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How to use an electric pallet jack? Step-by-step guide

by Ion Rotaru 23 May 2023 0 Comments

Navigating a warehouse can be daunting, especially when just getting started. But don't worry! We're your warehouse experts and today we'll take a look at how to use an electric pallet jack. You'll be an electric jack expert in no time, and zipping around your warehouse with efficiency and ease. Let's get started!

How to use an electric pallet jack

How to Operate an Electric Pallet Jack - Step by Step Guide

Operating an electric pallet jack isn't as complicated as you might think. Here are some easy steps to get you started:

  1. Check it Over: Before anything else, inspect your pallet jack. Look out for any leaks or damages. A quick daily inspection can save you a lot of trouble.

  2. Get to Know the Controls: Find the throttle, raise and lower buttons, emergency brake, and horn. Spend some time getting comfortable with these controls. They will differ but are mostly similar from model to model.
    Electric pallet jack controls

  3. Maneuver the Jack: Turn the throttle towards you to move forward, and away from you to go in reverse.

  4. Lift Your Load: To lift, press the 'raise' button. Make sure your load is balanced before you start moving.

  5. Move the Load: Steer carefully and be mindful of other warehouse activities.

  6. Lower Your Load: Once you're at the right spot, press the 'lower' button. Voila! It's as simple as that.

Is it Hard to Use an Electric Pallet Jack?

Not at all! If you're used to a manual pallet jack, you'll find the electric version even easier. It requires less physical effort, but you still need to keep your wits about you. Generally, you should be able to learn how to use one within minutes. And once you start using it, you'll be completely comfortable with it within days.

Note: Of course, there may be some electric jack models our there that are a little harder to use. But in this article we're referring to the most common models, such as the ones we sell here at WarehouseWiz. Nonetheless, there are many companies out there offering electric pallet jack training.

How to Operate an Electric Pallet Jack

What are the Buttons on an Electric Pallet Jack?

The buttons are your command center. They help you control the pallet jack:

  • Throttle: Helps you move forward and backward.
  • Raise and Lower Buttons: To lift and drop the forks.
  • Emergency Brake: Stops the jack quickly when needed.
  • Horn: Alerts people in your path.

Buttons on an Electric Pallet Jack

Should You Push or Pull an Electric Pallet Jack?

According to the Washington Retail Association, it is recommended to push rather than pull the electric pallet jack. Pushing an electric pallet jack allows the operator to maintain better control and visibility, especially when maneuvering in tight spaces.

Pulling an electric pallet jack can put additional strain on the operator's back and cause discomfort or injury. It can also make it difficult to see where the equipment is going and increase the risk of collisions or accidents.

Why is my Electric Pallet Jack not Lifting?

If your pallet jack won't lift, a few things could be going wrong:

  • Battery: Electric pallet jacks need power. A low battery could be causing the problem. Make sure you charge it before use.
  • Overweight Load: If the load is too heavy, the jack won't lift. Make sure you know your weight limits and the pallet is not over the limit.
  • Mechanical Issue: If you're still having problems, it might be a mechanical issue. In this case, call in a professional.
  • Hydraulic Fluid: If your electric pallet jack uses a hydraulic system, it might not lift if the fluid levels are too low or if there's a leak in the system. Check the fluid reservoir and look for any signs of leakage.
  • Blocked Path: If there's an obstruction in the path of the lift mechanism, this could prevent it from lifting. Make sure to clear away any debris that might be causing an issue.
  • Worn Out Components: Over time, parts of the jack like the lifting chains or the hydraulic pump can wear out and fail. Regular maintenance and replacements can help prevent this.

If you're still having problems, it might be a more serious mechanical issue. In this case, call in a professional.

In what position should the electric pallet jack be kept when not in use?

When not in use, an electric pallet jack should be stored in a safe and secure location, preferably in a designated storage area. The forks should be fully lowered to the ground to prevent any accidental tripping or damage to the equipment. Also, it's important to ensure the pallet jack isn't blocking any walkways, fire exits, or emergency equipment, as this could pose a safety hazard.

Additionally, turn off the power to conserve battery life, and if your pallet jack has a key-operated ignition, remove the key to prevent unauthorized use. If possible, store the pallet jack indoors to protect it from adverse weather conditions which could potentially damage its electronic and mechanical components over time.

And there you have it! A straightforward guide on how to use an electric pallet jack. If you're looking to upgrade your warehouse equipment, don't forget to check out our own selection of pallet jacksused forklifts, dock plates, as well as other useful articles on topics such as the cost of forklift and our full electric pallet jack guide.

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