What to Consider Before Buying a Pallet Truck
Lifting, lowering, moving, storing... it can all lead to aches, pains, bruises, and more. Choosing the right equipment can help enhance your team’s productivity, lower the risks for accidents and injuries in the workplace, and keep your workflow moving like a well-oiled machine; literally. If you’re considering updating your existing equipment or making a new purchase, a pallet truck is a great place to start.
A pallet truck, also known as a pallet jack, is a large tool similar to a forklift, used to lift and transport heavy loads from one area of your warehouse or distribution center to the next. Since pallet trucks come in a variety of fork lengths, fork widths, raised and lowered heights, and capacities, it’s important to understand what factors to keep in mind. Feeling stuck on where to start? Don’t worry — we’re here to help:
Think about Load Capacity
A pallet truck’s capacity can range anywhere from 4,440 lbs. to over 10,000 lbs., making it capable of carrying items and equipment of varying weights and sizes. But there’s a catch: trying to carry too much weight on a pallet truck can lead to breakdowns and serious health hazards. Start by calculating the maximum weight your team hauls on average and look for a pallet truck with capacities at or below that number.
Factor in Base Weight
While it’s important to put load capacity high on your purchasing checklist, it’s equally important to factor in overall weight. This includes the base weight of your pallet truck, plus its maximum load capacity. Too heavy of a number can spell trouble for any weight restrictions in your facility, such as lift gates, vehicle trays, or container floors — and that’s something you’ll definitely want to avoid well before it happens.
Consider Fork Length
The length of a pallet truck’s forks should also be considered. Pallets typically average around 40” x 48” in the United States, making a pallet truck with forks measuring 48” ideal. But you may need longer or shorter fork lengths depending on your facility’s specialty pallet sizes. That’s why having a good idea of your needs is a must. The incorrect fork length and width could prevent the truck from being able to lift the pallet, or even damage the pallet and possibly the load.
Keep Lift Height in Mind
Pallet trucks make moving loads of all weights easier and more efficient — and that goes for lifting, too. Most have a minimum lift height of 3”, with some extending as high as 8”, making them a versatile addition to your warehouse or distribution center. Just make sure to keep the fork’s lowered height top of mind as well, as some specialty pallets do not have 3” of underside clearance.
Determine the Features that Matter to You
Your last and final step? Consider any additional features that might aid in your team’s overall safety and efficiency. Ergo handle pallet trucks, for example, have a unique ergonomic-shaped handle and lever that provide comfortable operation while moving loads up to 6,500 lbs. A versatile pallet scale truck improves safety and productivity by combining the features of a pallet truck with a portable scale/sensor. And some pallet trucks, like these all terrain pallet trucks, are equipped with pneumatic, air-filled tires specifically for outdoor use, making them great for construction sites, lumber yards, nurseries, and other rough and uneven surfaces.
Looking for more options? We can supply that.® Find the right pallet truck for your work environment by visiting: https://www.globalindustrial.com/c/material-handling/pallet-trucks-jacks