What Are Pallet Hand Trucks and How Do They Work?

A pallet hand truck offers an ergonomic and inexpensive way to move loaded pallets. Not to be confused with a pallet jack, it’s a specialized hand truck that’s designed for use with pallets. It will allow you to lift and move pallets without bending your back. What are pallet hand trucks exactly, and how do they work?

The Basics of Pallet Hand Trucks

When most people think of hand trucks, they envision traditional L-shaped hand trucks with wheels on the bottom. They are commonly used to move boxes and other lightweight goods or materials. Traditional hand trucks such as this are undoubtedly common, but there are other styles of hand trucks available, such as pallet hand trucks. Pallet hand trucks feature a similar shape, but they are designed specifically for use with pallets.

Pallets, of course, are wooden platform-like structures. They typically consist of two levels of planks that are separated by several additional pieces of wood. With their multi-level design, pallets are easy to move using equipment like forklifts, pallet jacks and pallet hand trucks.

How Pallet Hand Trucks Work

Using a pallet hand truck is a breeze. Like other types of pallet-moving equipment, pallet hand trucks feature a pair of forks. These forks are designed to slide under pallets.

You can lift and move a pallet by sliding the truck’s forks under the top level of planks. Pulling the pallet hand truck back will then raise the pallet, at which point you can roll it to the desired area.

Common Features of Pallet Hand Trucks

All pallet hand trucks have a pair of forks at the bottom that are designed for use with pallets. Their specific features, however, may vary. Some pallet hand trucks, for instance, have extended forks. Extended forks are longer than standard forks, making them ideal for use with large or oversized pallets.

Some pallet hand trucks have spring-loaded forks. The forks are constructed with wire springs that allow you to easily raise or lower them by pressing a pedal with your foot.

Another common feature of pallet hand trucks is a hand brake. As the name suggests, a hand brake is a hand-operated braking system. Squeezing the hand brake will temporarily lock the the wheels so that the pallet hand truck stops moving.

The number of wheels a pallet hand truck has may vary. While most pallet hand trucks have two wheels, some of them have four or more wheels. These extra wheels can prove useful when moving pallet hand trucks up and down stairs. The additional wheels are typically located above the standard wheels where they act as supplemental rollers. As you pull a pallet hand truck up a flight of stairs, the extra wheels will bear the weight of the load.

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