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Semi-Powered Pallet Trucks – Asset or Liability?

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Semi-Powered Pallet Trucks – Asset or Liability?  Semi-powered pallet trucks are not a new concept, some fork truck manufacturers have been selling them for decades.  Recently though,  they’ve become readily available as low cost imports have been offered online.

Are they a good investment?

The answer to this is simple.  A high performance Italian car is not designed to be driven along rutted country tracks.  Equally, semi-powered pallet trucks are not designed for arduous conditions.  If you’re operating on perfect floors and want to make life easier for your staff, fine.  However, used on and off the back of a delivery vehicle, it’s unlikely to last very long without serious repairs.

The problem is that the very places they’re most needed are exactly the places for which they are unsuited!

Is there an alternative?

Measure twice, cut once.Actually, there are two but first a word about price.  Buy cheap, buy twice.  First class equipment costs more – to buy.  It’s lifetime cost is likely to be lower because with regular servicing it should withstand the rigours of most applications.

Semi-powered equipment is built to a price so repairs could be expensive.  Fully powered trucks from a reputable manufacturer are built up to a specification but that’s reflected in the price.

This applies equally to manual pallet trucks.  The best models are expensive but they have two major advantages:

  • With regular maintenance they’re likely to last longer and have a lower lifetime cost
  • They’re easier to use because they’re better constructed.  Think about the difference between driving a cheap car and a luxury model!

Considerations

As with so many things, some careful planning and consideration will pay dividends.  Possible questions include:

  • Semi-powered equipment costs more.  Am I prepared for higher costs?  Both purchase and maintenance.
  • Can I easily limit the areas in which they’re used?
  • Can I revert to non-powered easily if things don’t work out?

Conclusion

Used in the right environment we believe that this equipment is indeed an asset.  Our concern is that human nature will lead people to use it in more arduous environments.  If this happens, it’s likely to be an expensive liability.

Our business is the service, certification and repair of non-powered pallet trucks.  We have considered including repairs to semi-powered trucks but currently, we do not feel that that the market is mature enough.  Our reputation is built on high levels of customer support.  This might be jeopardised if we were to extend our services.  We hope you understand our concerns.