How To Choose A Pallet Stacker
Updated: Jan 12
How To Choose A Pallet Stacker
There are several things you need to consider when choosing a pallet stacker machine. Of course, the weights of items that are being lifted are a primary variable, but there are several other considerations choosing the best stacker for your application. Consider the following…
1. Powered Lift Stacker vs. Manual Lift Stacker
Pallet Stackers are available with either manual lift or powered lift. Manual pallet stacker lift styles include foot-pump, hand-pump and hand crank. While the amount of work necessary to actuate the lifting mechanism is not unreasonable, manual lifts are best suited for lighter loads and less frequent use. Powered lift stackers are available with AC or DC electric motors to lift loads at the touch of a button. Select a powered lift stacker when dealing with heavier weights or higher duty cycles.
2. Base Legs vs. Counterbalance
The stacker on the left has base legs that support the weight of the load which is carried directly over them. The weight of the load is offset by an equal or greater amount of weight behind the mast. While both styles are available with similar capacities and lifting heights, they are not interchangeable. For applications such as servicing rack and stacking pallets, stackers with base legs are appropriate. Their shorter overall length allows them to work in tight quarters. To load and unload trucks, transfer loads from grade to dock level or anywhere that base legs could get in the way, a counterweight stacker should be selected.
3. Fixed vs. Telescopic Pallet Stacker Masts
Most Stackers feature Fixed masts. When higher lift heights are required a telescopic mast may be necessary. Telescopic masts feature an inner mast nested within the outer mast channel. When forks are raised to a height higher than the outer mast, the inner mast rises (telescopes) to gain additional lift height. Telescopic mast stackers have a lower overall lowered height.
4. Fixed Straddle, Adjustable Straddle, Fork Over
Stackers with base legs are available in 3 configurations. Fixed Straddle, Adjustable Straddle and Fork-Over. Fixed Straddle legs come in a predetermined width. When selecting a stacker with fixed straddle legs make sure that the inside dimension of the straddle legs is greater than the width of your largest pallet. Adjustable Straddle legs can have a wider or narrower inside dimension depending on the needs of the application. The range of adjustability is typically 10” – 15”. Both Fixed Straddle and Adjustable Straddle stackers can be used with any type of pallet or skid – including pallets with closed bottoms. Fork-Over stackers have legs that sit directly under the forks. They can only be used with open bottom pallets or skids.
5. Understanding Load Center On Power Pallet Stackers Machines
The weight of the load being transported is only one of the factors used to determine the required capacity of a stacker for a given application. An equally important factor is load center. Load center is the distance from the back of the forks to the center of an evenly distributed load. Presto stackers are available with load centers of 15", 18", 20" and 24". When selecting a stacker for your application make sure to consider the type and size of load you will be lifting and transporting.