Hand Forklift | How the Hand Forklift Changed the Materials Handling Industry

The hand forklift is a device used to transport multiple pallets or boxes etc. They are primarily used by distribution companies and in warehouses and factories, however, they can be useful in pretty much any industry or setting where goods need to be transported.

Hand forklifts have many different names, including;

  • Pallet truck
  • Pallet pump
  • Pallet jack
  • Lift truck
  • Pump truck

old hand forklift

The Evolution of the Hand Forklift

Here is the basic evolution of the hand forklift;

The Invention of the Hand Forklift

Hand pump trucks have been around for a lot longer than most people realise. Dating back to the late 1800’s, the first basic hand forklifts were used. These devices could lift pallets a few inches off the ground so they could be transported – this was done manually.

The Progression of the Hand Forklift

This, however, was not used to transport pallets yet. Warehouse workers could have to wait until 1901 for a new version of the hand forklift to be invented. The new design was made completely out of steel and offered minimal lifting and movement. These were used as a platform more than for lifting and transporting the pallets.

The high lift pump truck was introduced at the end of the 20th century and revolutionised the distribution industry. By 1926 the hand forklift offered a more efficient way of moving pallets, as well as other goods, from one place to another with ease. The higher lifting feature made it far easier to store the goods in warehouses and factories, which are typically have high ceilings. This not only revolutionised the way people transport goods, it also changed the way that people store goods. Making both practices more efficient.

World War Two

During world war two, pallets became essential in the logistical strategies of rationing food, supplying aid and transporting equipment. The extreme demand for efficiency leads to the development of pallets and then onto the development of the hand forklift.

After the war, the development that had been made and used in the military was filtered down into commercial operations. This gave factories a much-needed boost of efficiency.

From there the development has been pretty slow and steady, with electric lift truck coming into play around 1939.

Advantages of a Hand Forklift

There are many advantages of using a hand forklift if you work in a warehouse or a factory, or anywhere that transports goods from point A to point B.

  • Increased efficiency
  • Hard to reach storage options become more accessible
  • Great for warehouses that do not have space or the storage to keep a forklift
  • Increased worker safety
  • Cheaper than a forklift
  • Easily operated – can be operated by pretty much anyone
  • Minimal noise pollution – make next to no noise
  • Minimum maintenance required

So if you think your workspace could benefit from a hand forklift then get in touch with a company such as LLM Handling today! They can provide you with all of the handling equipment you could ever need, to help boost efficiency at low prices.