A handle drawbar operates the pallet truck lifting device by manual pumping. The pallet truck is moved by pulling on the drawbar. The pallet truck has a mechanism allowing for the rotation of the axis of the drawbar so it can turn safely. Hand pallet trucks are only suitable for use on non-slippery, leveled ground with a slope level of less than 10%.
The advantage of a hand pallet truck is that the operator does not need any special certification. Training to prevent accident risks in the event of a falling load, such as stuck drawbars or locked castors, is necessary however. Because hand pallet trucks don’t have motors they can be relatively light. They can easily be stored in a delivery truck for use at the destination.
There are suitable pallet trucks for each specific use:
- Pallet trucks with short, long or adjustable forks, depending on the load
- Low-noise pallet trucks: for unloading in populated areas at night
- Extra-flat pallet trucks (low-profile)
- Pallet trucks with assisted start-up
- Quick lift pallet trucks: require fewer pump strokes to lift a load
Pallet trucks are made of steel for standard industrial use or of stainless steel for wet or corrosive environments, in particular for the food industry.
The wheels can be made of nylon (optimal for driving on hard surfaces and optimized for handling heavy loads), rubber (low-noise and offering better grip on wet or slippery surfaces), polyurethane (low-noise and flexible) or Vulkollan (low-noise, high wear resistance, does not leave any marks on the ground).
- Affordable purchase price and maintainence costs
- Lighter than an electric pallet truck, therefore easier to transport
- No certification required
- Versatile and can transport all types of pallets, some products such as cardboard boxes, large parts (i.e. motors), barrels, etc.
- Not very ergonomic
- Limited load weight
- Less practical to use than semi-electric or electric models