Electric pallet truck VS manual pallet truck


The manual pallet truck is a well known piece of equipment in a warehouse. In many warehouses this handy device is a lifesaver when heavy objects have to be moved. However they seem to be replaced lately by electric pallet trucks. Electric pallet trucks used to be a major investment but nowadays they are a lot cheaper and therefore affordable for more organisations. We will explain the difference between a manual and electric pallet truck and what sort of electric pallet trucks are available.

A little history of pallets and pallet trucks

The invention of the pallet has brought major changes. By placing your goods on a pallet they would be no longer on the ground, so that something could be pushed underneath. The device to be pushed underneath the goods was called the (hand) pallet truck or a pallet truck because of the pumping movement with the drawbar to raise the forks and thus lift the load off the ground.

Pallets used to weigh much less and were therefore relatively easy to move. However this was often not possible due to poor floor conditions and slopes. Recently more and more attention has been paid to ergonomics and the manual pallet truck was no longer always sufficient. However upgrading to an electric pallet truck was a costly affair for many businesses. Especially when dozens of hand pallet trucks were already in use. In the 1970s and 1980s an electric pallet truck used to cost more than £ 5,000 which is quite an investment.

Electric pallet truck VS manual pallet truckHand pallet truck

Over the past 10 years, various developments have made the step to an electrically powered pallet truck much easier. The hand pallet truck is still available, depending on the make and version, the purchase price is approximately between £200 to £500.

Semi-electric pallet truck

Pumping to lift the load from the ground is generally not seen as the real heavy load, but pulling the pallet jack is rather seen as a problem. The semi-electric version drives electrically, but the lifting is done manually, which makes work considerably easier.

Prices for the semi-electric pallet truck start at approximately £900 and has a capacity of even 2000 kg.

Mini electric pallet truck

The mini pallet truck is a completely electric pallet truck. This means that both lifting and driving are done electrically. This truck is equipped with maintenance-free batteries (lifespan is approximately 600 charges) and is often equipped with a built-in charger. The truck can be used effectively for approximately three hours and has a capacity of about 1500 kg.

Lithium pallet truck

With the arrival of the lithium-ion batteries, a new range of pallet trucks has been developed. This relatively simple electric pallet truck drives and lifts electrically and can transport loads of 1500 to 2000 kg.

The advantage of the Lithium battery is that the truck has a range of about six hours and that the truck is fully charged in three hours. With conventional batteries, intermediate charges are very bad for the life span of the battery. However with this Lithium version, intermediate charges are not at the expense of the battery life. The lifespan is approximately 4000 charges. Because the battery is very light and small, it can be easily changed with a handle.

The price for this Lithium-ion pallet truck starts at approximately between £1100 and £1500.

Electric pallet truck

Of course there is also the original electric pallet truck. This pallet truck is generally used in tough conditions. These trucks are generally equipped with the wet lead-sulfuric acid battery, which does require daily maintenance.

These pallet trucks are available in a wide price range.

Quality electric pallet trucks from Unilift South Wales

At Unilift South Wales we have a wide range of warehouse equipment including electric pallet trucks for sale. We can advice you what warehouse equipment is most suitable for your warehouse and budget. Do not hesitate and contact us today tod discuss your warehouse lifting requirements.