Hand pallet trucks, also known as pallet jacks and pump trucks, are without a doubt among the most vital tools available for material handling. For decades pallet trucks have served as a go-to option for lift truck operators, taking the strain out of unloading, loading, and moving pallets of goods on location.
Essentially, the pallet truck is a basic form of fork truck, manually operated it is equipped with two prongs, also called forks designed to fit into cargo pallets. The forks carrying a pallet of goods can then be raised off the ground using either hydraulic or electric processes. As a result, the load is lighter and easier to move. The truck operator can pull or push the pallet truck as required, steer it and brake. When they arrive at their location, operators can then lower the forks and cargo to ground level safely.
The brakes of pallet trucks can also be locked in place when they are not in use for safety. They are typically stored with their forks in stacked pallets to stop them from blocking pedestrian and vehicle paths on-site and avoid accidents.
What types of operations can use pallet trucks?
A versatile material handling solution, pallet trucks are used in many different working environments. They can move palletised loads and pallets in warehouses, distribution centres, logistics hubs and indoor and even outdoor construction sites when adequate surfaces are available to operate on. Many varieties are small in size and clean to run, making them ideal for retail facilities that sell heavy goods.
What are the business benefits of using pallet trucks?
Designed to maximise efficiency and productivity while reducing costs, pallet trucks have much to offer the enterprises that use them. Tasks that would typically require multiple personnel to complete are effective transformed into one-man jobs.
As loads are easier to move around, pallet trucks also promote health and safety on site. Accidents are easier to avoid and there is less physical strain on drivers.
Established pallet truck manufacturers are continually updating and developing their designs to produce increasing efficient options. CAT pallet trucks for example are engineered for high performance and tailored to their operator’s needs.
The hand pallet trucks supplied by CAT are relatively small allowing them to access narrow areas of warehouses and other production environments. As a result, enterprises can make the best use of the space available on site and access it easily. CAT trucks are fitted with integrated hydraulics that lower or raise forks as required for the smooth and easy transfer of goods.
What are the different types of pallet trucks?
To answer the varying needs of different types of businesses, a diverse range of pallet trucks are available to purchase. Each has its benefits and features and is designed to answer unique challenges.
Manual pallet trucks are hand-operated, heavy-duty workhorses. They are mostly employed to manually lift and move loads of up to around 2500kg and are the basic standard of pallet trucks sold.
Electric pallet (EP) trucks, as the name suggests, run on electrical battery power. They are typically utilised for high-spec constructions. Their main benefit is how they remove manual labour processes when moving loads.
High-lift pallet trucks are used for lifting loads far higher than a conventional pallet truck is capable of. Simultaneously these trucks can serve as a workbench or lifting table.
Weigh-scale pallet trucks are used for weighing cargo being transported up to specific amounts while providing both the use and efficiency of a standard pallet truck.
Finally, always ensure pallet trucks are inspected daily and maintained according to the Original Equipment Manufacturer’s (OEMs) recommendation for safe and effective service.
Want to find out more? Contact our friendly team today to chat about how we can help you with hand pallet trucks.