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All About the Electric Pallet Jack

Electric pallet jacks and forklifts both make lifting and moving objects more manageable, and while they each offer their own set of benefits, what are the actual differences–and which should you get certified to operate?

About Pallet Jacks

Think of the pallet jack as a simpler version of the forklift. Both allow operators to lift and move heavy items; however, forklifts are generally larger and heavier and have a broader use case.

Pallet jacks are mostly limited to loading, lifting, and moving stacked pallets within a warehouse. Compared to forklifts, the compact size of an electric pallet jack makes them conducive to moving materials around in smaller spaces. Plus, a pallet jack will not lift items as high off the ground as a forklift–usually, just high enough to transport. 

Also, a smooth warehouse surface makes pallet jack operation easier than if traversing over rough terrain.

Operating an Electic Pallet Jack

The pallet jack is steered by an operator who will stand on the vehicle’s footings or directly on the ground in the surrounding area (called a ‘walkie’). The forks are carefully placed under the stacked pallets, and a handle is used to lift the pallets off of the ground. With a maximum lift weight around 7,000 lbs., these simple-yet-mighty lifts can help clear a warehouse floor relatively quickly. 

Pallet Jack Growth

The advent of the electric pallet jack has been a game-changer for owners and operators. Gone are the diesel fuel fumes and messy fuel fill-up tactics. Instead, maintenance-free batteries and built-in chargers that plug directly into standard outlets have created prolific growth for electric pallet jacks. This has led to increased usage at companies across America and a new wave of available jobs. With an ability to swiftly navigate narrow aisles and tight corners, electric pallet jacks are a great choice for any indoor storage and distribution center. Plus, in many cases, they have a longer life expectancy than their gas-powered counterparts.

How Do I Learn to Operate an Electric Pallet Jack

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires specific training and eventual certification in order to operate or work with pallet jacks. The good news is that you can learn how to become a proficient operator in a single day.

Much like Tesla has taken the electric car market by storm, there is no doubt that gas-free vehicles are on the rise–in all applications–particularly in the freight and storage space.

The bottom line is that there has never been a better time to learn how to operate an electric pallet jacks safely; you will instantly expand the number of job opportunities you are qualified for.

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