A manual pallet jack is a “truck” that is used to move a load from one place to another. Your product is placed on a pallet and the two tines of the pallet jack slip into it. The tines support your product as you move the jack to the desired place. Because it is on wheels, your load will roll easily along on a smooth surface such as a cement floor or asphalt. When you arrive at the place where you want to store your load, the jack part of the device lifts your product up for placement on a rack or higher surface. Manual pallet jacks can be a boon to any business that needs to move heavy loads around their workplace.
There are two kinds of pallet jacks. A motor driven pallet jack usually has a platform for the driver to stand or sit on and it moves and lifts it’s tines via a motor. A manual pallet jack does not have a motor. You push or pull it where you want it to go. Several pumps on the jack handle will raise your load to the desired height, and a twist or a squeeze of the handle will lower it.
The raising and lowering of the tines is done by a hydraulic cylinder attached to the jack handle, very similar to the jack that you may use on your car when you have a flat tire. Some pallet jacks have a feature called “quick lift”. This feature allows you to reduce the number of pumps needed for raising your load so that you can easily achieve the desired level.
The tines on this device come in various lengths, so if you are looking into purchasing one that will be used in a particular area, think about how much room you have to move it around. Another consideration to be aware of is the length of the average load you will want to support. Make sure your jack is of the size that you can both support the weight and length of what you are working with and still be able to mobilize it in your work area.
You might also want to think about whether or not you will need a hand brake, which is available on some models. The hand brake is advantageous for stopping or slowing down the movement of your loads on slopes or slanted floors, where it could quickly get out of control. If your work area is a high traffic area the hand brake will be a great safety feature as well.
Some pallet movers also have built in scales. This feature gives the tool a dual purpose. You can move your load and weigh it at the same time.
Once you raise your product to the desired level and you are ready to place it on your surface, you will lock the jack in so that it doesn’t fall while you are working with it. The wheels will also have a lock on them so that the load doesn’t move around while you are trying to place it.
In the higher priced models there is also the feature of move-able tines. Perhaps one day you are moving a narrow item but the next day you need to support something that is wider. Simply slide the tines apart or push them together to match the width you need. Not all devices have this feature so decide if this is something that would benefit you.
A pallet jack can make your work much more efficient. You and your workers will be glad you have it when that heavy load needs to be moved and raised.