A pallet stacker is a type pallet jack used to help lift, move and stack palletized goods that are too heavy to lift manually. A pallet stacker’s main purpose is to load and unload pallets on trucks, and to transfer pallets from one location to another inside a warehouse or storage space. Most pallet stackers are built of heavy-duty materials to withstand extreme weights and heavy daily use.
Pallet stackers or jacks may be walk behind, or operated from an upright or seated position. Pallet stackers are typically divided into two types: manual and powered. A pallet stacker is comprised of some basic components. The stacker’s forks slide underneath a pallet, move, and lift it to desired height. The stacker’s engine compartment or casing houses hydraulic, electronic, or gas-run equipment that powers the machine.
A manual pallet stacker is hand-powered and operates hydraulically to make lifting heavy pallets an easier task. It is usually a walk-behind, which means it is operated by pushing and pulling the jack to its desired location. Pumping a foot pedal or handle raises the stacker’s forks. Squeezing a separate trigger or lever returns the forks to the ground level. Manual pallet stackers are ideal for lighter loads of up to approximately one ton (907.18 kg), depending on the model’s maximum weight capacity.
Gas or electric powered pallet stackers help make stacking heavier pallets easier by lifting weights of up to around five tons (4535.92 kg). These provide automatic power to raise and lower the stacker’s forks, and are thus less physically demanding than manual ones. A throttle on the machine’s handle moves it forward and in reverse. It is steered by turning the handle in the desired direction, and its forks are raised and lowered by buttons found on the handle. A pallet stacker that is operated from a sit-down position is commonly known as a forklift.
Selecting the right pallet jack to suit a specific job is critical. The lift height, weight maximum, and fork width may vary dramatically between individual units. A stacker’s lift height may allow only two pallets to be stacked, while others may reach heights that allow multiple pallet stacking. Some forklift-style pallet stackers feature an adjustable fork width that allows the jack to slide beneath pallets of various shapes and sizes. These are a popular choice when many different style pallets are regularly used, as it may eliminate the need for more than one pallet stacker.