Skip to content

How to Use a Manual Pallet Jack - Guide + Video

by Ion Rotaru 31 May 2023 0 Comments

You might have seen manual pallet jacks around warehouses, stores, or any place that moves a lot of goods. They're handy, they're simple, and they're about to become your new best friend. Today, I'll be walking you through how to use one.

How to Use a Manual Pallet Jack

How to Operate a Pallet Jack - Step by Step Guide

Pallet jacks are surprisingly easy to use, once you get the hang of it. Here's a step-by-step guide to get you started.

  1. Position the Jack: First, slide the forks of the pallet jack into the openings of the pallet. Make sure they're evenly spaced and fully inserted.
  2. Raise the Pallet: To allow for lifting, in most manual pallet jacks, the lever on the handle should be in the lowered lifting position. Next, pump the handle up and down. This will lift the pallet off the ground. Keep pumping until it's high enough to move easily.
  3. Move the Jack: Now that the pallet is elevated, it's time to move it. Use the handle to steer and push or pull the jack. But which way should you move it? We'll discuss that in the next section.
  4. Lower the Jack: Once you've brought the pallet to where it needs to be, you can go ahead and lower the forks. This is usually done by pulling the lever on the handle or by pushing a foot pedal.

Related: Complete Pallet Jack Guide for Beginners

Do You Push or Pull a Manual Pallet Jack?

Here's a common question: 'Do you push or pull a manual pallet jack?'

Both methods work, but pushing is generally safer and easier. When you pull, you might trip or strain your back. Pushing allows you to use your body weight and the handle for leverage, making it a more ergonomic choice. Remember, you should always take care of your physical health and safety first and foremost.

How to operate a manual jack - To push or to pull

Do You Need Training for a Manual Pallet Jack?

Yes, you do! While they're simple to use, it's important to learn proper techniques to avoid injuries. Training will cover safety tips, how to load and unload a pallet jack, and how to navigate through different environments. Some workplaces even require certification. So, take a course, even if it's just a quick one online. It's worth it, and it might save you some ugly accidents in the future!

Related articles: How to use an electric pallet jack / Electric jack vs Manual jack

How Do You Raise a Hand Pallet Jack?

Raising a hand pallet jack is as simple as using a bike pump. After inserting the forks into a pallet, pump the handle up and down. As you do this, you'll feel the pallet begin to rise. Keep pumping until the pallet is high enough to clear the ground. But remember, don't lift the pallet too high. It could become unstable. As a rule of thumb, lift just enough to move the pallet without scraping the floor.

How to Turn a Pallet Jack?

Turning a pallet jack isn't exactly like steering a car. It's more about using your body weight and shifting the handle. To turn, move the handle in the direction you want to go. The rear wheels will swivel, allowing the jack to turn. Remember, take wide turns to avoid tipping over the load.

Pallet Jack Safety Precautions

Working with a pallet jack can seem straightforward, but safety should always be a top priority. Here are some pallet jack safety pointers to keep you safe and your work efficient:

  1. Proper Training: This cannot be stressed enough. Comprehensive training will equip you with the knowledge to use the equipment safely, avoid common mistakes, and minimize accidents.
  2. Inspect the Equipment: Before you start using a pallet jack, check its condition. Make sure the wheels are functioning well, the forks are not bent, and the hydraulic lift is in good shape.
  3. Check the Load: Ensure that the load is stable, balanced, and within the jack's weight limit. An unstable or overweight load can cause accidents.
  4. Keep a Clear Path: Before moving a load, check your path for obstacles. You wouldn't want to trip or hit anything while moving a heavy pallet.
  5. Push, Don't Pull: As we've discussed earlier, it's safer to push a pallet jack rather than pulling it. This way, you can have better control and avoid strains or injuries.
  6. Slow and Steady: Speeding with a loaded pallet jack is a recipe for disaster. Moving slowly and carefully ensures better control and minimizes the risk of tipping over.
  7. Use Both Hands: While operating the pallet jack, always use both hands. One on the handle to guide and control, the other one to pump the handle when lifting.
  8. Be Cautious Around Corners: When turning, take wide, slow turns. Sharp turns can destabilize the load and could lead to a potential accident.
  9. Lower Slowly: When you're ready to place the pallet down, do so gently. Sudden movements can destabilize the load or damage the goods.
  10. Wear Proper Footwear: Steel-toe shoes are recommended when operating a pallet jack. In the event that a pallet or the jack itself falls onto your foot, you'll want that extra protection.

How to operate a manual pallet jack - Safety checklist

Remember, safety first always. Following these precautions will ensure a safer and more efficient working environment.

There you go, that's the basics! Using a manual pallet jack can be easy and efficient once you've got the hang of it. Remember to take your time, learn the correct methods, and always put safety first. Happy lifting!

P.S: If you're looking for a manual or electric pallet jack for your operations - here at WarehouseWiz we're proud to offer some of the most affordable and reliable options in the country. Browse our catalogue or contact us to talk to a specialist that can help you.

Get a quote for a manual pump truck

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.

Thanks for subscribing!

This email has been registered!

Shop the look

Choose Options

Edit Option
Back In Stock Notification
is added to your shopping cart.
Compare ()
Product SKU Description Collection Availability Product Type Other Details
this is just a warning