Hand pallet trucks have traditionally been used to lower the amount of effort and man power required for moving goods in a warehousing environment and for the loading and unloading of goods in urban retail areas.
The disadvantage of these types of handling equipment are that manual effort must be exerted by the user to maneuver the pallets of goods making dangerously heavy pallets difficult to control on sloped surfaces and pedestrian streets.
The common solution has been the use of electrically driven pallet lifters which use traction batteries to control the drive and braking characteristics of the equipment. Electric lifting functions on these types of equipment also cuts the manual effort required to lift the goods by the pumping action needed with this type of equipment.
However the cost and size of the electrically operated pallet trucks have been a barrier to most small transport companies in a very competitive marketplace. This situation has now been addressed and make bring with it the demise of the hand pallet truck.
New products on the market are now bridging the gap between the traditional type of lifting equipment and the electrically operated pallet movers. Modern products from German manufacturers such as Hanselifter combine all required functions of the larger powered pallet trucks into a product no bigger than a manually operated hand pallet truck. These smaller products improve productivity by allowing the user to move heavy pallets in excess of 1.5 tons without any physical effort. Their smaller size makes them ideal for use in tight spaces such as articulated lorry trailers. A full 40 foot trailer can now be loaded/unloaded with goods by a single operator in less than 10 minutes.
The cost issue has also been addressed with these new mini electric pallet trucks with the average cost being less than 50% of the cost of larger electric pallet trucks.
This leap forward in handling equipment technology may herald the end of the traditional hand pallet trucks and save the efforts of our entrusted delivery men who keep our businesses & supermarkets brimming with products for us wary shoppers.
Additional benefits to these modern lifts are the economic advantages they bring to US and European manufacturers. A recent surge in low price manually operated lifting equipment imported to the US and Europe from the far east has seen market share decline for domestic producers of lifting equipment, however manufacturers from China & India for example have been slow to produce comparable technology driven products to the same standard.