Manual pallet jacks are the most basic type of forklift and are made specifically for horizontal transportation.
They are used to carry wooden pallets of material across warehouses without putting any strain on the person lifting them up or down.
A common use is for moving loads from the loading dock station to the pallet racks or shelving areas to be stored away.
How to Use a Manual Pallet Jack
- Stand behind the pallet jack and put both hands on the lever.
- Pump the lever down to raise the prongs off of the ground (similar to how a car jack works).
- Squeeze the trigger on the handle to lower the prongs back to the ground level.
- Slide the prongs under a pallet and use the lever to lift the pallet and freely move around.
Most Common Applications
- Moving loads short distances
- Handling basic inventory tasks (for example, moving pallets from storage to grocery store shelf).
- Prepping orders for shipment at the docking stations in a warehouse or outside
The Types of Pallet Jacks
There are 2 types of pallet jacks, electric and manual.
- Manual Pallet Jacks: Hand operated, walkie pallet trucks that use a hydraulic spring to lift pallets up to 6 inches off the ground and move around. Load capacity is usually between 1,000-5,500 lbs.
- Electric Pallet Jacks: Battery-powered pallet trucks that come in both walkie and end rider models. They typically do not exceed a lift capacity of 4,500 lbs. and will lift loads a maximum of 6 inches off the ground.
How does a manual pallet jack work?
They have a handle with a lever. Slide the prongs into position under a pallet and crank the handle up and down to lift the prongs off of the ground. Push or pull the pallet to your desired location and hold the lever down to lower the prongs back to the ground. You can now pull the pallet jack away from the pallet.
How much does a manual pallet jack cost?
Manual pallet trucks cost between $199 and $599. These trucks normally have a fork length of 48 inches and a width of 21-27 inches for each fork.
Do manual pallet jacks have brakes?
No, manual pallet trucks do not have brakes. Operators should control at a slower speed to avoid accidents.