When it comes to pallet trucks, material handling plant managers have a variety of requirements. Some managers value speed, mobility, load capacity, or convenience of use, while others want a vehicle that will outlive the others and potentially save money on maintenance or replacement expenses. Fortunately, when choosing a pallet truck, you have several options, one of which is whether to use a manual or an electric truck.
What Factors Should Be Considered?
Comparing a manual pallet truck to an electric pallet truck isn’t always as simple as comparing apples to apples. After all, each material handling facility is distinct. Consider the following criteria before selecting which option to use.
What is the size of your facility?
Larger facilities, in general, will need the usage of electric pallet trucks. Moving pallets manually through a material handling plant or facility, for example, might be physically stressful for a worker. In more confined spaces, however, an electric pallet truck may not be the ideal option because turning and coming to a complete stop on short notice might be more difficult than with a manual alternative.
What are your pallet stacking needs?
Electric pallet trucks are often better suited for lifting and transporting big pallet stacks.
Do you prefer to save money now or later?
Electric pallet trucks are an investment that may take several years to pay off. Personnel expenses, the potential costs of complex maintenance requirements, and the cost of damaging a more expensive machine must all be considered. You should also think about the responsibility that comes with having more electric equipment in your facility.
Manual Pallet Trucks: The Benefits and Drawbacks
Manual pallet trucks, also known as hand pallet trucks, are the most fundamental form of pallet truck. A manual pallet truck’s typical fork sizes are 27″ X 48″ or 20 ” X 48″. Capacity ranges from 5,000 to 5,500 lb. The handle is used to pump or hydraulically raise the forks once they are inserted into a pallet, elevating, and transporting the product-laden pallet to its destination.
- Manual pallet trucks are often used in the logistics sector due to their cheaper cost.
- Manual pallet trucks require less maintenance and do not have any electronic components. Because of the simpler design, repairs are often faster than with electric pallet trucks, and parts are usually readily available.
- Hand pallet trucks are well-known for their reliability and durability. Robust, durable features make it easier to maintain in the long run. These pallet trucks are usually tough enough to endure the rigors of a material.
- Manual pallet trucks are designed to move very big loads efficiently, preventing pallet breakage en route.
- Manual pallet trucks have the advantage of having a simple design that allows them to suit many different types of pallets. They are extremely adaptable, allowing them to be utilized in a wide range of operations. They can also be ordered with different fork sizes to better serve applications that require certain specifications.
- Manual pallet trucks may be stressful on the user and even risky.
- Manual pallet trucks, by definition, are more difficult to operate.
- Manual pallet trucks are not effective if loaded near its weight capacity due to the limited amount of weight a person can move on his own. (Note: It is strongly advised that a manual pallet truck never be loaded even near to its capacity for safety reasons.)
Electric Pallet Trucks: The Benefits and Drawbacks
Electric pallet trucks are fully automated versions on manual pallet trucks. They are frequently larger in size, allowing the person to stand and drive the pallet truck from pick-up to drop-off.
- Electric pallet trucks are less likely to cause a strain-related harm to the operator because they are automated and have power-assisted lifting.
- Electric pallet trucks are classified as light, medium, or heavy duty. There is an electric pallet truck that will fulfil your company’s demands, depending on your use.
- Electric pallet trucks can lift, lower, and move throughout a warehouse with a complete power system.
- Electric pallet trucks may save a significant amount of operating time in a busy warehouse setting, allowing workers to transport longer distances with fewer breaks.
- The cost of an electric pallet truck is often costlier than that of a manual model, but the investment can be paid back over time since electric pallet trucks can enhance a warehouse’s total productivity.
- Electric pallet trucks may require additional maintenance. Things will ultimately need to be fixed with electrical components. Furthermore, because electric pallets are more complicated, maintenance requirements can be more involved, costly, and time-consuming.
- Because electric pallet trucks are designed to haul larger and heavier pallet stacks, pulling the unit to a complete stop on short notice might be challenging.
- An electric pallet truck, like any other powered equipment in a material handling operation, will require additional training to operate.
Consider all the above criteria to pick the ideal pallet truck solution when deciding which choice is suitable for a certain type of material handling warehouse or facility.