How to Choose a Pallet Truck

Pallet jack

A pallet truck is an essential material handling device for countless businesses. Also known as a pallet jack or pallet pump, it allows workers to effortlessly lift and move loaded pallets.

Pallet jacks feature a pair of forks on the bottom and a tow bar on the top. After sliding the forks under a pallet, you can pump the tow bar. Pumping the tow bar will engage the hydraulic lifting mechanism, thus raising the forks and the pallet so that they are higher off the ground. If you’re thinking about investing in a pallet truck for your business, though, you’ll need to choose the right one.

Load Capacity

You should consider the load capacity when choosing a pallet truck. Pallet jacks are specifically designed for use with pallets. Therefore, they can handle a lot of weight. But they still have a load capacity. The load capacity is the maximum amount of weight that a pallet jack can safely support. A typical load capacity for a pallet jack is between 3,000 and 5,000 pounds.

High-Quality Wheels

While they all feature wheels, the quality of a pallet truck’s wheels may vary. Some pallet trucks have higher quality wheels than others. You can find these wheels on the bottom of the forks and the bottom of the tow bar. Most pallet jacks have two small wheels on the bottom of each fork as well as a set of larger swiveling wheels on the bottom of the tow bar. High-quality wheels will allow you to easily push, pull and maneuver the pallet jack.

Lifting Height

How high can you lift the pallet jack? Most pallet jacks have a maximum lifting height of about 7 to 8 inches, meaning you can lift them about 7 to 8 inches off the ground. Other pallet jacks, however, have a shorter maximum lifting height.


Brakes are an invaluable feature to look for when choosing a pallet jack. When engaged, brakes will lock the wheels while subsequently immobilizing the pallet jack. Even if the pallet jack is placed on a sloped surface, it won’t move.

Some pallet jacks feature a built-in hand brake. You can depress the hand brake to slow down or stop the pallet jack from rolling. With that said, not all pallet jacks feature a brake. For greater control, as well as enhanced safety, you should consider choosing a pallet jack model with a brake.

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