Tips to Staying Safe While Using a Pallet Truck

Staying Safe While Using a Pallet Truck

Hefty loads require hefty tools, and perhaps nothing is more agile and responsive than a pallet truck (or a pallet jack) for moving around pallets and cargo. But even though this relatively simple cart is easier to handle and operate than a forklift, there are still rules regarding its function that are designed to keep you safe. From your friends at SteinCo Industrial Solutions, here are tips to staying safe while operating a pallet truck.

Correct Operation

Generally, pallet trucks don’t have the same danger potential as a forklift, and don’t appear like devices that need training to use. But they can still cause serious injury and damage to materials and structures if not handled properly. The first rule is not to use a pallet truck without proper training. If caught unbalanced, pallet truck loads can topple over from uneven floors, inclines, and excessive speed. Always be aware of the weight of the load, and don’t pick up loads that are too tall of heavy. The key to proper pallet truck operation is control. This can come from:

  • Centering the forks evenly under the load for good balance
  • Making sure forks are positioned completely under the pallet
  • Maintaining a clearance of about an inch between the floor and the pallet (more than an inch can raise the center of gravity to unsafe levels).

Push or Pull?

A question often raised about pallet trucks is whether it’s a good idea to push them or pull them. Both have their uses. Pushing the load on flat surfaces can help keep your back and spine straighter and use stronger leg muscles do the work. Pulling puts unneeded strain on the back and should only be used for small adjustments. The exception to this is when operating a pallet truck on an incline – avoid them when you can. But if you must, always be uphill of a pallet truck.

At SteinCo Industrial Solutions, we want all our customers to stay safe and productive on the job. Check out our selection of pallet trucks (both unpowered and electric), and let us know if there are any questions we can answer.