Hand Truck and Pallet Jack Operations

Hand Truck Operations

  • When loading hand trucks, keep your feet clear of the wheels
  • Do not exceed the manufacturer's load rated capacity; read the capacity plate on the hand truck if you are unsure
  • Place the load so that it will not slip, shift or fall; use the straps, if they are provided, to secure the load
  • For extremely bulky or pressurized items such as gas cylinders, strap or chain the items to the hand truck
  • Tip the load slightly forward so that the tongue of the hand truck goes under the load
  • Push the tongue of the hand truck all the way under the load that is to be moved
  • Keep the center of gravity of the load as low as possible by placing heavier objects below the lighter objects
  • Push the load so that the weight will be carried by the axle and not the handles
  • If your view is obstructed, ask a spotter to assist in guiding the load
  • Do not walk backward with the hand truck, unless going up stairs or ramps
  • When going down an incline, keep the hand truck in front of you so that it can be controlled at all times
  • Move hand trucks at a walking pace
  • Store hand trucks with the tongue under a pallet, shelf, or table

Pallet Jack Use

  • Only trained pallet jack operators may operate pallet jacks
  • Do not exceed the manufacturer's load rated capacity; read the lift capacity plate on the pallet jack if you are unsure
  • Do not ride on pallet jacks
  • Start and stop the pallet jack gradually to prevent the load from slipping
  • Pull manual pallet jacks; push them when going down an incline or passing close to walls or obstacles
  • If your view is obstructed, ask a spotter to assist in guiding the load
  • Stop the pallet jack if anyone gets in your way
  • Never place your feet under the pallet jack

Hand pallet trucks have a simple raise/neutral/lower operating method. To raise the forks, push the actuating lever down and pump the handle up and down until the pallet has reached the desired height. A clearance of one inch between the floor and pallet is usually sufficient to move the load. To move a load, engage the actuating lever in a neutral or middle position. This position disengages the lifting mechanism, making the handle free from hydraulic resistance, and the forks remain in the raised position. Lower the forks by pulling the actuating lever past the neutral position. Because the leer is spring-loaded for lowering, when you release the lever it will automatically return to the neutral position.