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What is the proper way to use a pallet jack?



Sep. 11, 2023
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There are also a number of safety precautions you need to keep in mind when operating a pallet jack which include:


Never placing your feet under a machine

Never exceed the advised capacity

Using proper lifting techniques when loading/unloading and operating the pallet jack

Move the load slowly to ensure safety in case your surroundings change

You should always push the load (never pull the load)

When going down on an incline go in reverse

Be wary of pinch points to avoid injuries to your hands


The Dos and Don'ts of Using a Pallet Jack

Pallet jacks make it easy to move materials, inventory and other objects around the workplace. Also known as pump trucks, they feature a pair of fork-like tongs that can slide under and lift pallets. While pallet jacks are typically considered safer than forklifts, you should still follow some safety precautions when using them.


Do Stay Within the Weight Rating

Pallet jacks can only support so much weight. Before using a pallet jack, check the weight rating. The weight rating, of course, is the maximum amount of weight a pallet jack can support. Some pallet jacks have a 2,000-pound weight rating, whereas others have a 3,000- or 5,000-pound weight rating. Regardless, you should stay within this weight rating.


Don't Pull

The correct way to use a pallet jack is to push it. While pulling it may seem harmless, it can stress your back. Pulling a fully loaded pallet jack will increase stress on your spinal column, which can lead to back pain. Furthermore, you may struggle to see where you are going when pulling a pallet jack. As a result, you may trip and fall


Do Stay on Level Ground

You should stay on level ground when using a pallet jack. As long as you're on level ground -- and you properly loaded the pallet jack -- the pallet jack should stay in place. Moving it to an inclined surface, on the other hand, may result in the pallet jack rolling away. Whether you're using it indoors or outdoors, keep the pallet jack on level ground.


Don't Use With Broken Pallet

If you a pallet is broken, you should attempt to lift or move it with a pallet jack. Broken pallets should be replaced. Even if you're able to lift them, broken pallets may fall apart when carried by a pallet jack. Having a pallet fall apart while raised off the ground is never a good thing. Assuming the pallet is fully loaded, it may cause injury. To err on the side of caution, avoid using pallet jackets with broken pallets.


Do Lubricate Regularly

Another tip to follow is to lubricate your pallet jack regularly. Pallet jacks have bearings that, over time, can wear down. As these bearings continue to move, they'll generate friction. Excessive friction can degrade the pallet jack to the point where it no longer lifts or rolls smoothly. To get more use out of your pallet jack, you'll need to lubricate it. Applying a small amount of lubricant to the bearings will extend the life of your pallet jack.


Pallet Maintenance

Store pallets in a dry place

Inspect the pallet for loose or rotting sections

Ensure no leakage from the previous or current load has weakened the structure of the pallet

Although there is no licence test to operate these types of machinery, it is still essential for you to know how to operate the pallet jack safely, and to be aware of what precautions you need to take to ensure no damage or injurie occur in your workplace.


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