how to safely operate a hand pallet truck?

When we talk about safety within content handling, we are not just talking about powered devices. Equipment such as hand pallet trucks is also providing a risk to safety.

We wanted to give you some advice and suggestions on how to safely operate a hand pallet truck.


How to drive truck safely.

Before entering the pallet, check that the load is stacked safely and that the pallet is not damaged.

Carefully direct the forks into the pallet gap by holding the handle firmly with two hands and pushing it forward continuously in the up-right position.

To ensure that there is enough space between you and the handle, lift the forks, once the pallet clears off the floor, return the lever to a neutral position.

  • Ensure that there is sufficient clearance when lifting forks; Be aware of any upper bumps and any width restrictions.


  • Push the handle down, turn and face in the direction you are traveling, depending on which hand you are holding the truck with. Use your left hand while turning left, use your right hand while turning right and hold the handle firmly.


  • Check around for pedestrians and other trucks; Make sure your route is free from obstacles. With the handle lowered, pull slowly to start the truck moving with the forks in the rear (behind you). Walk on one side of the truck, always traveling at a safe speed and wherever possible, travel to the left side of the corridor.


  • Always walk. Never run, make sharp turns, or stand directly in front of a palette truck while traveling. Never stand inside a turn.


  • When traveling downhill with the load truck, keep the load downward and control the speed by pulling back with both hands on the handle.


  • Once at your destination, move the load into position, making sure that you are free of the load before lowering it by slowly pulling the lever and lowering the load under control.


  • When fully down, release the lever into the neutral position. Check around to see if it is clear to stand on one side and remove the hand pallet truck from the pallet.


How to operate a manual pallet jack?

Manual pallet  jacks are simpler and more economical than electric pallet jacks, and also require less maintenance. They can be a good option for small to medium-sized warehouses or construction sites. Here are four simple steps for using a manual palette jack.


Locate release lever

Stand behind the pallet jack putting your hands on the metal steering handle and facing outward. There are two horizontal pieces of prong metal that will actually lift the pallet. Locate the plastic release lever on the handle; It is usually found attached to the center bar. It can be a different color to look different, but if not it should still be clear.


Go to the pallet and press the lever.

Animation that shows the pallet jack lowering after the release lever has been attached. Move the pallet jack to whatever you want to move and attach the lever to lower the prongs. Next, push the pallet jack on top of the pallet you want to move. Press the release lever upward and inward to lower the prongs approximately one inch below the ground. If the prongs are already down, they will not move when the lever is pressed.


You should slide the prongs under the pallet to load.

Once the prong is completely down, you can slide them under the pallet you want to move. If they are still so high that they cannot easily slide under the pallet, they cannot be completely lowered and you must press the release lever again. Make sure that you move all the way through the bottom of the pallet so that the wheels are resting on the floor, not on any part of the pallet.


Pallet up jack.

An animation that shows the pointed part of the pallet  jack up the pallet.

Animation in which the pallet is shown is  to be lifted by pushing the handle downwards. Once the prongs are located under the pallet then pull the metal handle and the entire center bar towards you at an angle. You should feel some resistance and note that the prongs slowly lift the pallet upwards. Repeat this many times so that the prongs are far enough away from the floor so as not need to drag it.


Do you push or pull the pallet jack?

You can also push and pull a pallet jack, depending upon on how you need to operate it. However, humans are able to gain more weight than they can pull, and excessive stretching can cause injury.


Pallet Jack Safety Precautions.

Although they are relatively simple machines, pallet  jacks can still be dangerous if proper safety precautions are not taken.


Is license is needed to operate a pallet jack?

To comply with OSHA safety regulations, operators of both manual and electric pallet jacks must complete a certification course. These are often supplied by individual employers, and online certifications are also available.



Should you push or pull a hand truck?
Pushing is comparatively of less effort than pulling as pushing gives an advantage because our body weight assists exertion. Pulling can lead to sliding over shins or ankles. We have to maintain correct postures to use these tools. The handles should be in the power zone when pushing and large enough to accommodate the entire hand. There should be no sharp edges or rough spots to cut or pinch the employee’s hands.

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