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A pallet lift is a device which is designed to lift and maneuver pallets of various weights and sizes. Pallet lifts can be designed as attachments for cranes, forklifts, and other types of heavy equipment, and they can also be standalone items. Many companies which manufacture equipment for working in shipping and warehousing applications sell pallet lifts in a variety of configurations. They can also be purchased used from used equipment retailers, or rented, in situations where a company does not feel ready to invest in the cost of a pallet lift.
A typical pallet lift includes a pair of forks which are designed to go under the pallet, with a bar to stabilize the pallet while it is lifted. Some pallet lifts have forks mounted to hydraulics which can be used to raise and lower the pallet, and in other cases, the lift may be fixed, with the movement being accomplished with an overhead lift or tractor.
Pallet lifts can be used to load and unload pallets from trucks, trains, and ships. They can also be used to organize pallets in a warehouse, from offloading pallets from a recent shipment to rearranging pallets to make materials easier to find. Pallet lifts are also used for moving materials around a warehouse. Some companies make devices which are capable of lifting several pallets simultaneously, for warehouses which move large volumes of materials.
Pallet handling can be a complex process, as pallets are heavy and they can contain very valuable items. Before using a pallet lift, it is usually necessary to receive training in working with pallets and heavy equipment, to learn how to handle the equipment and how to watch out for danger signs such as an unevenly loaded pallet or a pallet which may fail as a result of fatigue cracks or rough handling. Using heavy equipment can also be unsafe when it is done improperly, making safety training an important activity in facilities where pallet lifts and other types of equipment are used.
When purchasing a pallet lift, it is important to think about how the device will be used. In facilities with narrow aisles, for example, it may be a good idea to seek out a device with a narrow profile which will be maneuverable in the aisles. In a facility which already has overhead lifts or another type of heavy equipment, people may want to consider purchasing a pallet lift attachment which works with this equipment, rather than buying a standalone pallet lift.