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A pallet jack (USA), also known as a pallet truck (UK), pump truck, or jigger is a tool used to lift and move pallets around in warehouse, factories and in vehicles.
The front wheels are mounted inside the end of the forks, and as the hydraulic jack is raised, the forks are separated vertically from the front wheels, forcing the load upward until it clears the floor. The pallet is only lifted enough to clear the floor for subsequent travel.
Manual pallet jackEdit
A manual pallet jack is a hand-powered jack.
Powered pallet jackEdit
Powered pallet jacks, also known as electric pallet trucks, walkies, single or double pallet jacks, are motorized to allow lifting and moving of heavier and stacked pallets. These generally contain a platform for the user to stand while hauling pallets around a warehouse or loading/unloading trucks. The powered pallet jack is generally moved by a throttle on the handle to move forward or in reverse and steered by swinging the handle in the intended direction. Some contain a type of dead man's switch rather than a brake to stop the machine should the user need to stop quickly or leave the machine while it is in use. Others use a system known as ``plugging`` where in the driver turns the "throttle" switch from forward to reverse (or vice-versa) to slow and stop the machine, as the dead man's switch is used in emergencies only.
Special version are designed for use in cold stores.
Some more sophisticated version operate as "Automatic Guided Vehicles" and can follow a wire embedded in the floor one set to auto mode & place at certain points in the building to move goods to and from loading bays and storage areas without a driver.
- Reversible pallets cannot be used.
- Double-faced nonreversible pallets cannot have deckboards where the front wheels extend to the floor.
- Enables only two-way entry into a four-way notched-stringer pallet, because the forks cannot be inserted into the notches.
- Only certain size pallets can be moved - one size truck does not fit all due to fixed fork centres. If the wrong size is used it can destroy the pallet when jacked up.
The North American industry seems to have 'standardized' pallet jacks in several ways:
- Width of each of pair of Forks: 7"
- Fork Width, i.e. The dimension between the outer edges of the forks: Available as 20¼" and 27"
- Fork Length: Available as 36", 42", 48"* Lowered Height: 2.9"
- Raised Height: At least 7.5", but some will raise higher
- Media related to Pallet jacks at Wikimedia Commons
- OSHA hazards of working with pallet jacks
- Pallet jack history -- This New Truck Gets Under the Load and Lifts It, Popular Science monthly, December 1918, page 54, Scanned by Google Books: http://books.google.com/books?id=EikDAAAAMBAJ&pg=PA54
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