Manual vs Electric Pallet Trucks: what’s best for me?

Moving freight or items safely and effectively is a key challenge for any warehouse owner or industry professional. With a wide range of manual and electric pallet truck options on the market, which is best for your current workflow and processes and why should you potentially consider one over the other?

Pallet Trucks in the Modern Warehouse

Pallet trucks are an environmentally friendly and potentially safer alternative to deploying a forklift in your chosen space. They can be deployed with less extensive training and carry a minimised risk of accident and injury due to their design and focus on lighter loads, making it easier to handle materials in confined spaces and more effective when it comes to loading and unloading.

When it comes to deciding what option is best for your unique needs, there are a number of advantages for both.

Manual Pallet Trucks

Wide Choice: Manual pallet trucks encompass a wide selection of makes and models for your specific warehouse needs. This can include fully certified used models, up to date cost-effective options, and types that will suit your individual needs and the materials being transported. This can be for dedicated stocking, moving units from zone to zone, or a wealth of different options. If you’re looking for a tool to fulfil a specific purpose, manual trucks will almost always be a sure bet.

Increased Safety: By their nature, manual pallet trucks carry smaller loads and move slower than electric models. While their more advanced counterparts may have failsafes to prevent overloading, the hard limit imposed by a manual lift means that employees will be less at risk from heavy loads. Issues such as ‘mousetrapping’ or injury to others from mechanical forklifts can also be avoided entirely.

Cost Effectiveness: Due to a lack of moving parts or complex machinery and electronics, manual trucks can often be far more cost effective to run than electric trucks. This reduced cost can act as a powerful force multiplier when it comes to productivity, allowing you to get more ‘bang for your buck’ through acquiring more manual than electric trucks and allow more of your employees to pitch in and ensure that key targets are hit.

Reduced Maintenance: Manual pallet trucks are powered by a straightforward hydraulic lift, meaning that – aside from minor maintenance on wheels and the overall integrity of the unit – they will only require minor ongoing care. If breakdowns due to heavy or intensive use are a concern, selecting a model with a strong seal on its hydraulics can help ensure that breakdowns and risk of lost productivity are minimised.

Electric Pallet Trucks

Improved Capacity: Due to the additional power of a motor, electric pallet trucks have the ability to safely carry much more weight than a manual truck. This hugely increases the range of items that your employees can handle and can allow you to automatically check weight tolerances or deploy auto-locking mechanisms in cases of spillage or overload. If your business involves heavy goods handling, this can often prove to be a powerful value-add.

High Speed: Many electric pallet trucks are motorised which allows them to travel at speed in a loading and unloading area. This can often be much faster than a worker pushing a manual truck or even an individual operating a forklift. This can help you get more out of your team by increasing the amount of work that they can safely accomplish in a given timeframe and help improve the efficiency of your internal supply chain even when operating over large sites or warehouses.

Environmentally Friendly: A helpful alternative to operating with a forklift truck, an electric truck’s battery motor will produce no fumes and be more efficient and cost-effective to run than its counterpart. However, unlike the manual jack, the electric truck’s battery will need to be correctly disposed of over time, which is your responsibility as an owner to ensure is conducted safely and securely.

Flexibility: Given the nature of modern business, there may be a need to change your working practice, shipping methods, or focus of your business. Selecting an electric pallet truck means that you can future proof your business against change by selecting a durable piece of equipment that can accommodate a range of professional approaches, products, and aid compliance with any forthcoming green energy regulations.

Depending on your needs, an electric or manual pallet truck can be a powerful, cost-effective value add for your business. Taking the time to validate what specific role you need them for and ensuring that they suit your current resource and manpower needs will make sure you are fully accommodated every time.

If you want to learn more about the comprehensive range of manual and electric pallet trucks available to buy or rent, please do not hesitate to contact our team directly T: 0800 195 9831 and let us know exactly what you need.