Top things to consider when buying a pallet truck
Pallet trucks are designed for moving cargo easily and safely within short distances. This type of machinery offers versatility, ease of operation, and makes work faster in warehouses and other environments where you need to move stacked items. In the hands of a skilled operator, a pallet truck can boost efficiency and productivity. This article discusses important factors to consider when shopping for a pallet truck.
The top considerations when choosing a pallet truck include the following:
- Power source
- Load carrying capacity
- Operating environment
- Fork length and width
- Size and weight
- Length of operation
- Lift height
One of the most critical considerations when buying a pallet truck is the power source. Pallet trucks can be electric or manual. Electric-powered types are more manoeuvrable, have more carrying capacity, and lifting and lowering the fork is automated. With a manual pallet truck, you use your physical strength to push the equipment around and need to pump the jack manually to lift and lower its cargo, which can be exhausting. However, manual pallet trucks are cheaper and less maintenance intensive. Plus, manual types do not require charging or battery changes.
Electric pallet trucks are ideal for warehouses where you need to lift heavier loads from higher heights, such as in industries. Manual types are more suitable for smaller tasks and lighter loads. Look at your work environment, budget, load, and the physical state of the equipment operators before choosing any of these types of pallet trucks.
Load carrying capacity
The load-carrying capacity for pallet trucks determines the type of task for which they are suitable. If you need to carry lighter loads through short distances, manual pallet trucks will serve you well. For heavy-duty applications, you are better off with electric pallet trucks. Note that there are different classes of electric trucks, depending on the load, so remember this when choosing a battery-powered pallet truck. Each kind of the Pallet Racking System serves a purpose, better be more certain of the system you are going to choose.
The operating environment can affect the effectiveness and utility of your pallet truck. For example, if your work environment has uneven ground, it is better to choose spring-loaded pallet trucks that offer improved stability. Consider pallet trucks with nickel or stainless steel-plated pins if the equipment will be exposed to harsh chemicals. A pallet truck used in an abattoir or grocery store for cold room runs may need to be hardened for low-temperature environments.
Fork length and width
If you deal with smaller, lighter loads, a pallet truck with short forks should be ideal for your operations. Likewise, longer pallets require longer forks for easy lifting and dropping off loads. If the fork length is not compatible with your pallets, lifting and dropping loads can become tedious and dangerous, and cause workplace accidents. The wrong fork length can also affect manoeuvrability, especially if you have space constraints. The width of the fork can affect stability, manoeuvrability, and ultimately, safety. So, be sure to consider these factors before choosing a pallet truck.
Size and weight
The size of your pallet truck matters. If your work environment has narrow passageways, compact pallet trucks will serve you best. Larger units are more suitable for more expansive surroundings. The weight affects its stability and load-carrying capacity. Ensure that you choose the ideal weight and size for your operations to avoid balance issues, improve manoeuvrability, and enhance productivity.
Length of operation
Frequency of operation matters when choosing pallet trucks, especially if you are buying battery-powered units. Electric pallet trucks can use wet cell batteries or gel batteries. While wet cells are cheaper, they require periodic maintenance and have a shorter lifespan. Gel batteries are more expensive, but last longer and are maintenance-free. For high-intensity work environments, investing in electric pallet trucks with a longer battery life can reduce downtime and increase efficiency.
The lift height of a pallet truck determines how high it can raise loads above the ground or drop cargo to the floor. It is important to know the highest heights you stack pallets in your work environment before choosing a pallet truck as this can affect operations. A pallet truck that can reach heights easily to pick loads makes work easier and reduces the risk of tipping accidents.