Some packages do not require a lot of handling and machinery around, but there are pallets that are rather heavy and cannot be easily moved from the point of collection to the desired place. That is when forklifts come to play.
What is the best way to pick up a pallet with a forklift?
- It is of utter importance to check the pallet condition before doing any lifting. There is a risk that the pallet will break if it is showing any signs of mould or cracks on it. If indeed you find any damage to it, we suggest replacing it before, to avoid any unwanted situations.
- Have the pallet securely and evenly stacked. If the pallet load is uneven, have the heavy end against the heel of the fork arms.
- Make sure that the pallet weight is not more than the forklift capacity.
- To have a safe lift, have the pallet close to the front wheels.
- Keep the forklift mass in upright (90 degrees) position before inserting the forks into the pallet.
- Align and centre the fork ‘arms’ evenly from the centre stringer.
- Tilt the forks a little backwards to ensure its maximum security.
- Move the forklift to the desired location.
- And then you finish with lowering the pallet on the designated place.
Are there any other forklift alternatives?
For lightweight pallets, you can also use a pallet jack for their lifting as another forklift alternative. The pallet jacks are operated manually and do not need fuel to operate, which makes them different from the forklifts. On the other hand, forklifts are used mainly for lifting heavy pallets, need fuel to operate, and require larger storage place.
What kind of forklift do I need for my pallet?
There are many different types of forklifts. Depending on the number and the size of your pallets and where you would like to transport them, you can choose between the following types of forklifts:
- Counterbalance forklifts are the most common types of forklift trucks, usually used in warehouses. They require a forklift license.
- Three-Wheel Counterbalance forklifts offer more manoeuvrability and are perfect for narrow aisles. Reach trucks are commonly used in warehouses where the racks are stacked high and you need a forklift to move them down or put them back up.
- Powered pallet trucks or Walkies run on electric energy and are often used to carry small loads.
- Sideloaders have the forks built-in on the side, thus allowing them to pick up longer and wider loads.
- Teletrucks or telescopic forklifts are often compared to small cranes as they can reach heights and angles that other forklifts cannot.
Different ways to power a forklift
- Electric forklifts might be more expensive initially, but they serve longer and are cheaper in consumption. Moreover, they produce no emissions and operate quietly, therefore they are perfect for working indoors.
- Gas forklifts move faster and can lift heavier loads.
- Diesel forklifts are recommended for outdoor heavy lifting.
Forklift safety tips
- Properly trained forklift operators. This is something that is on top of the list of safety tips when manoeuvring a forklift. Hire drivers that possess forklift license or train your personnel to avoid any unwanted situations.
- Evenly stacked pallets. Unbalanced stacks can easily fall over and cause pallet damage.
- Avoid damaged pallets.
- Lifting pallets instead of pushing them. Never bulldoze the pallets around, lift them in the air before moving them.
- Slower speed. Do not manoeuvre the forklift with full speed as it will only result in damaged pallets.
- Never short fork. Fully insert the forks when you are lifting the pallet, otherwise, the balance will be offset.
You do not need to know how to pick up a pallet with a forklift to have a pallet collection. If you have booked shipping through Eurosender’s platform, and the shipment you are sending requires forklift or pallet jack manoeuvring, you should inform us about that before its collection. Eurosender offers many shipping options both for individuals and businesses. By registering on our platform, you can get special offers based on your requirement.
This article was written in collaboration with Mariia Rublenyk.
Last modified: February 26, 2020