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Manual pallet jacks can be found in practically every type of business that handles any type of materials. They are convenient for temporarily moving pallets of materials short distances or for quickly off- or on-loading smaller loads where a forklift isn’t necessary.
With few moving parts and no type of engine, manual pallet jacks can be used for years and years without breaking down. They require little, if any, maintenance. Instead, they are just one of those reliable, always-ready tools that can be used over and over again without issue.
Until there’s an issue. Sooner or later, every type of machinery — no matter how simple — will break down as a result of normal wear and tear, damage, or overuse. Fortunately, because manual pallet jacks are so simple, normally so are the repairs.
Manual Pallet Jacks Won’t Lift
One of the most common problems encountered with manual pallet jacks is that suddenly they stop lifting to their maximum height. No matter how much you pump in the handle, the pallet jack won’t go any higher.
In this instance, it’s usually a case of not enough hydraulic oil. Either the manual pallet jack sprung a leak or hydraulic oil has seeped out slowly over time, but when there’s not enough hydraulic oil, no matter how much you pump the manual pallet jack, it’s not going to create enough pressure to raise the forks.
The solution is simple: Add more hydraulic oil. Refer to the owner’s manual for your particular brand of manual pallet jack to determine what kind of oil to order and how to add it. If you are frequently having to add hydraulic oil to your manual pallet jack, however, you might inspect the device for a leak or damage to the hydraulic can.
Manual Pallet Jacks Won’t Lower
Another problem often encountered is that manual pallet jacks get stuck in the raised position. Pushing the release tab has no effect on the pallet jack. Instead, the forks just stay in the same position.
There are two things that can cause this. The first is actually that there could be too much hydraulic oil in the device. So the first thing to try is to release a little oil from the hydraulic mechanism and try lowering the jack again.
If this doesn’t work, it could be the second, more serious problem: The moving parts inside the manual pallet jack’s motion track are damaged, deformed, or otherwise inoperable. If that’s the case, you may have to outsource the repair if you lack the expertise to make it yourself.
Manual pallet jacks may be simple, but even the simplest equipment can eventually break down. Fortunately, the fixes in this instance are usually quick and easy.