Different Types of Pallet Truck
A pallet truck is a useful piece of equipment for intense indoor pallet transportation and vehicle loading/unloading. They provide a high shift life and have one of the lowest lifetime costs in the industry.
The handle drawbar operates the hydraulic pump that raises and lowers the pallet jack forks. Two steer wheels help maneuver the pallet jack where needed.
Hand Pallet Trucks
Hand pallet trucks (also called walkies) pallet truck are manual, low-lifting trucks that excel at transporting heavy loads over short distances in a warehouse. These handy material handling tools have a load capacity of up to 3 tons and manoeuvre well in the tightest spaces thanks to their narrow chassis and chromed axles.
There are many options and accessories available to meet your needs, including different fork widths, lengths and heights and steering wheels. For example, a specialist model from Linde features a scissor lift function that lets you raise the forks to a comfortable working height without straining your back.
Another option is an electric hand pallet truck, which uses a small motor to reduce operator fatigue and labor costs. These are designed for bigger loads and larger spaces, but may require some downtime as their batteries recharge.
For maximum efficiency, consider a specialist hand pallet truck with an integrated weighing scale. This allows you to weigh your cargo while it’s being transported, saving you time and hassle as well as money. Alternatively, you can opt for a manual weighing pallet truck that has an easy-to-use fingertip control system and a robust poly-over-aluminum wheel that’s designed to roll over varying surfaces with ease. This is ideal if your warehouse has many different floor types. You can also find a seated model that has a seat that faces the forks or to the side, so you can steer and operate it with just one hand.
Pedestrian Powered Pallet Trucks
Pedestrian powered pallet trucks offer a powerful and cost-effective solution for handling heavy loads in warehouses and distribution centres. They have a capacity of 1.3 to 2.5 tonnes and are easy to manoeuvre in tight spaces. Many pedestrian models are equipped with protective operator platforms to reduce the strain on the musculoskeletal system, while advanced braking and assistance systems are also available. For example, a drive unit frame that links the hydraulic cylinder mounting and the driver platform increases loaded stability. Other functions can independently reduce high speeds when cornering or help when climbing gradients.
For enhanced safety, some BT Levio models feature a brake function that only activates when the drive is disengaged. This prevents accidental use of the truck and keeps the operator safe from injuries or accidents. Other features include a regenerative brake that recovers energy when driving uphill, and an electronic emergency stop or parking brake that can be activated as needed. Linde also uses multiple braking systems in its pedestrian models that work together to form the best possible solution for any driving situation.
The BT Levio range includes walk-behind models that can lift up to 1,400 kg, as well as long-fork models that have a maximum load of 2,500 kg. You can choose between a seated or standing model, with either a tiller or joystick control system. Some pallet trucks also feature a weight indicator that allows you to calculate the approximate load weight on the forks and alerts the operator when they are carrying too much.
Compact & Super Compact Pallet Trucks
With narrow truck dimensions and precise steering systems, these pedestrian powered pallet trucks can function optimally in congested and confined environments. They are ideal for internal transportation of closed or open pallets over short distances and low-intensity order picking, as well as for load positioning on shelf stockers. If necessary, they can also be used on ramps and gradients to support operator productivity.
With ergonomic angled grips and ‘butterfly’ controls, they require less force from the operator, reducing strain on their hands and wrists. Many models are designed with lower steps, cushioned seating and anti-static elements for Lifting Equipment enhanced operator comfort. In addition, the choice of polyurethane or rubber wheels ensures that you have the right pallet truck for your operating conditions.
With a lithium-ion battery, these compact pallet trucks offer improved efficiency over a conventional lead-acid model and can be charged in as little as six seconds. The trucks also come with an optional spare battery to ensure uninterrupted operations, even if you need to swap batteries during operation. The regenerative brakes also reduce the number of charge cycles, further contributing to longer battery life. Some models can be equipped with a battery indicator for rapid exchange, so operators are alerted when their batteries need to be recharged. This makes it easier to plan charging times. In addition, some pedestrian pallet trucks are available with a choice of controls, including a joystick and two-handle steering, and a tiller system.
Electric Pallet Trucks
When you need to transport heavy loads over medium or long distances, an electric powered pallet truck is the right choice. These trucks use an electric traction motor and hydraulic pump operated from the handle drawbar. This means less physical effort is required and they are ideal for more intensive handling applications and longer distances than hand pallet trucks.
Depending on the model, you can choose between walk-behind and rider versions. In the former, the operator walks in front or alongside the equipment while swivelling the tiller. These models are usually equipped with a high tiller set-up to provide sufficient safety distance between the operator and the chassis frame.
If you select a walk-behind pallet truck with a low tiller, on the other hand, you will need to sit in a permanent driver’s seat. Using these types of trucks requires regular inspections and maintenance checks, and you will also need to carry out driver training.
Our Big Joe PTE33N fully electric powered pallet truck is one of the most powerful in our range and offers a 3300 lb load capacity. It has a small turning radius and simple controls, as well as a high torque 24-volt DC electrical drive system. This pallet truck can be recharged in just 3-5 hours and is loaded with many useful safety features.