If you are new to operating a pallet jack, it might be helpful to understand a little more about what the different pallet jack parts are called and what their purpose is. On a manual pallet jack, the basics are quite simple. Understanding them will make it easier to operate your pallet jack and troubleshoot if things aren’t going smoothly.
Release Lever– This is located on the handle of the pallet jack, and by squeezing the lever the operator can lower the pallet jack either partially or completely.
Forks– the two prongs on your pallet jack are designed to fit under a pallet and safely lift and transport heavy loads. Distance between forks are usually about 20” to 47”, and forks can range from 32” to 90” in length.
Pump– Manual pallet jacks require users to pump the handle up and down in order to supply fluid to a high pressure piston that raises the forks against the force of gravity. A purge valve releases this fluid to lower the forks once the release lever is pressed. On an electric pallet jack, there is often a hydraulic pump that does this automatically.
Wheels– Usually made from polyurethane, nylon, or rubber, pallet jacks have two smaller “load wheels” that recess into the forks when loading, as well as two larger tandem “steer wheels” under the handle that swivel to help with mobility.
Not all pallet jacks are the same, but this covers the basics. Pallet jacks can have many other features such as scales, tilting or angled forks, or low profile versions. It is important to understand your specific pallet jack before operating it in your workplace.