Pallet truck/Taillift woes

Started a new job recently, it invloves loading pallets with a pump truck from places like peoples garages and storage units on to the tail lift, trouble is some of the ground your pulling on isnt the best and you just cant get a good run at the tail lift to get it on, pallets weight up to a ton so the inevitable happens and it gets stuck half on half off the tail, thats where the handball then comes in to get it shifted, some places have 5-6 pallets to be shifted on, i need a better technique or option to load these babys on as its eating away at my day and my back big time, been looking at a 2 ton hand winch in case they get stuck on, im assuming i can just winch it on the last 2 feet and hey presto, what do you multi drop and flour men recommend, im not the strongest bloke yet but i reckon a couple of months of this and ill make arnie look like mr muscle

thanks guys, btw the pump truck and tail lifts arent the best to start with

I only load empty pallets on, if it’s just a few I bear down on the handle and lift the guide wheels up onto the lift and skid it round. Our taillifts don’t sit flush with the ground without faffing around with the suspension etc so we tend just to throw pallets onto the lift, raise up and then move into position with the pallet truck.
For unloading, I just let the pallet truck go jockey wheel first off the edge, lower pallet to the lift bed and lower. This stops the pallet running off the tailift or the pumptruck sliding out when it touches the ground. Of course with those awful plastic pallets you have to be careful but I feel ths method is safer and quicker than turning the pallet sideways on the taillift, as most of my colleagues do.

Can you break down the pallets in anyway? If I struggle or my feet start slipping I take some sacks off and put on an empty pallet-it might mean more pallets to move but easier on your body.

Another trick for when unloading uphill into a unit or whatever; Drive upto the building or bay so the rear of the lorry faces downhill. Pumptruck the pallets to the back doors, turn the lorry around, reverse to the bay and then the pallets come off much easier.

Different job would be my recommendation!!

No real way around it really. The tuck under tail lifts are better than the fold up the back ones though. Easier to get a pallet on and stronger with lifting.
I used to deliver garden tractors, so often had pallet truck, tail lift, gravel drives issues.

If you have side flaps go on from the side and get some help to keep the momentum going. If a side load is not an option then as Judehamish says, find a different job.

Just a thought, not from experience. Could you raise the lift 6 inches, put two lengths of 2by4 (or bigger) below the wheels in the air, lower the lift and push the pump truck down hill.
Not forgetting to blindfold the H&S man.

I think anyone who has to push 1t pallets around should have a mate with them. Either that or delivery no further than off the taillift.

Tipper’s rule, OK!


Trouble with getting “a run at it” is if your running a ton pallet towards the back of your truck and you make the slightest mistake you’ll do yourself some serious injuries. Coming in from the side is slightly better.

I made myself an extension ramp out of strong plywood and a bit of 3x3 to make the ramp longer and less steep. I asked for extended fold out ramps on the motor I have now, so much easier.

I’m around Southport and Liverpool tomorrow. The happy chaps at CH Latham. I think they get docked half hour if they smile there. :unamused:

Plugster:I have clients insist ton pallets of stone slabs or tiles dragged over shingle or gravel driveways as the "regular " driver does it.The pump truck wheels can not go over those surfaces.
Turf pallets is another one.
By law there are maximum weights allowed on the tail lift and maximum weights that you are allowed to pump off.
Watch out for a hernia or a slipped disc or pulled muscles.
Clients stand there watching you struggle alone and say they have a bad back and can not help out.
Farmers are always at the market or out when they know a handball drop is due.
The note will say just drop behind the barn.