What is an Electric Pallet Truck?

Malcolm Tatum

Also known as a pallet stacker, lifter, or pallet jack, an electric pallet truck is a device that is used to safely lift and move pallets. The truck can be used to gather empty pallets and stack them for storage, or to remove pallets from a stack and transport them to an area of the plant or warehouse where goods can be loaded onto those pallets. Depending on the size of the truck, it may also be used to gently pick up and move pallets after they have been loaded, making it easier to transport the full pallets from one area to another.


While designs for the electric pallet truck vary, most are equipped with a set of fork blades that are operated with the use of some type of hydraulic system and a set of wheels that make it possible to move pallets with ease. Smaller trucks that are sometimes known as walkies, are very simple in design, and make use of a handle to help move the blades under the pallet, lift the panel off the floor, then push or pull the pallet to another location. Larger trucks, typically known as electric forklifts, can not only move empty or full pallets, but can also stack multiple pallets for transport to another area of the facility, and stack them into neat straight lines. This can be important in a warehouse, since it makes it easy to locate a specific pallet of goods and retrieve that pallet with relative ease.

An electric pallet truck of any size is typically powered with the use of a battery pack. Most designs allow the truck to be in operation for several hours before recharging is necessary. Managing the recharge usually involves using cables to plug the battery pack into some type of power source, usually an industrial electrical plug that is capable of processing the flow of current needed to manage the recharge safely.

There are several benefits associated with the use of an electric pallet truck. One has to do with decreasing reliance on fossil fuels. By using electricity, it is possible to minimize the consumption of gasoline that is often necessary with other types of forklifts. In addition, an electric pallet truck is usually much quieter during operation than gasoline-powered alternatives. This can be especially important when the truck is used in an enclosed space. The lack of fumes from the use of fuel is another attractive aspect of the electric truck, and is especially important when the area where the pallets are stored has little to no ventilation.

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