Safely loading and unloading pallets with a pallet truck is extremely important in order to avoid any injuries. So, to protect yourself and others, we have put together some tips on how to safely unload pallets using a pallet truck.
Tips on how safely unload pallets with a pallet truck
Do not attempt to unload pallets before the pallet truck has come to a complete stop
When you reach the truck, bring the pallet truck to a complete stop and ensure it is facing the load vertically. It is also important for you to line the pallet truck’s forks/arms up with the pallet that needs unloading from the truck and insert them into the pallet. Taking these steps will give you greater control over the equipment and you will be able to see that the material goods being unloaded are securely placed on the pallet jack.
You need to take your time when operating a pallet truck as material goods can get damaged when they’re being moved. Moreover, driving the pallet truck at too high of a speed will also endanger yourself and other employees if you lose control of the pallet truck and cannot safely stop. When loading goods onto the pallet truck, you should slowly insert the arms until the load is resting against the backrest.
Don’t remove the load from the truck if the arms aren’t correctly inserted into the pallet
If only one pallet truck arm is inserted into the pallet or isn’t inserted far enough (the load should sit against the backrest) then you should not attempt to remove the load and should re-adjust the arms. If you continue to move the load when the arms aren’t correctly inserted, you risk the goods falling which can cause damage and put others at risk.
Don’t forget to check your surroundings
Before reversing in a pallet truck and whilst you’re operating one, you should pay attention to your surroundings and look around you for any obstructions or employees who may be in the way.
Don’t forget to lower the arms and tilt the load backwards
Once you are clear from the truck you are unloading from, you should stop the pallet truck and lower the fork arms and tilt the load backwards. If you do not tilt the load backwards, you risk the goods sliding off of the fork arms.
Don’t reverse further until your path is clear
Before reversing again to drop the load off at the right destination, you should double-check that the path behind you is clear to avoid any accidents. It is also important not to drive the pallet truck too fast as this will pose further risks to damaging goods and harming others.
Never exceed the load limits
You should never exceed the maximum load limit when using a pallet trucks as overloading can lead to tipping over, damaging goods, the surrounding area and potentially harming others in the workplace.
You should always take care when operating a pallet trucks and follow health and safety precautions. Find out more information on how to use a pallet truck safely or take a look at our other articles on pallet trucks here.