Moving materials around on pallets is one of the most common activities in a warehouse or on a factory floor, and there are many different ways to accomplish this task. People will often think first about using a lift truck for this activity, but this is not always practical due to the size of lift trucks and the tight spaces often afforded around equipment.
With companies looking to fit more machinery into a smaller work area, rather than expanding their workspace, it is commonly necessary to load and unload pallets in extremely tight areas. For these unique situations, pallet jacks are invaluable for moving materials on pallets around your work area without taking up large amounts of space in your warehouse.
Pallet Jacks: Ideal for Tight Spaces
Pallet jacks, also called pallet trucks, are small and inexpensive tools that allow you to easily lift and move a pallet or skid with material from one place to another within your facility. With two long forks and a handle for steering, the pallet truck rolls under the pallet or skid and by pumping the handle will raise the load off the ground so that it can be easily moved on the casters of the truck.
By using a pump handle, a pallet truck is very small compared to other pieces of material handling equipment often used to move material around. Since the forks fit almost entirely under the skid or pallet, there is no added space needed on either side of the pallet when you are moving in tight spaces. This is especially important if you are delivering a skid of material to a machine and need to leave the pallet truck in the small area next to the manufacturing line.
Pallet Jacks are Lightweight yet Powerful
Pallet trucks are ideal lightweight pallet trucks with an impressive load capacity. For ease of use these units include entry and exit rollers on the top of the forks to aid in guiding the forks under pallets. In order to make steering easy, the steering mechanism moves in a 210-degree rotation and the pump and control handle is covered in rubber allowing for a safe and secure grip.
High Lift Pallet Trucks: When You Need to Raise Pallets
They do allow you to lift the load to the right height so that you don’t need to lift a box off of the pallet, but instead can slide it into place . While this will not let you place the pallet onto a shelf, it will allow easy unloading of the pallet at waist height.
Powered Pallet Jacks: For Walk Behind Moving of Heavy Pallets
Another common concern is easy to raise and lower with aid from a hydraulic pump, and the wheels are designed to offer easy rolling, if you are routinely moving heavy loads and have some room to spare behind the pallet, a powered walkie pallet truck may be a better alternative.
These units are still fairly small and lift the load with a hydraulic pump action, but come equipped with battery powered drive and steering wheels that allow you to walk behind the palleted load and easily move it into place. For very high lift operations around shelving, there are also powered pallet truck stackers available to suit these needs.