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11 Types of Pallet Jacks - With Examples & Applications

by Ion Rotaru 02 Jun 2023 0 Comments

Hello, warehouse warriors, small business owners, and DIY enthusiasts! Whether you're stacking in a warehouse, unloading in a retail store, or moving heavy objects around your own home or workshop, a pallet jack can be a true game changer.

Let's take a detailed look into the different types of pallet jacks, their use cases, and hopefully, we'll help you find the perfect fit for your needs.

Types of Pallet Jacks Infographic

The 11 Types of Pallet Jacks

There's a lot more to pallet jacks than just 'the thing that lifts heavy stuff'. Let's dive in and see what the different types are.

Manual Pallet Jack

Manual pallet jack - Types of pallet jacks

The manual pallet jack, the grandaddy of them all, is an industrial tool designed to lift and move pallets. This manual device relies on the force exerted by the operator to lift, lower and steer. A fine example of how it could be used is maneuvering pallets of canned goods in a supermarket. 

If you've never used a pallet jack before, we encourage you to read our detailed guide on how to use a manual pallet jac - it includes a video and answer to other commonly asked questions about how to operate a pallet jack. 

Electric Pallet Jack

Electric pallet jack - Types of pallet jacks

Take the manual pallet jack, add an electric motor to it + a battery and voila, you have an electric pallet jack. These bad boys make moving heavier pallets a breeze - think of moving stacks of hardwood flooring at a construction site, or a pallet full of fitness equipment in a warehouse.

Rider Pallet Jack

Rider pallet jack - Types of pallet jacks

Rider pallet jacks are like the luxury sedans of pallet movers. As the name suggests, these are designed for the operator to stand on a platform. Perfect for larger warehouses where there are long distances to cover with heavy loads. Other than the fact that you can ride on them, they operate in the same way as any other electric pallet jack would.

Center Rider Pallet Jack

Center Rider Pallet Jack - Types of pallet jacks

The Center Rider pallet jack is a close cousin to the rider pallet jack, but the operator stands in the center of the truck. You'll see these at work in large distribution centers, making bulk order picking a walk in the park.

Weighing Scale Pallet Jack

Weighing Scale Pallet Jack - Types of pallet jacks

This one comes with a built-in scale that can weigh your load as you move it. Ideal for businesses that need to keep track of cargo weights, like shipping companies. Often, they also come with a label printer for even more convenient operations.

Low Profile Pallet Jack

Low Profile Pallet Jack - Types of pallet jacks

The low profile pallet jack can slide under the lowest, tightest clearances. These are normally used for pallets or skids with low clearance, as well as for other tasks like moving heavy machinery, furniture, appliances, etc.

All-Terrain Pallet Jack

All-Terrain Pallet Jack - Types of pallet jacks

Rough terrain? No problem. The All-Terrain Pallet Jack has larger wheels and a robust design, great for outdoor use like moving landscaping materials at a nursery.

Adjustable Pallet Jack

Adjustable Pallet Jack - Types of pallet jacks

Just as it sounds, adjustable pallet jacks can be adjusted to fit different sizes of pallets, making them versatile for businesses that deal with various pallet sizes.

Narrow Pallet Jack

Narrow Pallet Jack - Types of pallet jacks

Narrow pallet jacks, often referred to as 'mini pallet jacks', are designed for tight spaces and smaller pallet sizes. Their slimmer design enables them to maneuver in narrow aisles and between tightly packed racks or shelving units.

These nifty tools are particularly handy in retail environments like grocery stores, bookstores, or hardware shops where aisles might be tight, and there's a continuous need to restock shelves. They're also used in small-scale warehouses or storage facilities where space is limited. With a narrow pallet jack, you can move goods around efficiently without the need for larger, more cumbersome equipment.

Mini Pallet Jack

Mini Pallet Jack - Types of pallet jacks

Mini pallet jacks are ideal for lighter, smaller loads. Perfect for handling light-duty tasks in spaces where a full-sized pallet jack might be overkill.

One of the most common use cases for mini pallet jacks is in environments where space is limited or aisles are narrow. This could include small retail establishments, convenience stores, or even the backroom of a restaurant where you need to maneuver goods around efficiently without damaging anything.

Multi-directional Pallet Jack

Multi-directional Pallet Jack - Types of pallet jacks

These wonders of engineering can move not only forward and backward, but sideways as well. Ideal for unloading awkwardly shaped or extra-long pallets, like those used in the lumber industry.

Multi-directional pallet jacks also shine in scenarios where rapid changes in direction are needed. For instance, in busy warehouses or on congested loading docks where space is limited, they can navigate the chaos with their omnidirectional mobility.

Related: Beginner's Guide to Pallet Jacks

What Kind of Pallet Jack Do I Need?

The answer lies in your specific requirements. Consider factors like the weight and size of the loads you're moving, the space you have to maneuver, and whether you're indoors or outdoors. Price is also a factor, certain pallet jacks are more expensive than the standard manual pallet jack.

Related: Compare Electric Pallet Jacks vs Manual Pallet Jacks

If you need help picking out the best product for your needs, you can always contact us by phone or email. We'll be happy to talk you through it!

What is the Most Common Pallet Jack?

The most common pallet jack you'll encounter is the Manual Pallet Jack. This classic model is found in warehouses, stores, and factories worldwide, and there's a good reason for its popularity.

Manual pallet jacks are incredibly user-friendly and require no complex training to operate. All you need is a bit of strength to pump the handle and elevate the forks, carrying the pallet off the ground. Once lifted, you can easily move the pallet to wherever it needs to go. It's this simplicity that makes them the go-to choice for many businesses. Next time you're in a warehouse, just look around and you're very likely to see one.

What is a Drivable Pallet Jack Called?

Drivable Pallet Jack

A drivable pallet jack is typically referred to as a 'rider pallet jack'. As the name suggests, these are designed to be ridden by the operator who stands on a platform while operating the jack. They typically come in two forms: 'Stand-On' and 'Sit-Down' models.

What is the Difference Between Single and Double Pallet Jacks?

Double pallet jack

The primary difference between single and double pallet jacks lies in their capacity for load handling.

Single Pallet Jacks are the standard form of pallet jack you'll commonly see in many warehouses, stores, and factories. As the name suggests, these jacks are designed to lift and transport a single pallet at a time. They're highly versatile, easy to maneuver, and fit into most standard-sized aisles and doorways.

On the other hand, Double Pallet Jacks are designed to lift and transport two pallets simultaneously. They have longer forks that can accommodate two pallets end-to-end. This is a massive advantage when you need to move a large volume of goods quickly, as it essentially doubles the efficiency of the operation.

Double pallet jacks are most useful in larger operations, such as in sizable warehouses or distribution centers, where large volumes of products need to be moved quickly. They're also beneficial in situations where loading and unloading times are critical, such as at busy docks or during tight delivery windows.

What is a Class 3 Pallet Jack?

Class 3 pallet jacks are electric motor-powered machines that an operator can walk behind or ride on. This includes many of the electric, rider, and center rider jacks we've discussed today.


And that's a wrap on our pallet jack guide! Hopefully, you now have a clearer picture of what's what in the world of pallet jacks. Remember, the right tool for the right job makes all the difference.

P.S: If you're looking to buy a manual or electric pallet jack for your own operation, browse the selection that WarehouseWiz has to offer and you're bound to find something for your needs. We offer great prices, better quality, and the best service!

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