Freight Savings for Shipping Your Pallet Jack

By John Dusek on 2013-07-14 17:12:08 -

The NMFTA (National Motor Freight Traffic Association) has developed a standard that provides a comparison of commodities moving interstate and intrastate.  The NMFC (National Motor Freight Classification) standard of commodities are grouped into one of 18 classes—from a low of class 50 to a high of class 500—based on an evaluation of four transportation characteristics: density, stowability, handling and liability.  The lower the Class number the lower the cost is.

The LTL shipping of manual pallet jacks/trucks can be categorized into a couple of these published classes.  The key factor is if the units are shipped with their handle attached or unattached.  If the handle is attached they ship Class 175 and if unattached it is considered Class 92.5.

Many standard pallet jacks weigh in around 200 lbs.   In processing an example calculation of freight cost difference of these two freight classes on the same shipping weight to a same shipping destination: Class 175 $162.00 and Class 92.5 $120.00.

Not all pallet truck manufacturers will offer this choice but asking if it can be requested to be done will result in extra savings for your company.  There are additional benefits to this action.  One is that the unit and handle are normally strapped to a pallet or crate providing less chance of damage and loss during transit.  The second advantage is it lessens the temptation of a material handler to coincidentally use the pallet jack to move some nearby pallets.

I've found that most of these manufacturers that do offer this option provide quite adequate instructions and drawings to hook the handle up.  Assembling the handle is quite a simple maneuver of attaching it with two pins and connecting the linkage as shown by the illustration below.