Why Electric Pallet Jacks Improve Efficiency

In warehouses and similar types of facilities, a lot of manpower is devoted to one simple task: getting materials from one area to another. To make this activity as safe and speedy as possible, a variety of equipment has been developed over the years to relieve workers of the burden of manually lugging around all this heavy material. Forklifts and manually operated pallet jacks are among the most popular types of equipment dedicated to this purpose. These durably constructed machines allow workers to transport very heavy objects such as pallets in a safe manner, provided that the equipment is operated properly.

Many facilities have benefited, and continue to benefit, from the routine use of these machines. Without question, forklifts and manual pallet jacks can be very useful. There is, however, an alternative that facility managers should know about—electric pallet jacks. This type of machinery can provide a number of benefits that can’t be matched by other equipment used for similar purposes.

What Is an Electric Pallet Jack?

An electric pallet jack strongly resembles its manually operated cousin, which itself is somewhat similar to a standard forklift. With an electric pallet jack, two forks protrude from the bottom of the unit; these are used to carry pallets and related kinds of freight. The operator uses the tiller to steer the jack to its intended destination. The primary difference between the two types is their power source: The manual pallet jack does not use electricity to propel it. Furthermore, several other important differences also distinguish the two types, as we will see later.

There are several models of electric pallet jacks available on the market. Aside from the standard electric model, one can also purchase a semi-electric jack, which, as the name suggests, is a mix of manual and electric-powered components. The scissor electric pallet jack is used to lift heavy objects onto workbenches. Some electric jacks can be steered in a manner similar to the manual jack, while other models allow the operator to stand on a platform while the unit is in motion.

What can an electric pallet jack do that alternative solutions cannot? Let’s take a look at the various advantages of using electric jacks.

Electric Pallet Jack and Diagram

Enhanced Safety

It’s no big secret that attempting to carry heavy materials with one’s bare hands is dangerous, as all kinds of serious physical injury can easily result. Anyone who has ever hurt their hands or backs by picking up an oversized object will appreciate the hazards involved with that sort of activity. Even if it’s possible for a worker to carry a large, weighty object by hand, it’s just not a good idea. An electric pallet jack can convey bulky materials without risking employee health.  

Quick Transportation

Transporting heavy objects by hand is a time-consuming process. Electric pallet jacks allow the operator to let the machinery do the heavy lifting and carrying—much faster than a human being ever could. Consequently, large pallets get to the right place as speedily as possible, which can boost productivity by a huge margin.

Compact Design

Manually operated jacks and forklifts provide a way to transport heavy materials that couldn’t be managed with bare hands alone, but these kinds of machinery have their drawbacks. The bulkiness of forklifts makes them difficult to maneuver through narrow aisles or areas congested with various objects and equipment. It’s not uncommon for a moment of poor judgment to result in serious property damage or even bodily injury to unlucky personnel in the area. By contrast, the relatively compact design of the electric pallet jack means relative ease in moving through crowded spaces. As a result, less time is wasted trying to figure out how to get the machinery to fit through certain areas.

Good Visibility

Operators of forklifts and pallet jacks have to be careful when navigating through a facility—much of the time, it’s difficult to see where they’re going. Remember: When operating a manual pallet jack, it’s important to push the machinery, not pull it. Ignoring this rule could cause serious injury to the user. As a result, the proper use of the manual jack means that the operator may not always have a good view of the terrain immediately in front of them. Not only does this impaired visibility increase the danger of running into an object or person, it also increases the difficulty of attaching pallets to the forklift or pallet jack in the proper fashion. The electric pallet jack doesn’t suffer from this drawback, however, as its relatively small bulk and absence of complicated features allow the user a wide range of visibility.

Minimal Noise

Everyone hates loud noises in the workplace. That’s true for nearly any kind of industry you could name, but in small warehouses or other types of enclosed areas the problem can be particularly serious, as excessive racket from equipment in use may rapidly become unbearable for employees. This can lead to disruptions to worker productivity as well as undue stress for personnel in the vicinity. It’s even possible for workers to suffer from long-term hearing loss due to their proximity to noisy machinery. Luckily, electric pallet jacks will not contribute to this problem. They emit very little noise, especially when compared with large forklifts. It’s one of the many benefits of using electricity rather than gas or diesel to power this kind of equipment.  

Environmentally Friendly

While we’re on the subject of the varied benefits associated with electric power, it may be worthwhile to point out that electric pallet jacks help promote an eco-friendly workplace. Strictly speaking, this feature may not improve productivity, but there’s no denying that reducing the amount of fumes in the area can only help maintain a safe workplace. Gas-driven warehouse vehicles emit various toxins, while electric-powered pallet jacks do not. Therefore, electric pallet jacks can reduce the concentration of industrial pollutants if they are substituted in place of gas-using equipment. It’s easy to charge up a pallet jack, and, once that process has been completed, the equipment can be expected to run for hours.

High Weight Capacity

It’s true that an electric pallet jack can’t carry as much weight as a top-of-the-line forklift, but it’s worth keeping in mind that the disparity in power isn’t as great as one might think. A high-quality fully electric pallet jack can bear several tons of materials—which is perfectly adequate for many facilities. The capacity of an electric pallet jack often matches or even exceeds that of a manual jack.

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