Hand pallet trucks are sometimes known as pallet jacks or pump trucks. There is no question that they are one of the most important tools on the market for material handling. Pallet trucks have been the number one option for lift truck operators for decades now as they take much of the strain out of loading, unloading and moving pallets of goods around one location.
What are pallet trucks?
Pallet trucks are basically a small, simple version of a forklift truck. They are operated manually and equipped with a pair of prongs, just like you see on forklift trucks. These prongs are optimised to fit into cargo pallets so that they can be lifted and moved around manually over short distances. The prongs raise the load off the ground with the assistance of a hydraulic or electric mechanism.
Consequently, it’s easier to move lighter loads with pallet trucks. The operator must push or pull the truck as required, and steer it manually. There are usually brakes included to help with this. When the load is moved to the required location, the forks can be lowered to place the cargo safely on the ground.
When the pallet truck is not in use, the brakes can be applied for safety. Storage generally involves placing the forks in stacked pallets so that they do not obstruct pedestrian and vehicle paths on site.
What types of businesses might benefit from these trucks?
Pallet trucks are a very versatile material handling solution, so they find their way into lots of working environments. They are great for moving palletised loads in locations like:
- Distribution centres
- Logistics hubs
- Indoor/outdoor construction sites (with adequate surfaces to operate on)
Many varieties of trucks are small and run smoothly, so they can also be great for retail facilities selling heavy goods. CESAB Pallet Trucks, for example, come in various shapes and sizes for different applications. Whatever your working environment, you are likely to find something among their range to suit your needs.
How can pallet trucks help in a warehouse or storage environment?
Pallet trucks are designed for maximum efficiency and productivity. Jobs that would otherwise require two or more personnel can be transformed into one-man jobs. They make loads easier to lift and move around on-site, promoting greater health and safety as the risk of injury is reduced. Accidents are less likely to happen and operators are subjected to less physical strain.
Going back to the CESAB trucks, there is the P013i for basic material handling, bridging the gap between hand pallet trucks and more expensive powered ones. The lightweight and compact P100 is designed for use in confined spaces like retail stores, while the P200 is more substantial whilst incorporating features for moving in tight spaces.
It’s important to choose the right type of pallet truck for your environment, as it will help your employees move cargo on pallets around the workplace quickly, safely and efficiently.
How should I choose the right pallet truck?
This really depends on the needs of your business. Different types of pallet trucks offer different benefits and are more appropriate for certain applications. Manual trucks are hand-operated, deployed to help manually lift loads up to 2500kg, while high-lift pallet trucks incorporate features to lift loads to greater heights.
Only you know what your business needs are, so you’re best placed to identify the important features of the right pallet truck. Suppliers and manufacturers of these trucks will always be available to offer advice based on your needs, so don’t hesitate to get in touch if you require assistance with your decision-making.
Get in touch with our team today to find out how we can help you with forklift stackers.