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It’s just a pallet truck …

… aren’t they all the same?

Author: Dee Jones/02 May 2019/Categories: PRODUCT GUIDANCE, Stock handling, WORKPLACE ADVICE, Goods movement

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pallet trucks


When you normally think of pallet trucks you think of a helpful tool that moves wooden or plastic pallets around a warehouse or factory floor. Well, of course they do predominately do that, but there are also a whole variety of other styles that are designed for many different tasks or uses in less traditional environments.

heavy load pallet truck
The traditional hand hydraulic pallet truck that we know today was officially invented in 1939 by George Raymond Sr and Bill House, when they filed the patent, although more basic and cruder methods of lifting a pallet have been in use since the late 1800's. Nowadays we use the pallet truck to move pallets in varying sizes up to a height of 185mm from floor level in order to transport that pallet to another location. The most popular types are manufactured to move weights of up to 2000kg. However, higher capacity trucks are available with 2500kg and even 3000 and 5000kg models becoming useful for those extra heavy loads.
stainless pallet truck

The popular type of pallet truck is constructed in mild steel with a powder coated paint finish, but this can often lead to weather corrosive degradation or difficulty with cold room use. Many businesses have food quality areas or ‘clean rooms’ so it may be worth considering a truck that either has a galvanised finish that will help protect against wet area usage or a stainless steel truck that can be used in totally clean areas.

There are trucks that are semi or fully electric and these are particularly beneficial when the lifting and transporting task is more repetitious or used over a greater distance. Some warehouses are enormous and necessitate the need for an electric truck to minimise operator fatigue and increase productivity rates. Low profile pallet trucks are also very useful when lifting pallets or loads that do not have very high underside heights. These models can be lowered to 35mm in order to lift these low loads. Pallet trucks that are designed for lifting reels or cylindrical products can be invaluable when moving such an awkward shaped load. Also, trucks can be fitted with brakes so that operating on a gradient is possible without a safety threat being a major issue. There are a range of pallet trucks that are fitted with a weighing device. This is essential when being used in a situation where it is necessary to know the weight of the load being lifted or received into a goods inwards area. Often goods are charged by their weight so a way of instantly knowing the exact weight is very important.
rough ground pallet truck

There are pallet trucks designed to specifically operate over rough ground or terrain. These come in both manual and electric models. It is important to purchase a truck that can be used efficiently over the area that you want to operate in.

high lift pallet truck 

There are also a group of trucks that are designed for higher lifting and these may be more suitable for your task in hand than the limitations of a traditional lifting height. Once again, these models are available in both manual and electric options. They generally are able to lift the load up to waist height at about 900mm. 

Finally, it is worth remembering to always have a good service and maintenance contract in place to keep your trucks running smoothly and efficiently. This will allow you to have some peace of mind knowing that your goods will continue to flow throughout your company’s operation.

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