No matter what industry you’re in, using the wrong tools for the job can cost you time and money. For a warehouse or distribution center, that could mean using the wrong material handling equipment. Making the right call for when to use forklifts or pallet jacks for certain jobs can make your team more efficient, safer, and more productive.
Let’s take a closer look at forklifts vs. pallet jacks to make the distinction a little more clear.
You likely already know the basics of when to have your team use a forklift over a pallet jack or vice-versa.
You definitely need to have your team hop on the forklifts if:
Otherwise, most jobs can be handled by manual pallet jacks, or even both forklifts and pallet jacks in tandem. But what if none of those conditions apply? Are there other circumstances in which you should use one over the other?
Say that the pallets just need to be moved across the warehouse floor, and they’re not excessively heavy. The choice is simple then, right? Not quite. There are some circumstances that should definitely guide your team toward using either pallet jacks or forklifts.
Even if the job looks straightforward, the floor of your warehouse on a particular day could cause trouble for pallet jacks. Say employees are tracking in winter slush, resulting in a slippery floor. Operating a pallet jack on wet floors could be a recipe for disaster or injury – in which case motorized pallet jacks or forklifts might be better suited.
How tall is the pallet stacked, and how securely are the items wrapped on the pallet? Being much lower to the ground and less “wobbly,” a pallet jack is better suited to handle taller and less secure pallets. Pallets are less likely to topple off a pallet jack compared to a forklift, and if they do somehow topple, they’ll fall a shorter distance.
There’s such a thing as “too many cooks in the kitchen” when loading orders. Too many forklifts trying to load up and navigate through loading docks and racking is a sure cause of logjams and bottlenecks. That means more downtime and fewer completed orders. Pallet jacks on the other hand are much more easily maneuverable when multiple people are working together.Indiana forklifts and pallet jacks, turn to Tynan. Call us at 317-597-4003 for help with any material handling needs in the Hoosier state.
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