Electric Pallet Trucks for Heavy Loads

by : Blake Allen

Looking for information on electric pallet trucks?

In the world of material handling, heavy loads are a common thing. There are many ways move these loads easily and safely. Among these is the use of a powered pallet truck also known as a power pallet truck, pallet jack or power pallet jack.

These devices are very simple in construction while affording a great deal of versatility to the material handler. Among the benefits of power pallet trucks are the ability to move very heavy material, move stacked pallets and allowing mobility in a safe manner. These are used mainly indoors where exhaust fumes form a standard forklift would be prohibitive or unsafe.

If you can, imagine the forks of a forklift with wheels embedded in the bottoms. The forks attached to a handle. The forks are placed into the entry slots of a pallet. The handle of the pallet truck is used to "pump" the pallet off of the ground so it can be moved. As the forks rise up, the wheels stay on the ground. This is basic pallet truck construction.

Some are made of strong extruded aluminum and some are constructed of special alloys or even steel. Some are manual or non-powered while some have a motorized feature which allows the transport of heavier loads and still giving the user maneuverability in small spaces.

Most power pallet trucks are what are called "walk behinds". This means that a person can walk behind the truck while pushing the load. The load can also be pulled for further ease of operation.

You have probably seen these being used in large grocery stores or on loading docks.

There are several companies that make electric pallet trucks. The largest is Linde Material Handling followed closely by Raymond and Toyota. Others include names like Mitsubishi, Hyster and Atlet. There are other brands available as well.

All make a good quality product that gets the job done.

If safety is a concern as it should be, look for power pallet trucks that have these features:

  • A spring loaded handle that returns to the "up" position when not in use.

  • A "dead man" switch integrated into the handle. This causes the motor to shut down when not in use.

  • A horn to warn others of your approach.

  • Some manufacturers produce safety videos. Get these and make them part of your next safety meeting.

The use of electric pallet trucks is an absolute necessity in situations where exhaust fumes are an issue. Another use is in small confined spaces where a forklift will not fit or maneuver safely.

In any case, power pallet trucks can help your crew increase productivity and work smarter, not harder.