Pallet trucks are some of the most versatile pieces of equipment used by material handling firms. You’ll typically find them in almost every warehouse based here in the UK. Pallet trucks are warehouse workhorses and are able to shift all kinds of cargo between loading bays and packaging departments, as well as in and out of storage. This makes them an indispensable item for any material handling enterprise.
While a diverse selection of these dedicated lifting solutions is available for you to choose from, they commonly fall between two categories: hand pallet trucks and power pallet trucks. Both types of pallet trucks have their own advantages and are suited for different work environments.
If your role involves purchasing or hiring equipment for you firm, read on for a helpful guide from Budget Fork Truck comparing the two options that can help you make an informed choice.
Consider your warehouse environment
Pallet truck warehouse requirements must be considered when selecting a suitable solution. While some operations will see trucks used entirely indoors, others will require them to operate outside as well. Ask yourself how much do the materials that you need to move weigh? And how far must you take them? Lastly, what is your budget? While powered trucks may seem more expensive initially, they can promote productivity and increasing your earnings.
Advantages of hand pallet trucks
These manual-style trucks are more commonly used on sites around the UK than powered options and have four key advantages.
Far more affordable than their electric counterparts, they use manpower rather than electricity which means that they are cheaper to buy and run. They’re also less expensive and easier to maintain, with no complex parts to fix when issues arise. They are easily accessible, take up less space, are also simple to store, and require only basic training to operate.
Disadvantages of hand pallet trucks
Requiring human labour, hand pallet trucks are more strenuous for staff to use. Heavy loads can require heavier exertion which can result in your teams getting tired or even suffering injuries. Manual trucks have the potential to be hazardous on uneven surfaces and should never be used on inclined areas unless supported by an additional person to help manage loads. They can also be difficult to stop in an emergency.
Advantages of power pallet trucks
Electric powered trucks are both safer and less strenuous on their operators and feature innovative fail-safes that allow them to brake quickly. They have a greater range and weight capacity compared to manual options and offer faster operations. They can also handle any incline with ease while keeping loads secure.
Disadvantages of power pallet trucks
Electric solutions are more costly to buy and run than hand pallet trucks, but this is the price of mechanisation. In return for a larger initial outlay and the continuing cost of charging up their electric battery power, users can enjoy a higher performance, ease of use and greater safety levels.
With more moving parts, powered pallet trucks will require more complex and costly maintenance and are more likely to see downtime than manual options.
They also take up more room in warehouses which can be a problem when space is tight. Along with their greater size, space will also need to be allocated for charging stations to power up the electric trucks.
Unlike manual pallet trucks that are always ready to be used, electric options may not be so easily available. Powered solutions may need downtime so they can be serviced and will require periods of charging to operate effectively.
While simple instructions are all that’s often required to operate manual trucks, powered options will require operators to receive comprehensive training to become skilled. This will require an additional outlay to ensure all your staff onsite have the necessary qualifications that allow them to use equipment safely and productively.
While manual pallet trucks are a great all-rounder, they are best suited to light warehouse work whereas powered trucks suit a more intensive operating environment. Many material handling businesses will opt for a strategy that allows them to enjoy the best of both worlds, using a combination of both types of pallet truck onsite.
For quick jobs involving light loads around the warehouse, a hand truck is always at the ready, but for fast and effective handling of considerable weight, more efficient power pallet trucks will be on hand. Schedule your light work to be carried out during charging periods to make the most of your solutions.
Professional pallet trucks you can depend on
Experts in material handling solutions, you can trust Budget Fork Truck for premium class products and services at affordable costs.
You might need pallet trucks for hire to handle extra work from a large last-minute order, but if you’re looking to permanently increase your fleet, we also have pallet trucks for sale. Our range features leading brands like Doosan, which offers both manual and electric options like the PTH2500 hand pallet truck and the Ledh20 power pallet truck.
Browse our products and services here on our website or get in touch today for any advice or assistance you need.