Understanding Pallet Jacks

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Polyurethane (or just Poly) – Most pallet jacks use this style wheel.  They strike a good balance between durability and low noise levels.  They have a somewhat soft surface, so they absorb sound on hard surfaces.  However, if extreme pressures or a large amount of debris is present on the floor surface, this wheel may not last long.

Nylon – High abrasion resistance, but low impact strength.  These wheels are a fairly hard plastic.  They usually last a long time since debris has trouble puncturing the surface.  However, they tend to be pretty loud.
Nylon Wheels

Steel – Capable of carrying the heaviest of loads.  Not affected by temperatures.  The loudest of wheel styles.  Tend to be harder on the floor.
Steel Steer Wheelsteel-rollers

Tandem Wheels – Tandem load wheels are the right choice for uneven floors and entry through bottom deck of a pallet.  You can get tandem in both poly and nylon styles.

Pneumatic – These wheels are almost solely intended for unpaved surfaces.  Excellent for gravel yards or compacted dirt.  Also great for areas for uneven surfaces and gaps.  They wear quickly if used on concrete.
pneumatic wheels


Material Build:

Paint – Typically the most economical option, but scratch resistance is minimal.

Powder Coating – Looks similar to paint, but the scratch resistance is much higher.

Galvanized – Designed for corrosive or wet environments these full featured pallet trucks were designed for chemical, pharmaceutical and wash down.

Stainless Steel – Ideal for sanitary, pharmaceutical, medical, food and wet environments.  Choose for long life in even the most harsh environments.



Narrow (20 Inches): great for those skinny pallets of course.  They also work fine for standard pallets.  Their only real trouble is the pallets with two center supports.  Also, being narrow, they tend to be a bit less stable.

Standard (27 Inches): These fit into most standard pallets and can usually handle the pallets with dual center supports.  They are also inherently more stable.



48 Inches – The industry standard length of pallets, so typically these are the most popular.

42 Inches – These are a nice balance of being able to get pretty far into a pallet and yet still be compact.

36 Inches – These are for really tight quarters where every inch matters.  A favorite among the truckers.


Entry & Exit Rollers:

entry exit rollers
– Economical, but if you get a tight pallet or one with thick boards, it becomes hard to get the pallet jack in or out.

Entry Roller – A small roller in front of the load roller allows easy entry into pallets.

Exit Roller – A small roller behind the load roller allows easier exiting of pallets.


Handle Styles:
Ergonomic – This is pretty much the industry standard.  There is a grip on the right side.  You push down to engage the pump so you can raise the pallet and you pull up to lower.  The handle tends to be easier on the hand.

Auto-Returning/Non-Snagging – These are getting harder to find.  Their main benefit is as described in their name.
non-snagging handle

Foot pump – These are quite rare.  They are mostly used today for heavy loads or high lifting due to the need for extra strength & speed.
Foot Pump

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