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Gartner Reports
Pallet Truck
Pallet Truck Pallet Truck

Pallet Truck

Pallet trucks are conveyors suitable for the horizontal transport of load units standing on the floor using loading aids such as Euro pallets, chemical pallets, pallet cages, rolling containers or similar. They can be manually or electrically powered, with models of the latter type also known as ants. Pallet trucks normally have three wheels. The motorized variants, however, sometimes have additional support rollers to the side of the drive wheel. The typical lifting height of pallet trucks is approx. 100 mm. In special cases such as high-lift pallet trucks, however, lifting heights of up to 4 m are possible.


In combination with an underfloor drag chain conveyor, pallet trucks are also used as transport elements of a continuous conveyor system for longer transport distances. As conveyors, pallet trucks belong in every business where goods have to be transported from one place to another. They are particularly well-suited for short distances and are characterised by their flexible deployment. No forklift licence is required for operation, but an introduction to using the pallet truck is beneficial. It should also be considered that the electric models must be inspected at least once a year.

Pallet truck variants

  • The hand pallet truck is the classic version of the pallet truck. It functions by means of a hydraulic mechanism through which the loading fork can be controlled by pumping motions. The weight is balanced by the design and does not require a counterweight.
  • The situation is similar for lift trucks with electric motors. The difference here is that even very heavy loads can be transported from A to B without any problems. With some models, the lifting mechanism can also be controlled electronically. Other models come equipped with a scale. This is particularly practical in areas where weighing is a central element of the work process.
  • As mentioned at the beginning, there are pallet trucks for which the lifting height exceeds normal conditions. These include high lift trucks and so-called scissor lift trucks. Their design, which is reminiscent of the object of the same name, allows them to reach a height of up to 0.8 metres.

Another distinguishing feature is the load capacity. Normal pallet trucks are able to lift a weight of up to 2.5 tonnes. If heavier loads are moved in the warehouse, it is better to use a heavy-duty lift truck instead. These can transport loads of up to 5 tonnes without any problems.

There are also various options for the dimensions of the lift truck fork. Some manufacturers offer custom-built pallet trucks. Here the length and width of the fork are tailored to the customer's wishes to correspond exactly to the requirements of the respective warehouse. As standard, however, the conveyors are always manufactured to be ideally suited to the dimensions of Euro pallets and similar pallets. There are also variants with short forks that are specially designed for half Euro pallets or display pallets. These are easier to manoeuvre through the warehouse and take up less space. There is also the opposite variant. Special-length (longer) forks enable pallet trucks to either have better weight distribution or to transport two Euro pallets at the same time.

Finally, there are also differences in the choice of rollers. Different materials are available depending on the driving surface and load capacity. Hard rubber rollers are shock-absorbent and run relatively smoothly. Nylon rollers are more resistant to external influences and thus less susceptible to wear. Heavy-duty pallet trucks, on the other hand, usually feature fork or tandem rollers made entirely of solid steel.

More interesting definitions Return to the Logistics Lexicon