Choose Your Skid Lift or Pallet Truck
Our Skid Lifts are rugged high-rise, fork style lifts that provide improved ergonomics and a functional ease of access for your workforce.
Our Pallet Trucks are easy to use and exceptionally durable. These premium pallet trucks have many features not found on most all competitive models and provide unsurpassed rollability.
Skid Lift and Pallet Jack FAQs
A skid lift, also known as a skid-steer lift or skid steer loader, is a versatile piece of heavy equipment commonly used in construction, agriculture, landscaping, and various other industries. Its primary purpose is to perform a wide range of material handling and earthmoving tasks. Skid lifts are equipped with a lift arm and attachments that can be swapped out, allowing them to perform functions like lifting, digging, grading, excavating, and moving materials like dirt, debris, pallets, and construction materials. These machines are highly maneuverable and can pivot or “skid” by independently controlling the speed of the wheels on each side, making them suitable for tight spaces and challenging terrains. Skid lifts are versatile workhorses that can be adapted for different jobs, making them valuable assets for many industries.
A pallet jack, also known as a pallet truck or pump truck, is a simple, effective tool used to lift and move pallets within warehouses, factories, and retail stores. It works on a hydraulic system and is operated manually. Here’s how it works:
A pallet jack consists of two long, parallel forks designed to fit beneath a pallet, accompanied by a pump handle positioned near the operator’s waist level to engage the hydraulic system. To raise a pallet, the operator lowers the forks to the ground and pumps the handle, pushing hydraulic fluid into the lift cylinder. This action elevates a piston, lifting the forks along with the load. The hydraulic system provides the necessary mechanical advantage to raise heavy pallets effortlessly. After achieving the desired height, the operator can easily maneuver the pallet jack by pushing or pulling it, thanks to the swiveling front wheels. To lower the load, the operator releases hydraulic pressure by turning the handle counterclockwise, allowing the forks and load to descend gently. Pallet jacks are prized for their simplicity, efficiency, and user-friendliness. They are an invaluable tool for handling materials in warehouses and storage environments, especially when moving palletized goods over short distances.
Pallet jacks come in various types to accommodate different needs and environments. Some of the most common types include:
Manual Pallet Jacks: These are the most basic and widely used pallet jacks. They are operated by manually pumping the handle to lift the load. Manual pallet jacks are ideal for light to medium-duty applications.
Electric Pallet Jacks: Electric pallet jacks, also called powered pallet jacks or walkie pallet jacks, are equipped with an electric motor that assists in lifting and moving heavy loads. They are suitable for larger and heavier loads.
High-Lift Pallet Jacks: High-lift pallet jacks, also called scissor lift pallet jacks, have a lifting mechanism allowing them to lift pallets to higher elevations. These are useful for loading and unloading trucks, stacking pallets, and positioning goods at various heights.
Rough Terrain Pallet Jacks: Rough terrain pallet jacks are designed for outdoor or uneven surface use. They have larger, more robust wheels and tires that can handle gravel, dirt, and rough terrain.
Stainless Steel Pallet Jacks: Stainless steel pallet jacks are built using corrosion-resistant materials, making them ideal for environments where hygiene and cleanliness are crucial, like food processing plants, and pharmaceutical facilities.
Low-Profile Pallet Jacks: Low-profile pallet jacks are designed to access pallets with lower clearances. They are useful for handling specialized pallets or goods requiring a lower entry point.
All-Terrain Pallet Jacks: All-terrain pallet jacks are equipped with heavy-duty wheels and are suitable for use on various surfaces, including sand, gravel, and uneven ground. They are commonly used in outdoor settings like construction sites and nurseries.
Narrow-Aisle Pallet Jacks: Narrow-aisle pallet jacks are designed for use in confined spaces with limited maneuvering room. They have a more compact design to navigate narrow aisles and tight spaces efficiently.
The choice of pallet jack type depends on the specific requirements of your material handling tasks, the weight and size of the loads you need to move, and the environment in which you operate.
Yes. Pallet jacks are designed to lift heavy loads. Check the weight capacity of the specific pallet jack you intend to use and ensure it matches the weight of the loads you need to handle. Exceeding the weight capacity of a pallet jack can lead to safety hazards, equipment damage, and potential accidents. Always follow the manufacturer’s guidelines and load capacity specifications when operating a pallet jack.
Most pallet jacks have a lifting capacity of between 3-5,500 LBS.
Manual pallet jacks have a lower weight capacity, often ranging from 2,000 to 5,000 pounds. These are suitable for light to medium-duty applications. Electric or powered pallet jacks have higher weight capacities and can handle heavier loads, ranging from 3,000 to 8,000 pounds or more. which are ideal for moving larger, heavier pallets.
Yes, there are electric pallet jacks available, referred to as electric pallet trucks or power pallet jacks. These jacks simplify the movement of heavy pallets and loads. They are equipped with electric motors, powered by rechargeable batteries, that assist in lifting and transporting pallets. Electric pallet jacks offer increased efficiency and reduced operator fatigue, making them ideal for larger or heavier loads and long-distance transportation. They provide precise control, feature variable speed settings, and responsive braking systems, and have a higher weight capacity compared to manual pallet jacks. Rechargeable batteries ensure they are always ready for operation, making them a valuable tool in various industrial settings.
Operating a skid lift or pallet jack safely involves rigorous training, thorough equipment inspections, and following safety measures. Ensure operators receive proper training and understand the equipment’s guidelines. Conduct pre-use inspections to detect damage or malfunctions. Respect load capacity limits and evenly distribute loads, securing them if necessary. Operate on level surfaces at controlled speeds, maintaining good visibility and keeping a safe distance from hazards. Use caution on inclines and declines. Always apply brakes when stationary and be aware of emergency stop mechanisms. Wear appropriate personal protective equipment and follow lockout/tagout procedures during maintenance to foster a safety-focused workplace.
