The boss of Pallet-Track has told he has absolutely no regrets about mandating power-assisted pallet trucks for all tail-lift deliveries across the network.

The move, agreed by members and paid for in part by an increase in the pallet network’s internal delivery rate, came into force from the start of February.

Talking to, Nigel Parkes, MD of Pallet-Track, said internal tests conducted by the network ahead of the decision had shown that aside from the safety benefits of power-assisted pallet trucks, “the efficiencies we found in being able to provide that type of materials handling made a case for itself”.

Pallet-Track is a founder member of the Association of Pallet Networks (APN) and remains fully supportive of efforts to agree an industry-wide code of conduct around tail-lift deliveries. has just revealed that this is likely to be delayed until the end of the year.

“However, I just thought park the health and safety discussion as there is a group of people having that conversation. Is there a commercial case for this?” Parkes added.

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“For me it was also about asking ‘what can we do to make the business more enjoyable to work for?’” he said, pointing out the positive role it should play in driver recruitment.

Asked if he had any regrets, Parkes said: “None at all, quite the opposite.”

Nigel ParkesPalletTrack

Nigel Parkes, MD, Pallet-Track

Pallet-Track hauliers reviewed the move at a series of regional meetings in June, and remain fully on board. “At last count we had 800 [power-assisted pallet trucks], which anecdotally obliterates any other network,” Parkes said.

“So regardless of what the HSE comes out with, we are now protected and have taken the opportunity to move forward. I’m very supportive of APN if they want to go down that road.

“But we told ourselves at the time that we are making this decision for the business case. That [HSE’s guidance] is almost secondary. If they enforce it we can say we are [there]… it’s put us well ahead of the curve.”