Perhaps you’re expanding your warehouse space to incorporate heavier products. Or maybe you’re swapping out shelving systems for a floor-based storage model. Whatever the reason, for many businesses, simply relying on forklifts and manual labour is inefficient and often impractical. That’s where pallet trucks come in, offering the perfect middle ground between physically moving products yourself and using more expensive or height-based equipment such as forklifts.
Of course, for the majority of businesses we recommend having a full fleet of equipment to make your work easier – especially when it saves time and enhances the speed in which items, materials or products can be moved and delivered. Powered pallet trucks are an excellent addition to an existing setup, and they’re also an excellent place to start when moving into motorised warehouse vehicles for the first time.
We’ve covered all you need to know about pallet trucks, from their functionality and uses to the kinds of models available. All the information is here, so there’s no need to look elsewhere. Read on to find out everything you need to know about pallet trucks, whether you’re considering investing in one today or contemplating expansion in the future:
What are pallet trucks?
As their name suggests, pallet trucks are specifically designed tools and vehicles that are used to move pallets from one location to another. While their name implies that these kinds of trucks can only be used for pallets alone, the average pallet truck is far more multi-purpose in practice. Generally, your only restriction with a pallet truck is the weight of what you’re trying to move, as well as the ability to secure and lift the load in the first place. Whether it’s manually stacking a crate ready for a long-distance move, or lifting one loaded pallet, pallet trucks handle it all.
In essence, a pallet truck acts as a flooring-based forklift. Instead of lifting items from higher up or carrying them above floor level, pallet trucks instead lift items a small way and allow for easy, motorised movement. In many models, only one hand is required to steer and use a pallet truck, making them incredibly easy to use and effective addition to countless workplaces.
Pallet trucks are available in all shapes and sizes, and have different features depending on the specific requirements of their target audience – fold-down platforms, as well as rear or side protection, is available. Also, pallet trucks are available to suit various load weights. For example, the Doosan range goes all the way up to 5 tonnes in terms of transportation capacity, making it a valuable addition to warehouses, construction yards and retailers.
What types of pallet truck are available?
As mentioned above, pallet trucks aren’t just one generic model. There are many different versions, sizes and shapes of pallet truck available. From ride-on models to pedestrian versions, simple hand pallet trucks to heavy-duty models, there’s a world of choice when it comes to what you want your pallet truck to do. Generally, trucks can be split into three different categories:
Hand pallet trucks
The most cost-effective and basic model of the hand pallet truck, these trucks are ideal for companies that don’t carry weighty products and materials – but carry items that are too heavy to lift manually. The hand pallet truck from Doosan can carry up to 2,500kg and has a height of 200mm, making it ideally suited for small warehouses and companies in which continuous use isn’t required.
Pedestrian pallet trucks
Pedestrian pallet trucks are a step up from the standard hand pallet truck, offering additional functionality and motorisation for the lifting of heavier materials. The BPL18/20S-7 from the Doosan range, for example, can lift anywhere from 1,800-2,000kg. This makes it comparable to the hand pallet truck, but it is far easier to use for extended periods, and simpler to steer. The heavy-duty LEDH 40/50 from Doosan is an excellent example of a pedestrian pallet truck that’s suited to heavy loads – capable of lifting and moving as much as 4,000-5,000kg. Depending on your requirements, a pedestrian truck might be the ideal fit for you.
Ride-on pallet trucks
Any pallet truck that is described as ‘ride on’ typically includes either a platform or area where the user stands on the truck while they are operating it. This takes any strain out of the process of moving materials and provides an effect similar to a ground-level forklift. The LEDH 20MP from Doosan is an excellent example of a ride-on pallet truck, capable of lifting as much as 2,000kg. Ride-on trucks also often include protection for users, including side and rear protection, to ensure the safety of the driver.
What are the top features of pallet trucks?
