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9 May 2019

Pallet Trucks: 4 Ways To Ensure Safety and Prolong their Life

Luke Goodwin

Luke Goodwin

Marketing Manager

FlexQube push carts in a tugger train

The pallet truck is an equipment that can be seen in every shop floor or facility across diverse industries. It is routinely used for handling and transporting materials across these shop floors due to the ease of use pallet trucks provide.

This is why when a pallet truck breaks down while in action, it can derail production cycles and disrupt manufacturing deadlines. And like every vehicle, the lifespan of a pallet truck can be elongated with proper use.

In this post, the four techniques you can employ to ensure your pallet trucks run optimally for years will be highlighted. These techniques range from appropriate use to overall safety tips, and they are:

Avoid Overloading Pallet Trucks

To elongate the lifespan of your pallet trucks, the amount of load or materials to be stacked on the pallet must be considered. For proper use, the materials stacked on a pallet truck should not exceed the recommended weight limit because this could lead to overloading. And an overloaded pallet truck turns into a safety hazard once it is being transported across a shop floor.
Therefore, before making use of a pallet truck, ensure that the instructions concerning its use are read and understood by everyone who will use the pallet truck. The product documentation will provide the pallets loading capacity to guide the way.

FlexQube tugger cart with pallet load

Pallet trucks are not forklifts. They are not equipped with sections for operators to ride on the carts.  Therefore, when transporting materials using a pallet truck, the correct mode of transport is ensuring no additional weight is placed on the pallet truck. Therefore, you should not:
•    Stand on the pallet truck
•    Place a foot or any body weight on the pallet
•    Carry operators on the cart
Using the pallet truck according to specified recommendations not only increases its life span but ensures safety in the workplace. 

Operate at Controllable Speeds

Hand pallet carts are not equipped with hand brakes, but floor lock brakes are attached on most FlexQube carts.  This means they should always be operated at minimum speed to ensure workplace safety. Pallet trucks should also be parked in safe zones designed for their use. These zones should not be sloped or uneven. Always ensure that when the cart is not in use you enable the floor lock brake to ensure the cart doesn’t move around when not in use. Following these safety tips increases the lifespan of pallet trucks while keeping the shop floor free of accidents. 

Ensure Load Stability

When loading pallet trucks with materials, it is imperative that they are loaded and placed in stable positions. A stable position is one which ensures that loads do not tilt, don’t have more weight placed at the top, and overloading is avoided (as stated in the first safety tip provided here). Load stability and the correct use of pallet trucks add more years to the lifespan of pallet trucks. You should also go through the product documentation to learn about the right way to load pallet trucks. 

It is recommended that you check the product documentation that comes with your pallet truck to ensure it is properly used. Ensure you note the maximum load capacity and keep to it when transporting materials. The shop floor should also be checked to ensure there are no debris or cracks that can hamper the pallet truck’s movement in its path. Lastly, pallet trucks should not be used on sloped surfaces because they can backtrack and cause damage/injury to property and staff. 
In the long run, pallet trucks like all machinery need to be replaced. However, with the FlexQube concept, you only need to replace the damaged parts, rather than the entire pallet truck. This saves a considerable amount of money, rather than having to exchange a whole fleet of pallet carts. You only need to update certain parts. You can find durable pallet trucks at FlexQube or choose to customize one according to your requirements. 

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