To choose the right pallet jack for your needs, consider factors like load capacity, fork dimensions, pallet types, wheel configuration, lift height requirements, manual vs. electric, environmental conditions, maintenance ease, operator ergonomics, and budget. Thoroughly assess these aspects to find the ideal pallet jack for your needs.
Pallet jacks are used on flat, level surfaces, like concrete warehouse floors. Using a pallet jack on uneven or rough terrain may lead to stability and safety issues. Consider alternative equipment, like a rough terrain pallet jack or a forklift with off-road capabilities, specifically for uneven surfaces. These specialized machines are better suited for handling loads in outdoor or rugged environments.
Regular maintenance is important for the safe and efficient operation of skid lifts and pallet jacks. This includes lubricating moving parts, conducting inspections for wear and tear, keeping the equipment clean, maintaining electric pallet jack batteries, caring for tires, checking the hydraulic system for leaks, providing operator training, avoiding overloading, replacing worn parts with genuine replacements, and maintaining maintenance and inspection records. These practices help extend the equipment’s lifespan, improve safety, and reduce downtime.
Yes. Operating skid lifts and pallet jacks requires training to ensure safe and efficient use. Training covers equipment operation, safety guidelines, load capacity awareness, maneuvering techniques, and maintenance procedures. This training helps operators understand the equipment’s capabilities and limitations and reduces the risk of accidents.
Skid lifts are alternatives to pallet jacks. Bishamon’s skid lifts are rugged high-rise, fork style lifts that provide improved ergonomics and a functional ease of access for your workforce.
Skid lifts and pallet jacks are designed to operate in tight spaces. Their compact size and maneuvering capabilities help them navigate through narrow aisles, storage areas, and other confined spaces. The specific dimensions and turning radius of the skid lift or pallet jack should align with the available space to prevent any obstacles or damage during operation. Proper training for operators also helps safely navigate tight spaces.
Common issues with skid lifts and pallet jacks include hydraulic system problems, damaged forks, wheel and caster issues, battery and electrical problems (for electric pallet jacks), lack of regular maintenance, operator errors, overloading, uneven surface operation, damaged loads, and general wear and tear. To mitigate these problems, perform regular inspections, maintenance, and operator training to ensure safe, efficient operation. Addressing issues promptly can extend the equipment’s lifespan and reduce the risk of accidents.
Specialized pallet jacks are available for different industries to meet specific needs. In healthcare, medical-grade pallet jacks are used for hygiene and sterile environments. Warehouse pallet jacks include increased load capacity and durability for heavy-duty use. Food industry pallet jacks are constructed with materials suitable for food handling. Some industries require explosion-proof pallet jacks for hazardous environments. Specialized pallet jacks are tailored to industry regulations and safety standards, ensuring they can effectively handle challenges.
Manual pallet jacks and powered pallet jacks, also called electric pallet jacks, differ in operation and capabilities. Manual jacks require human force to lift and move loads, while powered jacks have an electric motor for assistance, making them suitable for heavy-duty tasks and reducing physical strain. Powered jacks offer better maneuverability, greater load capacity, and electric steering. The choice depends on needs and load capacities.
Pallet jacks can be used to transport fragile goods with proper precautions. To ensure safe handling, fragile items should be securely packaged with cushioning and protection. Maintain even weight distribution on the pallet, avoid overloading, and secure items to prevent shifting. Operators should handle fragile items gently, ensuring slow, controlled movements. Use warning labels to indicate fragility, choose smooth routes, and train operators for safe handling. For extremely delicate or valuable items, specialized equipment may be necessary to guarantee safety during transport.
There are legal regulations governing the use of skid lifts and pallet jacks in the workplace. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) in the United States has specific regulations to ensure the safe operation of these devices. Employers are required to provide training to operators, maintain equipment in safe working conditions, and implement safety measures. Failure to adhere to these standards can result in employer fines.
Ensuring load stability on a pallet jack is crucial for safety. Center the load, secure it with straps if possible, and stay within the pallet jack’s weight capacity. Lift the load evenly, watch for obstacles, and move steadily. Lower it gradually, maintain a clear path, and provide training for operators. Regular maintenance is essential to achieve workplace safety.
Several alternatives to skid lifts and pallet jacks exist for material handling and specific needs. Forklifts are versatile and can lift heavier loads to greater heights. Conveyors offer continuous movement of goods, reducing manual handling. Hand trucks and dollies are handy for smaller loads and tight spaces. Automated guided vehicles (AGVs) use technology to navigate and transport materials autonomously. Hoists and cranes are used for heavy lifting in industrial settings. The choice of an alternative depends on load size, workspace, and budget, with each option providing advantages.
Yes, there are ergonomic considerations when using skid lifts and pallet jacks to ensure the safety and well-being of workers. Proper training in lifting techniques, like bending at the knees and using the legs rather than the back, is crucial. Workers should be educated on the risks of overexertion and repetitive motions. Providing ergonomic handles, adjustable controls, and cushioned grips on skid lifts and pallet jacks reduces strain. Employers should encourage workers to take breaks, stretch, and rotate tasks. Prioritizing ergonomics enhances worker safety and improves productivity.
Some major pallet jack manufacturers included Bishamon, Uline, Northern Tool, Apollo Lift, Lift Rite, Crown, and others.
Pallet dollys/pallet jacks or lift tables are alternative ways to move a pallet without using a forklift.