Manual Pallet Jacks Vs. Electric Pallet Trucks

Manual pallet jack.
(Courtesy: Ningbo Yinzhou Machinery at

All companies that involve their employees in manual labor must consider ergonomics when assigning them to certain tasks. One of the top priorities of a company is to assure that their employees are healthy and safe. Practicing ergonomics can be a major way to assure this and it will certainly help to increase the moral of your workforce.

Electric pallet truck. (Courtesy: CEA Project Logistics at

One way to assure safety and health is the way workers are expected to handle tasks that involve physical labor. Of course, in business there are certain tasks that require exertion, but if there’s a way to minimize them then you’re helping to promote safety and health in your workplace.

Warehouse work is an example of a business that requires physical exertion. But there are ways to minimize it.

Musculoskeletal Disorders

Many warehouse executives may be focusing too much on loads when determining a plan to improve safety and health. That is important and should be among your concerns, but you also need to be focused on reducing the risk of injuries that could occur when doing physical exertion over time. This can result in musculoskeletal disorders that affect muscles, tendons, ligaments, joints, peripheral nerves, and supporting blood vessels. All of these issues can occur as a result of a single event or, more likely, occur as the result of doing hard physical work over time. Understandably, warehouse executives may not be focusing on this issue with the intensity required. Since you’re concerned with the safety and health of your workforce in general, you should consider ways to lighten their load that in the long run will present them with problems.

Manual Materials Handling Equipment

Due to the nature of the beast, materials handling equipment have become essential tools in operating a warehouse. They’ve certainly have been around longer than electric equipment. The manual pallet jack, for example, has been used in warehouses since the 19th century. Back in the day these contraptions have helped to ease the strain on workers’ bodies. They have also helped to create a more efficient workforce. The use of manual equipment like a pallet jack can still offer stresses and strains on a body over time. The result is musculoskeletal disorders.

You may not have thought about it, but manual materials handling equipment like pallet jacks can cause an array of physical maladies. Consider this:

• Repetitive actions including stopping, pulling, pushing, lifting, pumping, and twisting when using a manual pallet jack can lead to musculoskeletal injuries.
• Problems controlling the speed of a manual pallet jack on an incline or decline can also cause musculoskeletal injuries because the strength of the operator is required in controlling the jack’s speed.

The problem of musculoskeletal injuries can be minimized with the use of electric materials handling equipment like an electric pallet truck.

Using Electric Manual Materials Handling Equipment

Using electric equipment like an electric pallet truck offers a number of benefits that assure the health and safety of your employees. They include:

• Power traction and lift, which minimizes the chances of accidents and musculoskeletal injuries caused by strain on an operator’s shoulders, neck, and back.
• Speed control allows the operator to control equipment to assure easy maneuvering over inclines and declines without stress.
• An automatic parking brake helps to prevent the rolling away of the pallet truck when the operator takes his hands off the tiller handle.
• A five-point ground contact on the truck assures more stability.
• A cover on the truck stops an operator from rolling the truck onto his feet.

Consider this when the time comes to upgrade your materials handling equipment. You and your employees will be happy with the result.