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Pallet Trucks are the most basic form of a forklift and are intended to move pallets within a warehouse. With Manual Pallet Trucks being around for years and a trusted partner – there is a growing demand for Electric Pallet Trucks, since moving heavy palletised goods manually can significantly increase the risk of injury to the operator. We have put together a list of four key factors why you should consider upgrading your manual pallet truck to electric.

1. Keep in Line with Legislation

The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 states that Employers must ensure that all tasks are risk assessed and measures put in place to control them, as far as is reasonably practicable. This is a legal requirement.

The task is likely to be higher risk if the forces required to stop/start a load are more than 200N, or 100N to keep the load in motion (Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992).

Tests carried out by HSE show that starting or stopping forces whilst pushing/pulling a loaded pallet truck can exceed the guideline figures (200N) by 50% with pallets loaded more than 750kg.

Testing also showed that floor roughness doubled the starting forces required to move a palletised load against that required force to move the same pallet on a smooth floor. Other factors such as physical abilities of the operative and weather also make a difference.

As an employer it is important that you do everything to ensure that you are keeping in line with legislation. By removing the need for manual handling, you are effectively controlling the risk, with electric pallet trucks eliminating the need to pull and push the load.

4 Reasons Why I Should Upgrade to an Electric Pallet Truck

2. More Cost Effective

Traditionally a powered pallet truck would typically cost sixteen times the amount of a manual pallet truck, making it a very expensive alternative. However, thanks to superior technologies, there is now a cost-effective solution available on the market.

Lithium Powered Pallet Trucks from HC-Forklifts-UK make it easier than ever to upgrade to electric powered assistance, whilst keeping in line with budgets.

The CBD15-JL3 model Is motorised to allow lifting and moving of heavier and stacked pallets (1500kg). The powered pallet truck is moved by a throttle on the handle which moves it forward backwards. The same size as a hand pallet truck, it can be steered by swinging the handle in the intended direction. An accessible lift button moves the forks up and the handle drops the forks via a hydraulic system. The lightweight portable Lithium-Ion battery is designed to last 2,000 life cycles, ensuring longer performance. It can be charged on a single phase.

By investing in an electric pallet truck, you will also save on the number of sick days taken each year from staff who get injured, as well as possible fines from not keeping in line with legislation.

3. Reduce the Risk of Injury

Key Statistics from the HSE state that:

  • 38% of all injuries requiring at least 3 days off from work are caused by manual handling
  • On average, each sufferer takes 20 days off in a 12-month period

Musculoskeletal Disorders are injuries to the human musculoskeletal system. These include joints, ligaments, muscles, nerves, tendons, and limbs that support the neck and back. Manual handling -including pushing and pulling – are risk factors in the development of MSDs.

The handling of palletised loads, including loading and unloading can put workers at risk of serious injury. Employers who handle pallets, should look to reduce the risk of musculoskeletal injury to drivers and other workers.

Suitable controls should be put procedures in place to reduce risk:

  • Weight of load
  • Poorly maintained equipment
  • Uneven surfaces on the floor
  • Condition and weight profile of the pallet truck

By using an electric pallet truck, you will eliminate the risk of injury to the operator, which will help with staff retention and reducing the number of sick days taken each year.

4 Reasons Why I Should Upgrade to an Electric Pallet Truck

4. Increase Production Levels

Looking after your staff and reducing the amount of manual handling can have a significant impact on your bottom line. Workers who are less fatigued will be able to carry out tasks for longer, throughout the day.

A happy employee is often a more productive one. This will help to reduce the number of sick days taken each year and will ensure efficiency is maximised. The time it takes to move each pallet will be reduced as the time it takes to press the up button, compared to manual pump, wont be as long. Movements with an electric pallet truck can be can often completed with one hand, whilst the upright walking feature provides greater manoeuvrability in the smallest spaces.

A lightweight portable Lithium battery will also provide numerous advantages to your operation:

  • Superfast 3-hour charging
  • 3-hour continuous use
  • 2,000 battery life cycles
  • Opportune charging during lunch breaks

Conclusion
Where possible, employers should be eliminating the risk to the health and safety of all those who could be affected by the pushing and pulling pallets manually. If this is above 750kg and you are facing possible fines and severely increase the chances of operator injury. If used outside where the ground is not smooth, the weight would have to be significantly lower to keep in line with legislation and reduce the risk.

The use of powered assisted equipment, which can eliminate the risk, should be considered where possible. Lithium Powered Pallet Trucks provide you with a cost-effective solution, which will not only increase production, but will save time and money in the long run.

Action Plan

1) Consider eliminating the risk of musculoskeletal injury

2) Carry out suitable risk assessments of all (hazardous) pallet handling operations

3) Ensure that all staff are given appropriate product training

4) All equipment used must be well maintained, serviced, and regularly inspected to ensure it remains in a serviceable condition

For more information about our range of electric pallet trucks, click here.