A Basic Guide To Using A Pallet Puller

A Basic Guide To Using A Pallet Puller

As a designer, inventor, its important to try and get the best of your ideas, so that we can provide a useful service to the end user. 

When I invented my version of the Pallet Puller I found it so difficult obtaining regulatory guidance to inform my customers.

So what is the industry saying about pallet pulling ? I’m afraid not much.
HSE say this procedure isn’t on their radar. I understand this is because they don’t have any conclusive data suggesting pulling pallets is a problem. So with no direct correlation to any accidents identifying pulling pallets and forklift trucks, it remains for us designers and the intending users to lead the industry into agreeing an acceptable regulatory standard.

So, Here I am again following up on my previous article. “What pallet puller” 

With much research and soul searching, I’ve decided to provide my guide to using a Pallet Puller.

The Pallet Puller:

Provides a much needed service when delivering multi pallets to site. It’s not unusual to have some pallets remain out of reach to the forks on the forklift. The pallet puller tool is then used to pull the pallets (with the aid of the forklift) to the reach of the forks.

This is predominately an action for vans. For the bigger trucks and the larger logistics networks, Pallet pulling isn’t a big problem given the sophisticated machinery at their disposal and space in the yards to access the curtainsider trucks.  

However when and if the truck needs to deliver to the smaller business units, then a different offloading manoeuvre may be required. In the cases of the curtainsider truck the driver may need to back out of the yard, Turn around to offload the other side of the truck.

I should add, You can buy fork extensions (2 extended fork shoes that slide onto the end of the forks) to help the forks reach for the distant pallet. Or you can use a pallet puller.

The pallet puller is a regular applied action with multi pallet carrying transit and Sprinter type vans.

There is no guidance regulation or advise given to forklift truck drivers including no referencing to this action in forklift training manuals.
So please read this as the first and probably only Guide to using a Pallet Puller.

A Basic Guide To Using A Pallet Puller

Lets take a look at this…

Will the pallet puller you seek to purchase have a maximum pulling capacity guidance in the purchase spec for you to determine its capability ?

Does the product display clear guidance on its use ?

The device may come with a strap/chain attachment (however this is not always the case).

Always best to do a risk assessment before carrying out the action of pulling pallets. 

Guidance on risk assessments is available at the end of this document.

Always check the area of the yard that you intend to carry this action out.

Do you have sufficient safe space for the forklift to pull ?

Is the ground sufficiently dry and grip worthy for the forklift to carry out the action ?

Is the ground sufficiently flat and level for the forklift to carry out this action ?

Make sure the floor of the vehicle is level and reasonably smooth for the action of pulling pallets. 

Firmly attach your Puller to the pallet

The attachment to the forklift truck is a grey area with this tool. 

The Forklift truck authorities don’t talk much about pallet pullers.

However when pushed they will admit they know the pallet puller action takes place. 

Some pallet puller users go for a lower point on the safety grill to attach the strap or chain.

Caution: With so many forklift trucks out there, The safety grill in NOT always conducive to carrying out this action. 

Please be sure before acting that you don’t attach to any mechanical hydraulics of the truck which could result in damage to the truck.

Again,  The industry say there are so many forklifts out there,  Advising on this action would prove difficult. 

Your forklift might not have a safety grill. Please be very careful when deciding the anchor point of the strap or chain. If you don’t have a clear or safe point to anchor, Best to not attempt using a pallet puller. Please note there are some grills that are lightly bolted on so please check this in your assessment and don’t attach if in doubt. This could damage your forklift truck.

Make sure the floor of the vehicle is level and reasonably smooth for the action of pulling pallets.

When you're fully attached to the pallet and the forklift, Make sure any personnel stand well (metres) away from the forklift and the pallet before pulling. No personnel on the palleted vehicle, Stand way off to the side of the pallet. Or meters away from the forklift truck. A safe distance can be determined at your risk assessment.

Slowly make the strap or chain taut before pulling.

The pulling action should be slow and smooth, without any jerking actions.

Be sure the forklift has stopped before de-rigging the pallet puller. Given that we are all generally safe in carrying out this action. I suggest we keep up the high standards ensuring staff safety.

It has been suggested that this responsibility rests with management. A guide to caring out a risk assessment in the workplace can be found at https://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/indg163.pdf 

Having done this you are better placed to continue productivity in your workplace in the knowledge you have your workers best interest and safety in mind. 

I sincerely hope the above article has been helpful. 

Let me know. At www.safepul.com

Continue to be safe in this action….

Kevin Antony

www.safepul.com 

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published