Why might you want to invest in a pallet truck? If you’re already moving or lifting large quantities of materials as a floor level, or you want to improve efficiency, then a pallet truck is a great addition to your fleet. Here are some of the top features to consider if you’re interested in adding a pallet truck to your business, or simply curious about what the benefits would be:
Efficiency and productivity
Pallet trucks increase productivity and improve efficiency simply by making it easier and more practical to move items and materials from one place to another. Whether it’s restocking, making deliveries or moving materials from one warehouse to another, pallet trucks make the process a little smoother. While using forklifts and other moving methods is practical in some instances, the cost of a high-weight pallet truck is often less than a comparable forklift – not to mention they take up less space.
One of the most significant features of Doosan pallet trucks and similar models are the fact they are motorised. This means they require less force to move items, and power steering, as well as braking, ensures better safety within the workplace. Pallet trucks reduce the physical strain on employees and ensure that items get where they need to go safely with less cause and chance for user error.
In warehouses and other large-scale environments where heavy items are stored, the safety of employees is a top priority. Utilising motorised pallet trucks enhances safety, both through the included safety features such as override buttons and through the optional inclusion of user protection on many models. Pallet trucks are also relatively easy to operate with a little training, further helping to enhance safety in the workplace.
What environments are pallet trucks best suited to?
As floor-level movement systems, pallet trucks are best suited to larger, flat areas where they can easily traverse the terrain. While some forklifts are more rugged in design, pallet trucks are generally designed to be used on flat surfaces – which is reflected in their features and build. Pallet trucks are an excellent option for warehouses, both for the movement of existing materials or products as well as for the delivery or receipt of items within a loading bay. Combined with forklifts, pallet trucks can be a valuable addition to an existing workflow, making it faster and easier to get from A to B ready for additional movement or storage to be completed.
What businesses would benefit from a pallet truck?
As an all-purpose tool, practically any business that utilises high amounts of storage or a warehouse could benefit from investing in a pallet truck. In particular, the industries listed below would benefit most from utilising pallet truck technology as part of their workflows and processes:
For retail businesses that stock and move larger items – for example, white goods or furniture – investing in a pallet truck can enable the easy movement of items both for display and within storage. With these kinds of items frequently arriving on pallets, it makes sense to store them using the same system, which is precisely what a motorised pallet truck provides.
Often dealing with heavy items and materials, manufacturing plants and warehouses can significantly benefit from investing motorised pallet trucks. Both for getting items from A to B and for delivery, pallet trucks provide greater freedom. They are a simple-to-use alternative to forklifts in many circumstances – taking up less room, and achieving the same results.
Large pallets of materials are common in builder’s yards. For any internal storage, the use of pallet trucks can ensure that even breakable tiles, stone and other valuable materials get where they need to go in one piece. Provided there is flat ground to use, builder’s yards are the ideal place for more heavy-duty pallet trucks.
Smaller pallet trucks are ideal for the food industry, allowing the movement of large amounts of food items quickly and effectively. Doosan even provides additional cold store protection as an optional extra, allowing refrigerated and frozen food items to be moved rapidly and effectively – which is beneficial to both the employer and the safety of their employees.
Which pallet truck is right for me?
Are you thinking of investing in a pallet truck? The first stage is knowing which model is the right fit for you. Doosan stocks a full range of high-quality pallet trucks in all shapes and sizes to suit just about any business – but knowing what you want in the first place is the initial hurdle. Speaking to the professionals is the best way to get started, and ensure you’re matched to a pallet system that works for you. If you have a good idea of how much you’d like to move, and the overall weight of the pallets you shift, you’re off to a great start.
While pallet trucks aren’t a complete alternative to forklifts, they’re a great addition to an existing fleet – and a fantastic starting point for businesses just starting to invest in motorised equipment. To find out more about the Doosan range of pallet trucks, view our full catalogue online today.
You can also get in touch with us and chat to our friendly team about what you need for your business.