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Pallet jack vs forklift: What you need to know

The heavy lifting equipment industry is booming, with many companies scrambling to get their hands on the latest models. The debate between pallet jacks and forklifts has been going on for years. The decision over which type of machine to buy or hire can be difficult, as it's often not clear whether a company should invest in a pallet jack or forklift.

The workplace is changing. The traditional warehouse layout with heavy pallets and large forklifts has given way to a more modern warehouse where lightweight, smaller equipment such as pallet jacks and reach trucks are the norm. Forklifts may be slower than their lighter counterparts, but they're still valuable for heavier tasks. There's no single right answer to which type of lifting equipment your company should invest in; instead, it depends on what you need and how much floor space you have available.

So, we’ve put together everything you need to know before you decide whether a Doosan pallet jack or forklift is right for you, including the pros and cons of both, and their importance.

What is a pallet jack?

A pallet truck, which is otherwise known as a pallet jack or pump truck, is a wheeled trolley that is used to lift and carry pallets. The tapered forks underneath the pump handle and the pallet can be used to lift and lower the load.

Pallet trucks are usually seen in stockrooms, warehouses, and a range of other environments in which wooden pallets tend to be used.

What is a forklift?

A forklift is an industrial vehicle with a forked platform at the front that can be lowered and raised under a load to transport or lift it. They tend to be powered by combustion engines or an electric battery – some of them even allow operators to sit inside while driving while others need the driver to stand up.

Forklifts are usually seen in a range of industries including large storage facilities and warehouses.

Advantages of a pallet jack

While the pallet jack itself may look small, don’t underestimate how much it could do to increase efficiency and productivity in your warehouses. The benefits include:

• Can transport an extremely heavy load of up to 5,000kg.

• The vast majority of pallet jacks do come with a standard 12-month warranty.

• Pallet jacks are highly versatile and very durable.

• Due to their handle, they are easy to control and manoeuvre.

• They can be operated by one individual.

• Their polyurethane tyres make them very hard-wearing.

• Pallet jacks are often more cost-effective than forklifts.

• You have the option to choose from an electric pallet jack, like the Doosan Pedestrian & Ride-on pallet truck, making items easier to transport (

Disadvantages of a pallet jack

• The lifting power tends to be lower than a forklift.

• While there are some that are electric, most are manual – so they can’t transport loads across long distances.

• They will not be able to lift goods as high as a forklift.

Advantages of a forklift

Forklifts, like the Doosan 7-Series Reach Truck, are a great piece of equipment, especially when it comes to lifting heavy loads high up ( Other benefits include:

• A forklift can lift heavier loads than a pallet jack.

• A forklift tends to have a range of attachments, which allows items like drums and bulk bags to be lifted.

• Did you know that a forklift even has an attachment that allows workers to be safely lifted too?

• Since forklifts tend to be electric, they require less manpower than a manual one (

Disadvantages of a forklift

• While pallet jacks are more cost-effective, forklifts tend to be more expensive because of their electrical nature.

• A forklift cannot be folded away like a pallet jack. So, it needs space for storage.

• An electric forklift requires more maintenance than a pallet jack.


Here at Budget Forktrucks Ltd, we’ve been providing materials handling equipment for over 20 years and we're still going strong. You can trust us to provide you with forklift trucks, warehouse lifting equipment, repair services, and more.

It's all about giving you the best equipment, and that means here at Budget Forktrucks Ltd, we’ve gone ahead and got our hands on some of the best in materials handling. We’re pleased to say that since March 2014, Budget Forktrucks Ltd has been a one-stop-shop for anything Doosan - from counterbalance diesel engine models to warehouse lifting equipment ( and

With over 100 years of manufacturing experience, Doosan has grown to become one of the largest manufacturers in the world. With products ranging from forklifts and other lifting equipment to construction machinery, they are leaders in every market segment.

We're also able to offer the latest clean burn technology, so if you're looking for an environment-friendly truck with a powerful payload, this is definitely the direction you want to go down. Get in touch with our expert and friendly team for all your Doosan construction equipment and Doosan forklift and pallet jack needs today.

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