Midland Pallet Trucks have spoken out to businesses who may be trying to decide on a brand new pallet truck, advising them to make the type of wheels one of their top considerations as they narrow down the criteria.
There are a great number of considerations that should be made when purchasing a new pallet truck. Capacity, size, weight, the amount of maintenance it will need and whether it needs any added accessories are all be important things to research to ensure the right truck is chosen – but what about the type of wheels the truck will require?
There are two main types of wheels used on pallet trucks – polyurethane, also known as PU, or nylon. Both have very specific advantages and disadvantages, and they are both used in certain environments to great effect. But do the people ordering these trucks know which type of wheel would be best for their business
Phil Chesworth, of Midland Pallet Trucks, one of the UK’s premier providers of pallet trucks to various industries and businesses, says, "The type of wheels a business should choose is totally reliant on the environment the pallet truck will be working in. Getting it wrong can have disastrous consequences; the wrong wheels on the wrong surface can cause minor noise annoyance and a decrease in productivity due to trucks moving more slowly over the ground, or it could cause major injury or accident because the wheels are unsuitable for the surface they are on."
Polyurethane wheels are most commonly used in customer-facing areas, where silent and smooth operation is favoured. The wheels are not suitable for environments where there could be offshoots of metal or debris on the floor, or spillages or oil or water, as they will become damaged and corroded, and will eventually need to be replaced. Supermarkets often utilise trucks with PU wheels, as they do not cause noise pollution in the aisles where customers are browsing; they glide quietly along the tiled floors of these workplaces and are the perfection solution for shop floors, retail units and customer-facing areas.
Nylon wheels, by contrast, are much more hardwearing. They are built to stand up to anything an industrial workplace has to throw at them, ensuring high-quality performance in tough conditions. The wheels will not be damaged by spillages or debris littering the ground, making them ideal for factories and manufacturing plants, and they are ideal for use behind-the-scenes in stock rooms and storage facilities where their slightly louder operation will not disturb anyone. When used in this scenario, PU wheels tend to disintegrate quickly, whereas nylon wheels are more durable and robust.
Choosing the right wheel type for a pallet truck is as crucial a decision as choosing the capacity; it is important to get it right to ensure that working processes are streamlined and efficient, and to protect the workforce against unsuitable equipment.