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If you're moving a pallet, the two key ways of doing it: One is a forklift, but you would need to have special licensing for that. And two would be using the pallet truck. And if you're moving pallets around, it's often easier to use the pallet truck than it would be a forklift anyway, because they are easier to manoeuvre. So, with the pallet truck itself, the first thing you need to do is make sure that you are allowed to use it. So, some work places you are not allowed to use these with separate training. And then what you need to do once you are allowed to use it is do a visual inspection.

So you're looking around the whole pallet truck to make sure there's no damage to it. Start with looking at the tines themselves. Are they damaged, are they worn out, are there any problems with it, is there any excessive rust? And then have a close look through at the wheels. The wheels often get caught up with plastic wrap from the pallets, so they can get caught right inside the wheel here, which can cause them to jam up. Also, small stones can jam the wheels up as well. So just make sure they are completely clear and there is no rubbish on them, and then have a look through. Now try and avoid, these are all very heavy, so have a look underneath, but be very careful if you are moving, looking underneath the pallet truck.

Work your way through the visual inspection, then look at the wheel at the back, make sure that there is no problems with that. Make sure all the joints have got the pins in correctly, and there is nothing visible that's damaged, broken, cracked, or worn. Check the spring on the back end, make sure all the nuts are tight and there's nothing that's obviously loose. Now, these trucks will have regular servicing, but these are just visual checks that you're doing before you actually go to use it.

Then make sure that the arm itself moves around so you can actually turn the wheel nice and easily, and then you can check that the arm goes up and down and pump. And when it's in this position here, don't pop your fingers in there, but just visually look through, there's usually a chain, make sure there's no damage on that chain or any excessive rust. Also make sure that the button goes up and down, and then you can also leave it in the down position and practice just lifting the tines up and then placing them down. Once you have done that, the truck is ready to use. Not used any weight on it yet, but it's ready to go.

Now, the next thing you need to do is plan what you're going to be moving. So the first consideration with any pallet truck is making sure that the tines on the track are the correct ones for the different types of pallets. There's different types of pallets and different depths of pallets. There's some standard ones, the Euro-type pallets, they are 1200 millimeters deep. Some of the other pallets or you might find there's just a very small one that's literally only maybe 60, 80, 90 centimeters deep. Make sure the pallet is correct, make sure that the tine width is correct for the pallets you are moving. Most of them are standard, but you can get different sizes depending on what you are moving.

The other thing is to look at the load you are going to be moving. So making sure to start with that the pallet that actually is underneath is okay, it's not damaged. When you lift it up, are the bases falling away from it, is there any broken tines on the palate? So do a good visual inspection with that. Also make sure the pallet has been loaded correctly, and if it's been loaded and it's even light load within the palate itself, not overloaded in the form of excessive weight. So you can check the weights of the pallet and compare it with the maximum capacity on the truck. There will be a label on the truck that tells you the maximum capacity weight that you can load them up to.

Also, make sure the load is secure. So if you are moving multiple boxes, then maybe we use pallet shrink-wrapping around the box to hold them in place. If it is an unusual shape, make sure that it's securely on the pallet, so that is not going to fall off. When you're actually using the pallet truck, first off, plan your route, wear any PPE that is needed. It may well be in your workplace, you do after have to wear steel-coat toe-cap shoes, or maybe high-waist or any other PPE, so make sure you know what's need in your workplace. So look at what you're doing. In a warehouse setting like this, really what we're looking for here is making sure the area is clear. We are not going to bump into anybody or any other people using trucks or any other machinery. The floor is clean as well, in the sense there's no rubbish on there, so if there is a bit of pallet wrapping or cardboard on the floor, just go and pick that up a throw it away.

So, once you've secured where the load is, you can then plan what you're doing. So you can lift the pallet up from one point, move it across and put it over to another area. So make sure the area is clear. When you are pushing the pallet truck into the load, keep it nice and square, so the tines are central in the pallet. Just before you lift it up, just have a quick look around to make sure that it is central and you're not causing any problems, and then you can lift it up so the pallet is just off of the ground. You don't need to lift it as high as it will go, because the higher it goes the more unstable it is, but you do need to have sufficient clearance.

And if you are moving it across a slope or any uneven ground, you may need to lift the load up slightly just to make sure it stays and it doesn't ground out as you move the pallet truck. When the pallet's on place, then you can move the pallet to where you need to go. These are very, very manoeuvrable. The actual handle does spin around really well, so you can be very easy and get it in precisely in the position you want. So then slide it in exactly where you want. Before you drop it down, just make sure that no one is standing nearby, you're not going to drop it on someone's toes or anything else that's lying on the floor. Pop it into position, lower it down, another quick visual inspection before you take the truck away, and then you can pull the truck out and the pallet will be left where we have left it.

And finally, there's two types of pallets which can cause problems: The one type of pallet is an open-ended pallet. So it is literally as you push the pallet in, your wheels won't leave the ground, there is no wood in your way. There's other types which do have a piece of wood. So as you push the pallet in, it will have to go over a piece of wood and over the central bar as well before securing itself in place. So if you are using those pallets, sometimes you do need to shove it in a little bit harder. And also, if it's not fully down, then as you pull it out, it might get jammed, but to avoid that, just lift the handle up as you pull it out, so you're making sure that the tines are completely low as you pull the load out. And finally, with the pallet truck, once you finish using it, these are a trip hazard if they're just left lying around, so put it securely away, wherever in your workplace is the place where you're going to be storing them where no one's gonna get caught.