Handling materials in a warehouse or any other industrial setting can be an extremely tiring and tedious task. However, it doesn’t have to be that way. Nowadays, there are many different types of material handling equipment that’s specifically designed to make this taxing process significantly easier, and more efficient. When talking about material handling equipment, most people envision forklifts. But most small to medium businesses and 3PL facilities don’t have space nor the resources to get multiple forklifts. What many people don’t think of is the pallet jack – the perfect alternative to forklifts when it comes to handling materials.
In case you’re unfamiliar with pallet jacks, they’re simple, yet extremely versatile and efficient pieces of equipment that can provide you with a number of benefits. As briefly aforementioned, they reduce the risk of injuries because your employees will be able to move heavy products regularly without straining themselves. You’re basically taking the heavy weight off of your employees’ shoulders. A pallet jack can move the items in your facility with the simple push of a button. The fact that they’re not bulky also allows for greater visibility, allowing the operator to clearly see where they’re going, thus avoiding accidents.
As a result of the aforementioned, the morale around the facility can be increased. People performing tedious manual tasks that negatively affect their health can feel invalidated and unhappy. Any piece of equipment that helps them shows that you, as a manager and business owner, care. This can result in increased productivity, less downtime, less absenteeism, happier employees, and ultimately, more profit for your business.
That being said, you can find a wide range of pallet jacks online, and choose the one that fits your facility best. Pallet jacks come in a variety of sizes and lengths. Some are manual while others are electric. The electric models are basically scaled-down forklifts, except they’re more cost-efficient. Using them requires some training, but they’re typically easy to use. Most electric jacks feature hydraulic wheels and fork blades.
Here are some interesting facts about pallet jacks. Pallet jacks have stood the tests of time. They’ve been around for over 4.500 years, dating back as far as Ancient Egypt. They were originally known as stillages, and they utilized mechanical linkages as a lifting mechanism instead of hydraulic pumps. Most of the everyday things we use and own have at some stage in their production been handled by pallet jacks.