Pallet jacks or pallet trucks is a material handling equipment that is used to transport goods in nearly every industrial warehouse and wholesale facility.

Many operators can have a great deal of experience in operating pallet jacks but accidents at workplace still happen.

Thus, we cannot totally rule out the possibility of injury involving pallet jacks. These accidents may be the result of mishandled or faulty pallet trucks.

However, what we can do is to take some necessary precautions to prevent accidents from happening.

So, we have listed out the do’s and don’ts when operating pallet jacks.

Do’s Don’ts
Start slowly Do not overload
Use on clear path Do not use on ramps
Store safely Do not push, pull


1. Start slowly

Put your pallet jack into motion slowly. When starting it, you have to be very careful not to jerk or whip it by the handle. By doing so, you may risk straining your neck and back muscle from the sudden movement.

Besides, it is also important to move slowly when maneuvering it to avoid bumping into someone or something.

Most pallet jacks are now equipped with brakes so use the brakes to slow down especially when you are carrying heavier loads.

2. Use on clear path

Make sure the path you will be using your pallet jack is clear from any obstacle anytime you can.

Any construction materials or electric cords on the path will increase the risk of injury as they might get stuck to your pallet jack.

On top of that, you also want to be aware of other potential hazards that might be along your path such as narrow aisles and tight corners.

As we mentioned in the previous point, maneuver the pallet jack slowly if there are these kind of hazards along your travel route.

3. Store Safely

After using your pallet jack, securely store it in a designated storage area. If this is not possible, store it as close as possible to the wall.

Make sure you store it with the handle up and the forks lowered. Also ensure that the forks are not pointing outward. This is to prevent it from becoming serious safety hazard to the staff workers.


1. Do not overload

Overloading a pallet jack can causes serious consequences such as overbalance or malfunction.

Most pallet jacks have a maximum capacity of 2000-2500kg. Some can even reach up to 5000kg. Thus, always be aware of the maximum load limit to ensure that you are will not overload your pallet jack.

One way to avoid overloading it is to always keep track of your loads’ weights.

2. Do not use it on ramps

Avoid using pallet jack on ramps whenever you can. This is because it may be hard to maintain the balance of your jack and load. Even a slight incline or decline can have serious impact on the gravitational force.

Plus, your load may freewheel on its own which causing it to bump into objects or other workers.

If it is absolutely necessary to use it on ramps, be extra careful. Keep the load uphill from you so the load is balanced. On top of that, keep the forks 4 to 6 inches above the ground to prevent them from catching on the ramps.

3. Do not push, pull

There are two dfferent opinions on whether you should push or pull your pallet jack. For us, we would say pulling is better for the operator.

This is because pulling can increase maneuverability for the operator. You can check the hazards ahead of you such as objects on the ground and other workers.


Manual or Electric Pallet Jack?

Manual pallet jack or a hand pallet truck is more prone to accidents at the workplace therefore operators should be extra careful when handling manual pallet jack. Hence, the safety tips above may apply more to manual pallet jack.

For instance, it is not advisable to use a hand pallet truck  on ramps, but powered pallet can be operated on inclines. Nevertheless, it should not mean you should neglect your safety when using a power pallet truck.

All in all, it depends on the types of usage and the environment of your warehouse.

Suggested read: Manual vs Electric Hand Pallet Truck

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