Read these 17 Pallet Handling Equipment Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Material Handling tips and hundreds of other topics.
If you are looking for a place to go for help with pallet truck repair, there are companies that sell pallet truck parts. Check out palletjackparts.com for information on repair kits, parts and wheel assemblies for pallet trucks. This company offers hundreds of pallet truck repair parts. Perform a search on the site for the part you are looking for. The company offers kits for hydraulic pallet jacks made by BT, Crown, Jet, Blue Giant, Big Joe and more.
However, make sure you are familiar with company policies. For example, some parts companies make clear they will not accept the return of electrical parts. Companies such as forkliftcosts.com say you cannot "buy to try" an electrical part from them because they will not take it back.
If your operation suffers from space problems because of an overflow of empty pallets, take a hard look at your operation; you may find only a particular type or size of pallet is causing such problems, or you may discover a problem with timely disposal of large, hard-to-manage sizes. If this is the case, you may need to consider an alternate load/unload location for these large pallets. You can also reduce problems by standardizing your own pallet sizes. You may not be able to control incoming shipments from other companies, but streamlining your own pallet sizes will go a long way towards simplifying the clutter in your dock areas.
Some pallet trucks come equipped with an electronic scale for easy, on the spot weight checks. If you are loading an aircraft cargo bay or other weight sensitive area, this is a valuable tool for determining the individual and total weight of your cargo.
Pallet trucks equipped with the electronic scale are good for low-height lifting and come with helpful features including compensation for vibration and motion to insure accurate readings. If you are in need of accurate weight calculations for your shipping operations, this may be a very good investment.
At first you may not feel this is a vital part of your operation, but if you routinely deal with weight issues as part of either loading or unloading you may wish to give a second look to these pallet trucks. You will remove the guesswork out of your storage solutions by knowing exactly how much weight you have in a given area or on a particular rack.
Plastic pallets, usually designed from virgin polyethylene, are a good choice for pharmaceutical or food transport. These pallets come in configurations that can be rackable - it's a good idea to check with the manufacturer for more information on rackable pallets.
Also, if you intend to use a pallet truck, check with the manufacturer with regard to purchasing the proper pallet--plastic pallet configurations may not be compatible with a pallet truck. Many plastic pallets come rated at 4,000 pounds, but be aware this is the 'uniform supported capacity' and these pallets may not support a large amount of concentrated weight centered in one particular spot on the pallet. Even distribution of the weight is key, as with many such pallets.
Pallet inverters, like any machine with moving parts, rotation and other features, need to be properly safeguarded. You will need to dedicate the proper amount of floor space to allow both rotation of the pallet inverter and the appropriate safety barricade or fence which should be placed around the machine.
Pallet inversion can take up to 40 seconds or more depending on the model and product load. If you are running an automated system, remember to take the rotation time into account.
Remember that irregular pallet loads may not invert as well as a uniform load. Some irregular products may still need to be transferred by hand depending on the skill of the pallet loading crew and the size and shapes of the objects.
There will be times when you need a solution that allows you to move the pallet from its location in a tight corner, crowded cargo area or other tricky situation. A low profile pallet truck can enter a pallet from any one of the four sides and travels at 1-7/8 of an inch off the ground. If you need a 'low rider' pallet truck, this is the model for you. This pallet truck is advertised with 'lifetime" lubricated bearings and heavy duty thrust bearings.
If you need the versatility, the low profile pallet truck is definitely a good purchase. They are rated at 4,000 pounds and come with spacing between forks starting at 6 inches and going up to 19 inches.
There are many reasons to consider the purchase of a pallet inverter. Anyone in food manufacturing will appreciate the need for a speedy replacement of wooden pallets for plastic or steel.
Clean-floor standards are strict and the presence of a wooden pallet may compromise your cleanliness. By eliminating all wooden pallets from your processing area by replacing them with the help of a pallet inverter, you reduce the risk of introducing contamination, dirt and other problems.
Those who must routinely identify defective pallets and pallet loads will also want a way to quickly replace a bad pallet. Even people who routinely square up or straighten up a pallet load will appreciate the speed and effectiveness of a pallet inverter.
Many people think of the traditional wood pallets first, but there are a large range of pallet choices to consider for your operation. Drum pallets, plastic pallets and aluminum pallets are excellent choices depending on the task at hand.
Drum pallets in particular can include a configuration called a 'spill pallet' which do exactly what the name implies; they are built to contain leaks and spills. These pallets are designed with heavy duty, spill-resistant polyethlyene.
These are "better safe than sorry" models which can be a big help in transport should a leak occur. It is far better to decontaminate the spill pallet than an entire truck or warehouse floor surface.
A pallet inverter allows the operator to rotate in order to make a pallet exchange--a wood pallet for a plastic version, etc. This is especially handy for replacing damaged pallets.
The price tag on a pallet inverter may make a potential buyer wonder why the process can't be done by hand in order to save a little money. But, what budget makers often forget is the human workload factor involved in unloading an entire pallet by hand, replacing a worn, damaged or unsuitable pallet with a good one, then replacing the entire contents of the pallet again.
