What is a Powered Pallet Truck?

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  • Written By: Klaus Strasser
  • Edited By: Michelle Arevalo
  • Last Modified Date: 27 November 2019
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A powered pallet truck, sometimes referred to as a power pallet truck, is a truck featuring an electric motor that is used to move and transport pallets. These are generally employed in workplaces, such as warehouses. The trucks are also often referred to as 'jacks.'

Powered pallet trucks are typically known for their easy handling and operation. In general, they can quickly move goods that have been transported on pallets. These trucks are usually praised for their working speed. For this reason, they are often used in fast-paced work environments, such as express mail shipping and receiving centers.

The powered pallet truck can typically move in a different number of directions. It can also be driven in reverse with relative ease. Turns can be performed by the machine in very tight spaces. These trucks also can be used on ramps placed between a delivery truck and a warehouse space.

These work vehicles generally feature a place for the driver, who must stand while operating one, located at the rear of the machine. Some types also include a driver's seat, but, in general, most employ the standing operator design. The majority of powered pallet trucks are made of stainless or galvanized steel. These materials are generally of high quality, giving the truck a sturdy frame, and helping ensure its durability. Many are also coated in zinc, which minimizes the machine's susceptibility to corrosion.


Most standard powered pallet trucks can carry loads up to 3000 lbs (1360 kg). The forks on a power pallet truck are generally reinforced to help ensure that it can lift such a heavy load. Some forks are tapered, allowing for a better grip on pallets, and minimizing the chances of possible slippage.

A manual or hydraulic truck can generally lift more weight than the powered pallet truck. The advantage of the latter, however, is that pallets can be moved in a much quicker manner. Depending on the size of the load, a powered pallet truck will often be used in place of a forklift or a standard pallet truck for this very reason.

Depending on the labor laws that govern a workplace, many powered pallet truck drivers may need a license in order to use the machine. This may mean that they will be required to go through a training program of some kind. This can entail passing an exam, or an entire course administered by a certified safety inspector.


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