If you’re unsure which tool to reach for during your next job, here’s some information on the difference between these two pieces of equipment to help you decide which one is right for your needs.
What is the Pallet Jack?
A pallet jack is the basic form of forklift. It’s purpose is simple: to move pallets. Pallet jacks are some of the most essential tools found in warehouses and are used for transporting small loads for short distances.
Walk behind pallet jacks are often used for loading and unloading of trucks while riding electric pallet jacks can be used for moving pallets throughout a warehouse or a facility.
Most Common Applications
- Moving loads short distances
- Basic inventory/stocking tasks with minimal height requirements
- Prepping orders for shipping
The Types of Pallet Jacks
There are 2 types of pallet jacks, electric and manual.
- Manual Pallet Jacks: Manual pallet jacks Hand operated 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.
Pros of Manual Pallet Jacks:
- LOWER UPFRONT COSTS
- COMPACT IN SIZE
- LOWER OPERATING COSTS
- LOWER MAINTENANCE COSTS
- ALWAYS IN STOCK
Cons of Manual Pallet Jacks:
- SLOW OPERATION CAN HAMPER PRODUCTIVITY
- OPERATOR FATIGUE
Pros of Electric Walkie or Rider Pallet Jacks:
- INCREASED THROUGPUT
- EASIER TO OPERATE
- LESS OPERATOR FATIGUE
- COMPACT SIZE
Cons of Pallet Jacks:
- HIGHER UPFRONT COST
- POTENTIALLY LONGER LEAD TIME
How to know what I need:
There are many different factors that are part of the decision-making process. The three basic questions you should focus on:
- What is my throughput?
- What is the size and weight of my load?
- Who is my operator?
If you have high throughput, a heavy load or many operators with different skill level; you are more than likely in the market for an electric walkie or rider jack.