One of the most important tools in any warehouse would probably be the pallet jack (also known as a pallet truck). Thanks to this heavy lifter, tons of materials can be moved around from one place to another with minimal help from multiple people. Pallet jacks can make great alternatives to forklifts when moving smaller loads under 5,000 pounds. But with so many options out there, how do you know you’re acquiring the right pallet jack for your daily operations? Unfortunately, there is no easy answer to that question. However, maybe we can help in the decision-making process by going over some factors one needs to be aware of before placing their order. Here are a few things to consider when choosing the right pallet jack for your warehouse.
Surprisingly, there is a huge variety of pallet jacks to choose from (Here is a short list from ULINE for example). Prices can range anywhere from $299 to $3,000, and they can have a variety of different features including adjustable width, built in scales, and corrosion resistance. There are standard, heavy duty industrial, and even electric pallet jacks. Make sure you’re mindful of what the needs are for your warehouse when looking at different options.
One thing to consider is the load capacity of the pallet jack. Think about what you are currently, or may potentially be moving. How often are you moving these loads?
Load capacities can range anywhere from 2,000 to 6,000 pounds. One’s first thought might be to acquire the pallet jack with the highest load capacity. However, let’s think about safety. Is it a good idea to be moving 5,000+ pounds of material in a fast pace environment, where personal injury or property damage could be a potential risk? It might be a good idea to keep loads low, and take precautions that lower the chances of incidents.
Pallet jack manufacturers claim that weight is a good indicator of quality and durability. Steel is heavy and expensive. Theoretically, the heavier the pallet jack, the more durable it is – which is an important factor to consider when lifting and moving large loads for extended periods of time. Be mindful of the longevity of the tools you use. A higher quality and durable pallet jack would certainly last longer in an industrial type setting. The typical weight for a pallet jack can range anywhere from 120 to 300 pounds.
Pallets come in all shapes and sizes. Likewise, pallet jacks come in a variety of different dimensions to suit different needs. Pallet jack forks can be anywhere from 36 to 96 inches long, and can be up to 33 inches wide. Make sure you know the dimensions of the pallets you use for your operations. If materials are shipped to you on pallets, try to communicate with your vendors, and figure out the dimensions of the pallets they use ahead of time. Lowered and raised heights also differ from one type of jack to the next. Typical lowered heights for most jacks are approximately 2.9 inches. Typically raised heights are at least 7.5 inches, but some have been known to rise higher.
Try A Powered Pallet Jack
Are manual pallet jacks not cutting it for your daily operations? Consider Powered pallet jacks! Typically, larger warehouse facilities will demand powered pallet jacks. They can move quickly and quietly across large distances carrying huge loads without the need of forklifts. These jacks also feature things not available to manual pallet jacks such as power-assisted lifting. Although powered pallet jacks could potentially increase productivity in a warehouse, the cost to maintain them is significantly more than manual pallet jacks. Needless to say, if you are running a small operation, then a powered pallet jack may not be your flavor. For a few examples of some pros and cons of using powered pallet jacks instead of manual, click here.
If all else fails, one could simply check their local retail store for rent-able pallet jacks. Large hardware stores have been known to rent out pallet jacks for short or extended periods of time.
Need great warehouse staff members to operate your pallet jacks? Contact Continuum Consulting Inc. today and expand your workforce!Tags: pallet jacks, pallet trucks, pallets, warehouse