Low Profile Pallet Trucks

By John Dusek on 2009-03-02 13:42:08 -

As long as there isn't any true standardization of pallets there will always be the need for specialized material handling products including pallet jacks to move unitized pallet loads.

Not only are there many different pallet sizes as shown by the industry/commodity list below, there are almost as many composition of materials that pallets/skids are made from.

  • 48 x 40 Grocery, many others (STANDARD SIZE)
  • 42 x 42 Telecommunications, Paint
  • 48 x 48 Drums
  • 40 x 48 Military, Cement
  • 48 x 42 Chemical, Beverage
  • 40 x 40 Dairy
  • 48 x 45 Automotive
  • 44 x 44 Drums, Chemical
  • 36 x 36 Beverage
  • 48 x 36 Beverage, Shingles, Packaged Paper 

While the Grocery or GMA pallet is the most common pallet size in North America the use of Plastic Pallets is becoming more and more popular. This is due to their durability, safety factors, ease of use in dynamic flow storage systems and not as much of a draw on our natural resources.

 http://pallet-trucks.indoff.com/media/PLT/plastic_pallet_blue.jpg http://pallet-trucks.indoff.com/media/PLT/plastic_pallet_skid.jpg

 http://pallet-trucks.indoff.com/media/PLT/low_profile_plastic_pallet.jpg

Examples of this change is a wet pack and dry pack canning client of mine, Garden City Cannery.  They receive there can container stock on 48x48 and 60x48 plastic pallets as shown below.

 http://pallet-trucks.indoff.com/media/PLT/cans_-_pallet.jpg

These are plastic pallets with a low profile opening for the forks of their pallet jacks and forklifts to enter.  The standard lowered pallet jack fork height is 3 inches.  These "low profile" pallets require a Low Profile Pallet Truck with a 2 inch lowered fork height. 

A natural spring water bottler customer of mine, Rocks Natural Idaho Spring Water, receive their .5 and 1 liter bottle stock in on plastic low profile pallets as well and require a low profile footprint pallet truck for their operation.

Note in the drawing below the specification dimensions of a typical quality low profile pallet truck.

 http://pallet-trucks.indoff.com/media/PLT/low_profile_dwg.jpg

There are some variations of low profile pallet jacks in capacities, dimensions, lowered and raised fork heights and unit weight but you will find that the Low Profile Pallet Truck listed here will be the most commonly used.  It has poly steer wheels and steel load wheels to allow for the strongest bearings engineered for this application.

The uses of these units go beyond that of pallets and skids with some using them to move vending machines and other irregular appliances and machinery. Man's inventiveness is endless, hopefully with some logic for safety thrown in.