficult to maneuver; forks that are too short won’t properly support loads. If your team will handle a wide variety of load sizes, then consider adjustable options that can be modified as needed.
- Height: If loads only need to be lifted a few inches off the ground, then pallet jacks are a good option. If material needs to be raised a few feet, then lift trucks will get the job done.
- Capacity: Think about material-handling requirements and check to see whether the equipment you have can handle anticipated load capacities. If not, invest in a pallet jack or lift truck that supports heavier loads.
You may determine that you don’t have the right equipment for the job and need to expand your fleet. There are many options to choose from. Here are a few factors to consider when sourcing a pallet truck:
- Manual: for jobs where capacity and lift/lower heights are the only concerns.
- Self-propelled/electric: to reduce worker fatigue when loads travel long distances or up ramps and into trailers.
- Scale: to lift and move heavy loads and weigh them as they’re being moved so they don’t have to be transferred to a scale.
- Dual direction: offers perpendicular movement for easy handling in tight spaces, such as narrow aisles.
- Adjustable fork: to move a wide variety of pallet sizes and materials.
- All-terrain: to transport loads outdoors or along rough, uneven surfaces.
- Lift/tilt: to move and transport a load in addition to lifting and tilting it to a comfortable work position.
2. Catch up on equipment maintenance.
Once you’ve made sure your pallet jacks and lift trucks are suitable for the jobs ahead, it’s time to focus on maintenance. The last thing your team needs this time of year is a delay or injury caused by neglected equipment.
Check the following components and, if needed, replace them now to avoid breakdowns and poor performance later:
3. Make safety a top priority
Setting expectations upfront is a good way to make sure safety best practices aren’t forgotten as your team gets busier during the holiday rush. Keep these best practices in mind:
- Ensure operators are trained to use pallet jacks.
- Don’t overload the pallet jack or lift truck.
- Operate equipment only in designated areas.
- Push (don’t pull) equipment down inclines.
- Store equipment out of the way to reduce tripping hazards while maintaining clear access to exits, fire extinguishers, and other emergency equipment.
Global Industrial can help you manage the uptick in material handling during peak season and beyond. Contact one of our product experts today to learn more about what pallet jacks and lift trucks are right for your business.
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