Why You Shouldn’t Go Cheap On Hand Pallet Jacks

Total Warehouse
By : Joe Armstrong

Practically every industry on earth uses hand pallet jacks and over a billion pallets are estimated to be in use at any given moment. The next time you go to a grocery or retail store you will probably see an employee using a pallet jack to move inventory from the storage room to the shelves.

Are you looking to purchase a hand pallet jack? Take a look at our hand pallet truck, Big Joe

What is a hand pallet jack?

Hand pallet jacks -also called manual pallet jacks– are perhaps the most basic form of material They are by far the most common type of equipment used to move pallets. Versatility is the primary reason hand pallet jacks are so useful.

Why are hand pallet jacks so versatile?

  • High lift capacity to handle large pallet loads: Lift-Rite offers Jacks that lift to 8,000 LBS.
  • Small, compact design: There are models as narrow as 14” overall width
  • Light Weight & easy to maneuver: Used in retail settings to safely move inventory around customers’ safety hazards.
  • Require almost zero maintenance: Pretty much all other material handling equipment requires regular maintenance and upkeep. Hand Pallet Jacks will last a very long time if they have a good-quality build.

So now that you understand the basic functionality of hand pallet jacks, let’s look at how you can ensure you’re choosing the right one for your company. 

Related: WHY LITHIUM FORKLIFTS FINALLY MAKE FISCAL SENSE FOR YOUR OPERATION IN 2020?

Basic rules of quality hand pallet jacks

It’s very important for you to truly understand your company’s pallet jack application. Are your pallets typically 500 LBS max? 4,000 LBS max? or 10,000 LBS Max? Standard pallet jacks have a max lifting capacity of between 3-5,500 LBS. Higher capacity hand pallet jacks will have a considerably higher price, and so you should avoid them unless you need that higher lifting ability.

The same rule can be applied to the width and length you will need for your jack.

What is the standard shape of a pallet jack?

Rice bags

The standard shape of a pallet jack is 27” wide by 48” long. 85% of our customers require this shape because it best fits a standard 48”x40” pallet. Since this size is so overwhelmingly popular, its price is considerably lower than other shapes… so don’t pay for what is called unique-sized jacks unless necessary.

The last part of this rule is to consider the regular use of your new hand pallet jack.

  •  Will you use it once per day? 
  • Constantly for a full shift? 
  • Will it be used once a month
  • 365 days a year? 

Pallet jacks have a few key parts that need to be made of high quality to stay intact and operational with constant use. The quality of the load rollers & steer wheels on a hand pallet jack is the dividing line between high & low-quality models. A quality standard jack (such as the Lift-Rite Titan Series) should have non-marking nylon rollers & wheels. 

If you have a very light workload, you may be able to get away with a jack -such as the Big Joe Value Series- that has polyurethane rollers & wheels. The polyurethane jacks are cheaper, but they will not last if you overuse them. So is it worth saving $100 now to risk not having a pallet jack available when a delivery comes in?

Are you looking to purchase a hand pallet jack? Take a look at our hand pallet truck, Big Joe

Know your pallet jack’s true manufacturer

Oftentimes, the logo you see on the pallet jack did not produce the pallet jack itself. Instead, a material handling company will slap its logo on the jack to hide its original manufacturer. This is done because these companies source their jacks from super cheap, low-quality vendors, then jack up the price using slick marketing terms. If you have ever bought a pallet jack from certain high-profile material handling websites, you probably have gotten their cheap, substandard equipment that needs replacing after a year or so. We get calls every day from customers having to replace their pallet jacks way too early.

All of our hand pallet jacks are manufactured by Lift-Rite, the industry leader in North America.

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