"Easy" incline with a manual pallet jack?
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  1. #1
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    Default "Easy" incline with a manual pallet jack?

    Hey guys, I'm designing my new workshop and trying to work something out without direct experience that I can measure/remember.

    I have a shipping container behind where my shop will be built which has a slab in front of it and a movable, level, dock plate to bridge the gap between the open container and the slab. My hope was to have the shop floor on the same level as this container so that you could move a load between the shop and the container without having to go up hill. However, I'm realizing as I site the shop a little more accurately that this isn't going to be possible. Building the shop slab to the container floor height is going to put the front of the shop, where the land is higher, too low, meaning it might tend to let a heavy ran wash into front bay door of the shop. I realize that can be dealt with with proper drainage, but I'm worried that after I'm not here anymore it might not be maintained, leading to mud washing into the shop floor.

    Anyway, I have a solution worked out, which lets the incline be done over a 10m (33') length of slab. (For anyone curious from the other thread, it will mean an incline in the floor in the room in the back corner, behind the machining room, where there's just a section of pallet racking, whose feet I'll shim back to level.) The least rise I can get away with is 8" (2% grade). However, the ideal would be more like 20" (5%). If the concrete is nice and even and clean, how much grade do you think is workable? I realize least is better, but what's a reasonable compromise? This ramp will be used probably less than once a week, most often to move less than a thousand pounds with a manual pallet jack. Though I do need to use it (once) to unload a 6000# Tree J425 mill from the container into the shop. For that one move though, I'll anchor something up in the shop and use come alongs to pull it up the hill, as I think any incline is a dangerous one to handle that much weight on steel pipes manually, just in case it gets away.

    Does anyone remember pushing/pulling a ton on a pallet jack up a 2% grade? How about 4%? I don't mind pushing hard, but am trying to figure out how much incline starts to feel unsafe while handling a load.

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    It depends on the load. With a 6k lb machine no way are you pushing it up an incline, and i wouldn't want to pull it down one either.

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    No, we'll be pulling it *up* the incline, and using wedges behind it as a safety. Again though, that's only once - I'm asking mostly about the "half ton on a pallet jack" scenario which will be the normal use case.

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    Don't know the exact weight but I saw a guy push a pallet jack up a driveway approach with a pallet load of concrete pavers. That is a lot steeper than what you propose. However, he was a very large and strong individual and even at that he looked like he was killing himself. It took several tries with a running start on the flat before he made it.

    Here is an article on the force required to move a pallet jack on a level surface. While I think you might be able to move about a half ton up an incline I'd advise a winch for anything heavier.

    Are hand pallet trucks putting your business at risk?

    Normally an electric pallet jack would be used on a ramp. As I mentioned earlier, seen it done with a manual unit and even done it when I was much younger but it was brutal work. As an older guy more aware of my mortality I wouldn't attempt it without help.

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    Good to have a crank winch with locked down and able to click so the haul does not run away...
    I have off loade some big stuff at 30*
    Once lost a surface grinder when the crak did not lock.
    Last edited by michiganbuck; 06-27-2020 at 07:37 PM.

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    Throw a few concrete pavers under the four corners of the container to raise it up then measure and raise the shop floor too match. Do this lifting while you are still young rather then wait before the pallet jack is too heavy to push uphill. If you need more height use breeze block willed with concrete after placement.
    Bill D.

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    B-port was easy up a 7” in 24’ grade. 4500 lb shaper was all I could do pulling a pallet jack.

    Any reason you can’t rig up a come along?

    L7

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    about 1/8 to 1/4 inch per foot should be manageable.
    most what appear to the eye to be flat out door slabs
    have that much slope for drainage.
    given enough bodies to get it moving not much problem
    going up slope.

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    I'd suggest a boat trailer winch or similar attached to the wall at the top of the slope. And a pin or latch to hold the steering wheels of your pallet jack straight. Make it convenient to use and you'll use it for the 1000 lb loads as well as the 5000 lb ones.

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    For what it is worth the max slope for a wheelchair ramp is 1 in 12. So a 12 foot ramp to go up 12 inches.
    Bill D

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    For safety sake I would recommend a electric walkie pallet jack. The Crown one I was looking at will go up 10% grade at 3mpg, 4500lb payload.

    The other think to think about is going down slopes. I do miss my Allis-Chalmers Pallet jack with integral brake. Just push the handle down and the brake would engage on the rear wheel. I never saw another Allis-Chalmers pallet jack quite like it. I only wish it had hand controls. Foot controls are not my favorite.

