Comparing manual vs. motorized pallet jacks

Here are a few things to consider when choosing between the two.

Of the many variations of pallet jacks on the market, there are two main differences that set them apart: Manual pallet jacks are manually operated, while motorized pallet jacks are powered by electric motors. Deciding between the two boils down to knowing which is right for your unique situation as defined by your operation.

Where will you use it?

Most pallet jacks are used in climate controlled warehouses or loading docks with smooth, level floors, so hauling even heavier loads manually isn’t a problem. But if you’re using it both indoors and outdoors, like in a lumber yard setting, you may be dealing with irregular surfaces, making a motorized pallet jack more suitable.

How far are your hauls?

What are the distances your pallet jack will be required to travel? In general, manual pallet jacks are ideal for hauls up to a maximum of 40 feet. Anything beyond that and you should consider using a motorized pallet jack. In other words, a larger material handling facility might demand a motorized pallet jack.

How heavy are your hauls?

Size and weight capacities are important factors to consider when deciding which pallet jack is right for your operation. Generally, a standard manual pallet jack has a 5,500 lbs. limit. So it stands to reason that when dealing with heavier loads, you may need a motorized pallet jack on the job. Also, motorized pallet jacks excel at moving and lifting tall pallet stacks.

What's your budget?

As with most material handling businesses, your budget may be a deciding factor. As you’d expect, motorized pallet jacks are more expensive than their manual counterparts. But while motorized pallet jacks may cost more upfront, the benefits will likely justify the expense in the long haul, providing a good return on your investment.

Well, there you have it. Once you’ve considered these factors, choosing the right pallet jack for your operation should be simple and straight forward. If you’d like advice, or if you have any questions, feel free to contact us.

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