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Should You Push Or Pull A Pallet Truck?

Should You Push Or Pull A Pallet Truck?


Pallet jacks also called lift pallet trucks, are some of the most widely used equipment. Warehouses and industrial settings are the most common places where you can find these. 

Commonly motorized pallet jack is easier to operate and requires basic training only. You can use these equipment pieces to transport big boxes laden with pallets or other materials. In fact, you can transport anything that can fit into it to a certain distance without putting stress on the operator. 

The best way to move a pallet truck

Both pallet stacker and motorized pallet jack are famous for material handling tasks. In fact, you wouldn’t see any workplace where these aren’t present. With the increasing popularity of pallet trucks, there comes confusion that’s “should you push or pull a pallet truck when using it to transport loads.”

  • Generally, a person can push up to 4x more weights than the weight they can pull. Due to the mechanics of our bodies, pushing more often requires less force than what you need to pull something. 

  • However, it is also based on the objects you have in question, whether it is better to be pushed or pulled. That may be the primary reason behind this question arises for pallet trucks. 

In the case of a pallet truck, it is always important to consider the operator’s safety first, as the weight on the pallet truck is pretty heavy.

Should you push or pull a pallet truck?

A common misconception is that a pallet truck is best to move by pushing. You can work properly by pushing your pallet truck. This may be because a human can push more weight typically. Therefore, whenever the need to move a pallet truck arises, it is considered safer to push it. 

In fact, this isn't the right factor in deciding whether you should push a pallet truck or pull. Both pulling and pushing a pallet truck are right based on the circumstances in which you have to move the pallet truck. 

When to pull a pallet truck?

A lift pallet truck operator can generate weight momentum more easily and quickly by pulling the pallet truck. This practice can make it easier for the operator of a pallet truck to propel the jack in any required direction. So, there are circumstances where increased maneuverability is necessary. In that case, pulling a pallet truck is better than pushing it. 

Pulling a pallet truck when not required can also result in losing control, especially when carrying a heavy load. The operator of the pallet truck may be run over by the tool. This can cause a potential injury. 

When to push a pallet truck?

On the other hand, most people agree that pushing the pallet truck seems to strain its operator more. However, in some conditions pushing a lift pallet truck is more appropriate than pulling it. 

For instance, pushing is a slower but safer movement option to consider if you are transporting heavy loads. For example, if a pedestrian steps in the operator’s direction suddenly. The operator can steer away from the pallet truck and stop its movement quickly to keep it from hitting the person. 

The Key deciding factors

Overall, the right action that you need to take to transport the load depends upon different aspects. These aspects more often include:

  • Design of your pallet jack 

  • Size of the load you have to transport 

  • Weight of items you are transporting 

  • The surface of the floor where you will use the pallet jack 

  • The physical strength of the operator of the pallet jack 

The other deciding factors for “should you push or pull a pallet truck” generally include:

  • Risk assessment of compliance officer 

  • Recommendation of equipment manufacturer 

Consider all these factors mentioned above to decide when you should pull a pallet jack and when pushing a pallet jack is preferable. 

Final Remarks:

Whether using a lift pallet truck or a motorized pallet jack, these are vulnerable to unwanted accidents. Most importantly, if the operator hasn’t had proper guidance. However, the answer to this question isn't straightforward when it's about whether you should push or pull a pallet truck. Instead, you should consider all the deciding factors mentioned above to make a well-informed decision in this regard. 

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