How to Safely Use a Pallet Jack Safely : Step by Step a Breakdown

The utility of the pallet jack is in being able to lift heavy pallets off the ground, move them around, and set them back down again with relative ease. They need to have an excellent turning radius (unless you have a lot of space), strong load arms, and good load wheels.

Step 1.
Find the pallet you wish to load, making sure that the two load arms (or forks) of the jack will fit into the space under the pallet- if not, and then you may need a narrow aisle, low profile, or an adjustable fork jack. To get the jack under the pallet, you’ll need to release the pressure in the jack’s pump unit – to do this pull the small lever within the top of the handle, or use the foot release at the base of the handle to loosen the prongs/forks/load arms so that they sink to the lowest level.

Step 2.
Insert the pallet jack forks or load arms in the slots underneath the pallet base, making sure that the two load rollers on the tips of the load arms are resting in gaps between the wood on the bottom of the pallet. If the load rollers are on top of one of the wooden supports, they will split the pallet apart as the lift mechanism is engaged.

Step 3.
The next step is to raise the pallet by pumping up the jack handle. Switch the lever contained in the top of the handle assembly to the down position to lock the jack into lifting mode. Now, ‘pump’ the whole handle up and down in a levering motion (the handle pivots at the base of the jack). If it is an old jack and there is no pressure, and you do not see the jack rising up, it could be that the jack is broken or not in lifting mode. For most cases, you’ll see the jack lift the pallet off the ground in just a few pumps. Take care to listen out for cracking wood if the jack has not been correctly positioned – correct by lowering again go back to Step 1, and moving the jack either further in or out of the pallet.

Step 4.
Using the handle to push or pull the jack and pallet to desired location. Generally, pulling the jack is the best mode for transporting the pallet, but pushing on the handle will also be useful when trying to accomplish tight turns. (If you have really tight turns you may need a jack that has the ability to move sideways)

Step 5.
Lower the pallet when you have reached the desired destination using the action described in Step 1 (pull the small lever in the top of the handle assembly towards you and hold or use the foot release pedal at the base of the handle). Take care to ensure feet, fingers etc. are not under either the pallet or jack.

It is very import to know how much your load is going to weight and never exceed the capacity of your pallet jack. Also, make sure you don’t overload the pallet jack or you may not be able to push or pull the load safely. (If the load is too heavy you may need a powered model of pallet jack) Make sure you have a clear route to take the item and give yourself plenty of space to navigate. Be careful and you will be able to move loads easily, productively, and best of all safely.

Written by:
Ted Thorsen Material Handling
Since 1953, we have proudly offered competitively priced, cost-effective materials handling solutions, as well as custom designs Leading source for Material Handling and Reusable Packaging

Industrial Jacks & Lifting Equipment

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About Ted Thorsen Material Handling

Ted Thorsen Material Handling has been providing solutions for the warehousing and distribution industry for 55 years. Ted Thorsen is a leading supplier of bulk boxes and bulk shipping containers, with guaranteed lowest prices on pre owned bulk containers. Ted Thorsen is also a leading supplier of bins, containers, coveyors, carts, hand trucks, pallets, pallet jacks, industrial shelving and racks , industrial ladders and much more.

Posted on October 26, 2010, in Material Handling and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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