Before you pass on the purchase of a pallet inverter, ask yourself if your company can afford to dedicate so much time to this process. In an age where costs must often be cut by reducing manpower, does your company have the bodies to spare to do these manual tasks? A pallet inverter is one-time investment that can save much in terms of labor.
Lifting jacks support structures and level or position heavy equipment. They can be powered by hydraulic, mechanical, electric, or manual methods
There are many kinds of pallet jacks. Wondering if you need a manual pallet jack, BT pallet jack or high lift pallet jack? Here is a breakdown of some pallet jacks, courtesy of beacontechnology.com, to help you decide:
If Paris is a movable feast, then pallets are a movable workspace. Crucial for shipping, receiving and storage, pallets are movable floors on which materials are stacked so they can be on- and offloaded in bulk, both from the source and around the worksite itself, slashing man-hours and transport costs.
Pallets and pallet equipment have evolved in the century they've been in common use. Pallets are available in plastic, aluminum, wood, and even paper, depending on the weight of the materials you're transporting (most can easily handle up to 2,000 pounds), and can vary greatly in size. Specialty pallets for drums can move around even the heaviest materials; smaller, shorter-lived wooden pallets make lighter materials available all around the jobsite. Pallets are also useful for short-term storage, keeping bulk materials at hand, and providing an easily removable surface to store empty containers for more efficient disposal. And they're reusable, making them even more cost-effective.
Pallet equipment in industrial settings have innumerable uses: they can be hauled by forklift trucks and their modular nature lets them fit the needs of any work site, and because their size can be standardized within a given industry they offer huge potential for cost savings.
If you are venturing into international commerce, there are important regulations you need to know regarding pallets. The International Plant Protection Convention specifies that pallets must be constructed with material that doesn't allow invasive species of plants and insects to travel from one country to another. If you have “raw wood” pallets, they must be treated with a chemical treatment or a heat treatment to kill pests. Aluminum, steel, plastic, and “engineered wood” are exempt from these treatments. Unfortunately, you can't simply apply a pest-control treatment to your raw wood pallets; this must be done with the supervision of an approved agency.
Like any piece of warehouse equipment, it's important to respect the weight limitations of a standard-size pallet. Overloading a pallet
can not only damage or destroy it, but it can also complicate or delay your shipment. Aircraft transport, for example, relies heavily on weight calculations that take into account cargo, fuel, and passenger weight. By overloading a standard size pallet, you can complicate those weight calculations. If your pallet is overweight (1,000 pounds is typical for a standard fully-loaded pallet) it could get bumped off a very crowded cargo flight where the weight is close to the limit. By standardizing pallet loads, you save the pallet, and your spot on the plane.
Broken or damaged pallets cost your operation money; you can lose up to $4 per pallet in some cases. There are two ways to save yourself some money on pallet repair or disposal. The first is simply to buy better-quality pallets. If you haven't thought about changing vendors, examine your damage ratio and you may be inspired to look into a new supplier. The second way to save money on pallets is to do in-house repairs. Many times a pallet can be fixed with a few simple tools. You may not be willing to devote resources to saving a severely damaged pallet, but many minor repairs can extend pallet life, and your budget.
Light Loads? Quick Disposal? The Paper Pallet
Engineered paper pallets are compared favorably to wood pallets when it comes to light loads and quick recycling. Many of these paper pallets are made from corrugated cardboard and some have some wood in the “deck” to reinforce the overall strength of the pallet. The best part of using a paper pallet is that they are compliant with International
Plant Protection Convention guidelines for shipping overseas, and won't encounter quarantine or compliance classification problems. The weight issue is also important; why invest in an aluminum pallet for a light load when a paper pallet will do? Some paper pallets are a mere 15 pounds, and the weight savings compared to wood can be as high as 35 pounds. Do you need to save some money in the shipping department? You may be well on your way with a lightweight paper pallet.
Pallets are a big part of warehouse and factory work because they help transfer materials. There are drum pallets, plastic pallets, paper pallets and wood pallets. With all this pallet activity, it stands to reasont that you will need pallet handling equipment such as pallet trucks. If you choose to purchase a hand pallet truck, you should be aware of how to use it and the safety procedures you should follow. For example, what are the three positions on the control lever for? Should you ride a pallet truck "scooter style" or allow a truck to drop from one floor level to another? Here are the answers to those questions and more, courtesy of beacontechnology.com.
Hand pallet trucks have a three-position control lever used to raise, neutral and lower. Here is how to operate each position.
According to the National Safety Council (NSC), 10 to 25 percent of workplace injuries occur at warehouse loading docks. And OSHA estimates that approximately 100 people die each year while operating powered industrial trucks. Check out the NSC Web site at www.nsc.org for materials that will help you develop formal safety programs in your warehouse that incorporate pallet equipment and pallet trucks. Books such as "Warehouse Safety" by George Swartz are available as well as the "Accident Prevention Manuals," known as essential reading for occupational health professionals.
When trying to figure out how much aisle space you need to operate a lift truck, here is a tip, courtesy of Big Joe Manufacturing: a general rule of thumb is to add the chassis length plus the load length plus 12 inches to determine the approximate aisle width required to operate the truck. The chassis is measured from the vertical face of the forks to the rear end of the truck.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|