Work Smart Not Hard – How to Properly Use a Pallet Jack

Pallet jacks were created to make life easier and to increase productivity. A pallet jack can move a lot more than anyone could with their bare hands. Using a pallet jack is pretty simple and in this article, I will tell you how easy it is to use one.

Some jacks are electric others are hydraulic but they all operate on the same principal and serve the same purpose. You might think of a pallet jack as a hand controlled fork lift. It can do some of the same things but without the need of a motor. It is limited though and can only lift a pallet a few inches off the ground. This is just enough to move the pallet from one place to the next.

The first thing you might notice is the forks. There are two of them and at the front of each one are small wheels. There is another wheel located at the back just under the handle. This wheel can make some very sharp turns allowing you to maneuver a large pallet full of items into a very tight place.

The first thing that must be accomplished is getting the pallet jack under the pallet. Line up the forks of the jack to the openings at the bottom of the pallet and push them all the way through. One very important thing to note is that the wheels located at the front of the forks must be on the ground and not a plank of the pallet. If they are on a plank when you jack up the pallet, you will break the pallet. It may take a little bit of force to get the forks through and over the planks. Once the forks are through and lined up correctly you are ready for the next step.

Simply crank the handle of the pallet jack up and down. This activates the hydraulics and lifts the pallet off the ground. Once you have enough clearance you are ready to move the pallet to it's new destination.

Now that you have the pallet in it's new place you need to lower it and move the jack out of the pallet. On the handle of the pallet jack you will notice a small lever. This lever is used to release the pressure on the hydraulics and lower the pallet. It is very similar to a hand brake on a bicycle. Simply squeeze the lever and the pallet will gently be lowered. Now you can successfully move a pallet.