Pallet Jacks and Your Business
Power pallet trucks are electric versions of hand pallet trucks. Instead of having to push, pull, and jack up the vehicle, these pallet trucks use an electric energy source to execute these tasks. The most common uses for power pallet trucks are jobs which do not require a full-size forklift, such as a partial pallet or a small pallet job. A key advantage is that anyone can operate the tool with precision after they have been properly trained, regardless of physical strength or dexterity.
Uses for power Pallet trucks
These pallet trucks work well for commercial uses in smaller warehouses. For example, small businesses that carry inventory can use an electric pallet truck to move small pallets of their products off of or onto delivery trucks, or to move them from the warehouse to the retail floor. In addition, these tools can be used to move displays, rearrange furniture, and transport boxes and file cabinets. A power pallet truck is also a great tool for business owners or employers who have physical limitations that restrict their ability to move equipment and supplies.
Costs and features
Pricing is going to depend on the manufacturer, the weight capacity of the lifting fork, the battery, and the lifting height. However, whether you buy your pallet truck from Vestil, Jungheinrich, or another manufacturer, you can expect a low-end power pallet truck to start at around $3,000; high-end equipment starts around $5,500.
Features are a critical part of your purchase and there are a few you should consider when shopping:
- Lifting capacity: ranges from 3,000-6,000 pounds
- Lifting height: ranges from a couple of feet to 10 feet.
You'll want to look at the battery that the electric power truck comes with. Determine how many rechargeable batteries are required, how long they last, and how long it takes to recharge them. Finally, look at the motor on the truck. The best models will have a variable-speed drive that operates in both forward and reverse.
If you're thinking of purchasing a pallet jack for your business, you'll want to make sure your employees are properly trained on how to use it. Operating heavy machinery should be taken seriously and you need to take the proper steps in order to avoid injuries or mistakes on the job. Here are some basic guidelines to follow when training your staff on how to use this equipment.
Read the Owner's Manual. The first thing you and your employees should do is read the owner's manual. Then begin to familiarize yourself with the machine. Be sure you can easily locate the machine controls and know about the safety features. Know what the maximum weight capacity of the jack is before loading anything on it.
Inspect the Battery. Make sure the pallet jack is switched off and perform an inspection of the wires and the battery compartment before use. Check to see if the wires or cables are damaged to avoid the machine malfunctioning.
Get the Right PPE for Your Team. Operation of the jack will require certain personal protection equipment (PPE). Safety goggles, hard hats, steel-toed boots, and heavy gloves will offer protection and anyone operating the jack should be properly outfitted. Employees should always avoid loose clothing that could get caught in the machinery. You can get more information from the dealer or manufacturer if you are not sure what to provide.
Clear The Way. Move anything out of the way that could obstruct the path of the jack, especially when it is a new piece of equipment and everyone is still getting familiar with its abilities. Anyone taking the jack down narrow aisles should take their time and move slowly on inclines.
Practice Before Using. Make sure each employee gets enough time to practice with the machine. Have them raise and lower the forks of the jack, test the brakes, and use the power controls. Once the employee feels comfortable with these movements, you can start loading material on so they can practice shelving it.
Operate with Care. Power pallet truck operation is much like a full-sized forklift so the same common sense operations rules apply. Release the lever that lowers the prongs and then lower the prongs so that they're only an inch or two off the floor but not touching; put the prongs underneath the pallet; use the handle to pull up the jack slowly; and then move the jack once you feel it's raised enough not to drag.
Supervise Until Employees are Qualified. Have your employees complete this checklist and an operation test. They should also have several hours of practice before they are permitted to use the machinery on their own.
Training your employees on how to operate a pallet jack can be simple if you take the right steps. If you still don't feel confident, consult with an experienced worker and have him or her supervise your staff as they test it out for the first time.
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