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Ways to Move Pallets Without a Forklift

Ways to Move Pallets Without a Forklift

Monday, February 06, 2023

Forklifts can be found in many warehouses and are extremely useful in many industrial operations. However, they can be very expensive and require special certifications. Businesses that utilize forklifts may also need to carry specialized insurance to cover any liability for accidents that may happen involving forklifts.

While they are great tools, they are not needed for smaller operations that need materials moved less frequently. Unless a company is moving large amounts of materials daily, they are impractical based on cost alone. Throw in safety issues, driver requirements, and maintenance, and they become less and less attractive as a tool.

Ways to Move Pallets Without a Forklift

Pallets have a fairly high load capacity and can weigh up to 4600 pounds. Without specialized equipment, this is a lot of weight to move not only around but also highly dangerous. It is important to move pallets with proper equipment.

If you do not have access to a forklift or other heavy equipment, this may seem like a daunting task, but it can be completed. If you have no clue where to start, the following methods can be employed to move heavy loads. Just be sure to allow more time, as it will be time-consuming and more challenging.

1. Roller Crowbar

One simple tool for moving pallets without a forklift is a roller crowbar. To move a pallet with a roller crowbar, first position the crowbar underneath the pallet, making sure the rollers are centered under the pallet. Then, use your foot to press down on the end of the crowbar, lifting the pallet off the ground. 

Once the pallet is lifted, you can use the crowbar to move it to the desired location by rolling it along the rollers. It's important to make sure that the pallet is properly aligned and that the rollers of the crowbar are in good condition before using it. Be sure to be mindful of your footing and keep the path clear of obstacles to prevent tripping or losing control of the pallet.

2. Pallet Jack

A pallet jack is a manual tool that can be used to move pallets with ease. To move a pallet with a pallet jack, first, position the jack underneath the pallet, making sure the forks are centered under the pallet. 

Then, use the handle to raise the pallet off the ground by pumping the lever. Once the pallet is lifted, you can use the jack to move it wherever you want. It is always important to have at least one more person assist you when moving heavy or large pallets.

3. Pallet Conveying

If your pallets are moving over a defined path over and over again, pallet conveying may be the way to go. As long as you have your lines set up ahead of time, you can easily transport materials from one place to another. Simply set up your conveyors and build pallets on top of them before releasing them to their end location. 

4. Mobile Pallets

Mobile pallets, also known as pallet dollies, keep pallet loads portable by putting them on rollers. These are extra convenient as they do not need any additional tools to move them around. Mobile pallets can be used in a variety of ways, such as for storage, transportation, and as workstations. 

They can be used to move and store heavy items or to create a temporary work surface, for example. Mobile pallets come in various sizes and weight capacities and can be made from different materials such as plastic, metal, or wood. 

5. Other DIY Methods

If none of the previous methods are available, you may need to get creative with moving pallets. Here are two ways to move a pallet without any tools:

    • Use a Rope: One way to move a pallet without a forklift or pallet jack is to use a heavy-duty rope. Securely fasten the rope to the pallet, then move it to its new spot along the floor. Avoid dragging the pallet too quickly to avoid damaging it or hurting yourself.
  • Use a Sheet: Furniture movers will often move heavy loads with a sheet or tarp. Simply put an empty pallet on a sheet and palletize your items. Once everything is on the pallet, drag the sheet wherever it needs to go. 
  • By Hand: As a last resort, you can depalletize the load and move each item to its desired location.

Staying Safe When Moving a Pallet Without a Forklift

So you know how to move a pallet without a forklift, but can you do it safely? To keep yourself safe from injury and your load well protected, here are a few guidelines:

  • Find helpers; many hands make light work.
  • Wear gloves to protect your hands.
  • Secure your load with straps or rope.
  • Make sure your moving method is appropriate for your load.

Moving heavy palletized loads without a forklift can be a challenging endeavor, but it can be done. It just takes the correct tool for the job and a little bit of elbow grease. Moving pallets from one part of a warehouse to another is one thing; moving them off site is another.

Whether you are moving one pallet or an entire truckload, Appalachian Movers Transport has got you covered. We are experienced and equipped to professionally move equipment and heavy items wherever you need. We understand that time is of the essence. Therefore, we offer expedited services that can aid in minimal disruption of your operations. 

Contact us today for a free estimate!