Pallet trucks – Low, Standard or High Profile?

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Most pallets are designed to allow a standard pallet truck to pass comfortably underneath.  The pallet can then be lifted clear of the floor and moved to another position.  Here at HallmarkFIX we consider these to be standard pallets, regardless of what they are made from.  Of course not all pallets are standard and so the option of low, standard or high profile hand pallet trucks come into play.

Typically, a standard pallet truck will have a lowered height of around 80-85mm and a stroke of about 115-120mm.  With a raised height of around 200mm they are entirely suitable for the majority of applications.

Low Clearance Pallets

As we said, not all pallets are the same.  There may be occasions where a lower truck is necessary to allow it to pass underneath.  This is often the case with pallets of floor or wall tiles and some imported pallets.  These units are known as low profile pallet trucks.

Low Profile Pallet Trucks

It may be tempting to go for as low a closed height as possible but a few words of warning.

  1. The lower the closed height, the smaller the wheels and bearings and the less loading they can withstand.
  2. The smaller the wheel, the better the surface that is needed to prevent damage
  3. The Safe Working Load (SWL) is likely to be less with a closed height of 75mm or below and prices tend to be higher!

Low profile pallet trucks are available with a closed height of as little as 35mm and a raised height of 96mm.  However, the smaller wheels limit its capacity to 1000kgs.  A more common profile is 51mm with a capacity of 1500kgs.  Finally, it’s not unusual for a 75mm closed height to solve the problem, particularly with American pallets.

High Profile Pallet Trucks

If you’re handling steel stillages it may be that the underdeck clearance is too high for a standard pallet truck.  A simple solution is fix a steel frame to the forks.  Because the stroke is the same, the closed height is increased which in turn increases the lift height.  Problem solved!


Low profile trucks are not unusual and if regularly maintained should give many years of reliable service.  As with any pallet truck try not to use it at or near its capacity all the time.

We offer a full onsite repair service for these as well as standard trucks.

If you’d like to discuss this further please call us now on 0161 272 1900 for free impartial advice.  We cover the UK mainland.