Hand Pallet Trucks
Hand pallet trucks are used to move loaded pallets from one point to another. These wheeled trucks have two long legs or arms that slide under the pallet which enables it to be lifted. The trucks can be operated by electric and by hydraulics. On a hydraulic truck, a piston is arranged below the handles and when the handle is moved up and down rapidly, the legs rise up and lift the load. A person is also needed to push or pull the truck. Although technically a hand pallet truck may refer to a truck without a motor there are powered models available. Electric models take less effort to operate as a battery powers the fork positioning and can also propel the truck.
The hand pallet truck is fitted with two wheels under the arm and under the legs. The truck is then pulled or pushed along with the load. To lower the load, a knob is provided to remove the hydraulic pressure, bringing the pallet down to the ground. Depending on the model, hydraulic trucks can generally handle about 5,000 to 8,000 lbs. while electrical trucks can typically lift and carry between 2,000 to 6,000 lbs.
Most trucks come with raising, lowering, and neutral settings and can generally lift a pallet about three inches from the floor for transporting. These trucks generally range in length from 42 to 68 inches and the lifting height and capacity will depend on the model. A hand pallet truck should be chosen based on the pallet sizes that are to be moved, and its stacking capabilities. Low-profile trucks can be used for pallets that have less than standard depth as these trucks generally have a lowered height that is under two inches.
Hand pallet trucks are made to be operated on smooth, solid surfaces and aren’t built for transporting pallets up and down ramps unless they have tandem wheels. Not all trucks are equipped with braking systems.
Hand pallet trucks are specified by the weight they can carry, the length of their legs, the minimum clearance from the ground, the maximum height or stroke to which the load can be raised, and their wheel diameters, etc. The body of the truck is generally made of stainless steel or a galvanized finish. Extra shoes can be fitted to the truck to increase the reach and for firmer support. Some trucks have weigh scales built into them for instant and accurate readings. Dual direction trucks are ideal in tight areas as they have mechanism that provides for lateral movement.