If you’re in the market for a pallet jack, it’s good to get a basic familiarity with the different types of pallet jacks available and what they’re used for. Obviously, the main purpose of any pallet truck is to move pallets around a warehouse, loading dock or production facility.
However, based on the volume of your facility, the weight of pallets that you need to move, how often you’ll need to move pallets and how far you need to move them, you may want to get a better understanding of which pallet trucks perform best in which environments.
Hand Pallet Jacks
Non-motorized, or manual pallet jacks have been in use for over a century and haven’t changed a whole lot in basic concept in all of that time. They’re built using a steel frame, a fork and a hydraulic lift unit that’s actuated by pumping the handle.
Manual pallet jack operation is pretty straightforward. Users insert the forks under the pallet, pump the handle to raise the pallet, wheel it to its destination, lower the pallet and remove the forks.
When you don’t need to lift a pallet very high or move it very far, a hand pallet truck is ideal. They’re often used in stock room aisles, warehouse back rooms, small production facilities and so forth. In contrast to a forklift, pallet jacks are also fairly mobile and can easily fit in the back of a truck or cargo van for delivering goods.
Hand pallet trucks are suitable for infrequent use across short distances. When it comes to long distances, inclines or rough terrain, however, they are not always a good choice. Manually moving a pallet jack can become physically draining quickly.
Walkie Pallet Jacks
Walkie pallet trucks are powered by on-board batteries. The battery delivers an electrical assist to propelling and lifting. The operator doesn’t need to pump the tiller to lift the load, nor do they have to manually move the load along through the warehouse.
Roughly twice the size of manual pallet jacks, walkies are still relatively small in size and they are highly maneuverable. These trucks are known as “walkies”, because the operator does still have to walk at the back of or beside them as opposed to riding aboard.
A walkie pallet truck’s peak rate of speed is moderate as compared to a rider jack because the user needs to keep up with it as opposed to catching a ride on it. This is in fact somewhat of a built in safety feature, since lower speeds generally mean fewer accidents.
Although they’re a great alternative to manual equipment, walkie pallet jacks must be charged on a regular basis, because they are battery operated. They also have additional maintenance requirements because of the battery and electrical systems.
Rider Pallet Jacks
Rider pallet trucks function much like walkies, except that they come with an additional platform for the operator. There are very few controls on rider jacks so they are quite easy to maneuver and require minimal training.
Operators can climb aboard the platform instead of just walking behind or beside the jack. This means that they are a better option for moving loads across longer distances versus walkie or hand pallet jacks. They are most suitable for constant, long range movement such as in a large warehouse or distribution center.
The riding platform is good for quick trips, but not ideal for drivers that make use of them day in and day out because they are fairly small and force the operator to stand at an angle.
Rider pallet trucks are heavier than walkie or manual pallet trucks and they’re capable of going faster, so safety is a greater concern.
Center riders are similar to rider pallet trucks, but they’re somewhat safer for the operator and deliver a more comfortable user experience. Drivers can stand totally forward or backward instead of only to the side. Additionally, operators are protected by the machine chassis on two sides, affording a bit more shielding in the event of a collision.
Center riders are slightly less maneuverable than rider pallet trucks, but they are an excellent choice when workers must repeatedly carry loads over long distances. They are quite often used in general manufacturing, warehouse and beverage applications.
Pallet Jacks Near Me
Welch Equipment Company features several different lines of pallet jacks from the world’s top lift truck manufacturers, including Toyota, Raymond, and many others. To speak with a warehouse expert, give us a call today!
Colorado Springs, CO 80907
Serving Air Force Academy, Black Forest, Cimarron Hills, Colorado Springs, Fort Carson, Fountain, Gleneagle, Manitou Springs, Monument, Palmer Lake, Security-Widefield, Stratmoor, Woodland Park, Woodmoor and surrounding areas.