Choosing the Best Hand Pallet Truck
If your business deals with a lot of pallets, then you need the best hand pallet truck out there! Anyone that deals with pallet delivery will most likely feel the need to acquire one of these machines, as they don’t take up a lot of space and are more than effective when it comes to lifting and moving loads.
However, hand pallet trucks come with a lot of options you can choose from – starting with the size of the fork and all the way down to its wheels.
Therefore, in this article, we want to tell you everything you need to know when it comes to choosing the best hand pallet truck!
What Is a Hand Pallet Truck?
As mentioned before, a hand pallet truck is a machine that’s used to lift and move pallets around the working place. Basically, it can be seen as a hand forklift truck. However, it doesn’t have a battery that you need to recharge, and it comes with rather low maintenance/service costs.
Hand pallet trucks are designed to handle pallets of all sizes, shapes, and weights. But they come in a great variety as well.
Mainly, when you choose a hand pallet truck, you’ll want to go for one that requires minimal maintenance, has a quite extended lifespan, and has the correct size to effectively move the pallets that you have to deal with.
Here’s what you have to consider when choosing a hand pallet truck!
- Fork Size
The forks of a hand pallet truck come in sizes that suit different pallets. The ones you should be wary of are the UK and EU pallets.
The UK pallets – also known as CHEP – are usually wider. The pallet trucks that can handle such pallets come with a width over forks of 680 – 685mm.
On the other hand, the EU pallets are usually narrower. Thus, the width over forks of a hand pallet truck that has to handle EU pallets must be of 520 – 540mm.
- Fork Options
Naturally, forks come with special options. Each of the following makes the hand pallet truck suitable for different environments.
Super Low Profile – comes with approximately 31mm ground clearance.
Low Profile – comes with approximately 51mm – 55mm ground clearance.
INOX – also known as Galvanised Stainless-Steel Truck. Such forks are useful in those environments that require regular cleaning, such as healthcare and food facilities.
Rough Terrain – these come with larger wheels and are suitable for uneven terrain or for terrain that has constant debris on it.
Weigh Scale – forks that come with a weight scale can also measure the weight of the load.
Powered or Manual Hand Pallet Trucks
Depending on the type of business you are running, you might have to choose between a powered or a manual hand pallet truck. Naturally, there is a price difference between the two, but keep in mind that each of them is suitable for different types of work/environment.
- Powered Pallet Trucks
These pallet trucks are motorised and can easily lift and manoeuvre heavy loads. There are models designed for the operator to walk behind them, just like in the case of a usual hand pallet truck. There are also versions that come with a platform the operator can stand on.
The powered pallet trucks are perfect for dealing with heavy palletised loads or for environments that make the operator travel with the truck over long distances.
- Manual Pallet Trucks
Manual pallet trucks can lift up to 3,000kg, but most users go for 2000 – 2,500kg, as more strength is required to manoeuvre heavier loads.
This type of pallet trucks is usually better for smaller warehouses and in retail, where you need to move the pallets over short distances.
What Makes a Hand Pallet Truck Last Longer?
You will want your hand pallet truck to have a long life span and come with minimal maintenance. Besides the brand, here’s what you should look for in a hand pallet truck:
- Robust Chassis
- Powder Coated Framework
- Bushed Pivot Points
- Pressure Relief Valve – prevents the overloading of the pump
- Wheel Material
When it comes to the wheel material, you can choose either poly/rubber or nylon wheels. Naturally, each of them is suitable for different environments.
- Poly/ Rubber Wheels
First of all, these are silent – quieter than the Nylon wheels. They are great for pallet trucks that work in a customer-facing environment.
These work better on level surfaces – tiled floors, for example – mainly because rougher surfaces will damage them faster. However, poly/ rubber wheels tend to wear more quickly than Nylon wheels.
- Nylon Wheels
As expected, they are more robust and durable than the poly/rubber wheels. Pallet trucks with such wheels are great for uneven surfaces that contain debris, chemical spills, as well as metal shards.
This makes Nylon wheels perfect for manufacturing facilities and factories.
The Bottom Line
If you want to provide your customers with the best pallet courier services out there, it is important to remember that the value of the hand pallet truck means more than its cost.
By this, we mean that you should always choose the type of hand pallet truck that fits your work environment the best, regardless of its price. Naturally, this guide will help you in doing so.
Keep in mind that if you choose a cheap hand pallet truck, you might need to replace it sooner than you thought. The only things you have to care about are its specifications and its ability to deal with your work environment!