Hand and electric pallet trucks

If you have a warehouse, the pallet truck will be your great ally, as it makes the tasks of transporting, loading and unloading goods very easy.

But which type of pallet truck is best? Is it worth investing in an electric one?

The truth is that each has its benefits and drawbacks, so in order to decide it is essential to first carry out a thorough analysis of the needs of your business and your operations.

If you are considering making an investment in a pallet truck and you are not sure which model to choose,in this article we detail the advantages and disadvantages of each one to make your decision a little easier.

Hand pallet truck: advantages and disadvantages

Hand pallet trucks are the simplest model and for certain operations they can be very efficient. They are mainly used for short distances and require little initial investment..

They consist of a double fork, three wheels for moving and a single handle with a brake.

Its lifting system is completely mechanical, since it is raised by means of a hydraulic system that is activated manually.

In terms of load capacity, they typically carry a weight of between 2,500 and 3,000 kg, although this may vary depending on the manufacturer and functionality.


These are the benefits of hand pallet trucks:

  • They are cost-effective: maintenance costs are drastically reduced because wear and tear is mechanical rather than electrical; therefore, if they do break down, they are easier to repair. It can even be carried out by the operator himself. Moreover, preventive maintenance is also more economical, as repair kits with spare wheels for pallet trucks are available.
  • Hand pallet trucks are highly resistant to ageing and wear and tear: most are made of steel and have a galvanised protective coating.
  • They are versatile: with them you can transport any type and size of pallet.
  • It is very easy to learn how to operate them: the learning curve is very low, so you can always train someone when the need arises.


While there are clear advantages, there are also some disadvantages:

  • They require greater operator effort: this can result in increased staff fatigue, so shifts should be kept short and alternate.
  • The risk of injury is higher: as a consequence of the previous point, the operator could even suffer injuries resulting from the use of force for lifting.
  • They are more cumbersome to use: because of their manual nature.
  • They have a weight limitation: they depend on the strength of the employee, so it is not advisable to force them to carry the maximum weight.

Electric pallet truck – advantages and disadvantages

Like the manual ones, they are versatile and easy to use. And, therefore, recommended if the work to be carried out is going to be more continuous.

In this case, the hydraulic mechanism is replaced by an automatic system that relieves the worker from applying force.

In addition, they tend to take up more space than manual ones and some have a place for transporting the worker.


Electric pallet trucks have these advantages:

  • Operator ergonomics and health: as the operator does not have to exert physical effort, he/she is less likely to suffer injuries during use.
  • Time saving:its design allows it to cover long distances at good speed.
  • Variety of products and ranges: this means that you can find one that suits your needs and operations. For example, there are models where the driver can stand up, others where the driver can sit down, and there are also different pallet trucks depending on the weight you need them to carry. As a standard they also offer additional equipment such as different fork sizes, quieter wheels, load protection grids or cold store equipment, among others.


At the same time, the benefits of these pallet trucks also imply these disadvantages:

  • You will have to invest more in training your operators: it is mandatory by law that they learn how to use these pallet trucks properly in order to be able to drive them.
  • The maintenance cost is higher: this is due to the fact that it has electrical components, which require higher maintenance costs.
  • The initial investment is also higher: however, the cost can be amortised through increased productivity.
  • There may be risks in stopping the machine: when transporting very heavy loads.

Semi-electric pallet truck

They are a hybrid model, as they have features of both electric and manual pallet trucks: driving is electric and lifting is manual, so physical effort is reduced.

In terms of size, they are smaller than electric ones, so they can be used in small spaces.

In addition, as they are electrically driven, they require less effort on the part of the operator. This results in greater efficiency and productivity, and also in a longer distance that can be travelled..

Before deciding, analyse

To select the model that best suits the requirements of your business, first take a close look at the different models available on the market and compare.

In any case, it prevents the quality of the product from being affected by the desire to make a smaller investment.

And if after reading this article you have any doubts about which type of pallet truck to choose, please contact us.

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