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    img_7156.jpg

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    it can be dangerous going up or down incline. runaway or going back down incline especially long one can be very dangerous. getting moving requires more push, if going up and you stop its going to be harder to get moving again. i suggest a winch, or chainfall hoist to pull up.
    .
    need to plan what if. had a tool box on appliance cart going down basement steps. was too much to stop and about 4 feet from bottom tried to control it going down steps. pulled so hard it pulled muscle in my back but what really hurt is it pulled me up over tool box/appliance cart and I went through the air (about 6 feet) hitting concrete floor with my side (ribs) knocked wind out of me. took a few days for my ribs and liver and legs to swell up so bad I couldnt get up out of bed for many hours. just saying injuries often delayed or take days to feel full effects.
    .
    when they show martial artist or wrestler fly through air and land hard, they rarely show days later person using a cane to walk cause in extreme pain. literally a week later I am still in pain and still swollen up. it can take many weeks to recover from a injury

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    ok went out and actually measured the slope on my drive way
    the 1/8 in per foot no problem, 1/4 gets noticeably harder.
    get to 1 per foot no way, at 1 1/4 per foot the pallet jack starts bottoming out
    at the transition.
    so from that would say 1/4 per foot is the max slope, and that was with about 1500 pounds
    probably need to explore other solutions, eg raise the existing slab, some form of lift.
    really any thing over 1/8 per foot and you will be cussing it every time you have to go up or down
    with a load.
    Last edited by 72bwhite; 06-29-2020 at 03:57 PM.

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    Buy a Pullzall made by Warn winch. Cheap enough.

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    Be cheap and buy a boat winch,the hand type...Phil

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    Zig-Zag up the incline, that effectively lessens the slope, but lengthens the distance. Work is the same, just less effort over a longer period.

    There is quite the slope out of the back of my shop, and many times the only way to get an item in is to do it on the diagonal, couldn't get the strength to go straight at it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DMF_TomB View Post
    (snip tale of woe and hurt)... literally a week later I am still in pain and still swollen up. it can take many weeks to recover from a injury
    This is a current thing? Time to head to the hospital to get checked for internal injuries/bleeding.

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    a winch or chainfall is safer way to go. heavy item rolling up or down ramp easy to loose control fast. its human nature to try to stop but heavy items can often be too much to stop and it can happen fast
    .
    had a 200lb part on a plastic cart and cart wheel hits groove in floor and plastic cart so flimsy it starts to bend and I can see the heavy 200lb part going to fall. I tried to stop cart bending with my leg and my knee went sideways. injury like that often is numb or no pain minutes later BUT after hours and days when knee/leg swells up the pain can be intense. problem is a person sees and reacts too fast without thinking. a action of a few seconds and you can be regretting it for a long time later.
    .
    if moving heavy items better to be safe and think about what if problems BEFORE moving things. that why boat winches are popular and some people even mount a winch on their truck
    .
    by the way knew a person using winch with a pulley attached to a 8" steel H beam CLAMPED to ceiling structural steel beams 30 foot overhead . they using winch all day and suddenly clamps give way and 10 foot 8" steel H beam falls over 30 feet and bounces off concrete floor and beam went over a persons head just clipped him lightly in shoulder. obviously if standing a foot to the side, steel beam weighing over 100lbs could have hit him in the head. just saying if using a winch or hoist make sure what it is attached to can hold the load. not only can steel beams fly fast through the air but steel winch cable whipping free has been known to cut body parts off a person in less than a split second

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    Quote Originally Posted by 72bwhite View Post
    ok went out and actually measured the slope on my drive way
    the 1/8 in per foot no problem, 1/4 gets noticeably harder.
    get to 1 per foot no way, at 1 1/4 per foot the pallet jack starts bottoming out
    at the transition.
    so from that would say 1/4 per foot is the max slope, and that was with about 1500 pounds
    probably need to explore other solutions, eg raise the existing slab, some form of lift.
    really any thing over 1/8 per foot and you will be cussing it every time you have to go up or down
    with a load.

    Thank you! This is precisely the information I was looking for.

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    1" per foot didn't feel dangerous I just couldn't pull any that load up it
    with a running start yes for a few feet.
    draw some lines on a wall with a level reference line.
    will give you a good idea what it actually looks like.


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