It is the indispensable work horse during the loading and unloading in our distribution centres and warehouses; the electric pallet truck. Unfortunately, that same pallet truck has been involved in many (near) accidents during those operations. A foot gets pinched, a pallet nearly shattered or a lift truck gets damaged; the danger lies just around the corner. We present you five points to avoid pitfalls and increase safety:
1. Height differences between loading dock and lorry
Before the pallet truck can get to work, you must minimize the difference between the loading dock and warehouse floor. Only then the pallet truck can move quickly in and out of the lorry. Invest in a good dock leveller; it pays for itself. Also, make sure that the truck cannot crawl away unintentionally. A simple wheel cog can do the job.
2. Use traffic lights
Just like in ordinary traffic, adverse situations can be avoided by using traffic lights. They can be deployed both inside (warning the driver of the pallet truck) and outside. Only at a green light, the pallet truck has permission to enter the lorry.
3. Use a pallet truck with suspended castor or drive wheels
Choose for a pallet truck with (linked) suspended castor or drive wheels. They absorb shocks and vibrations. Besides, suspended castor wheels will give the truck more stability. At the same time, this is also a safety feature.
4. Brake quick and effortless
Space is very limited in the trailer or on the dock. That is why it is so important that a pallet truck is highly manoeuvrable and handles smoothly. An ergonomic tiller arm, rounded fork tips and a decent lift height… they all help working efficient in tight spaces.
Of course, working smoothly should never be at the expense of speed and productivity. The power pallet truck should deliver all of this, but it should also enable the operator to slow down quick and easy when necessary.
5. Proper use
Last, but certainly not in the last place, safety during loading and unloading can be positively affected by the operator. The risk of damage or injury is minimal when working with common sense. Independent tests show each time that this does not affect the productivity negatively. They even prove that a controlled way of working is not only safer, but also more productive.