Bartrums power-assist pallet truck Pallet-Track

Pallet-Track members have backed a move to increase the pallet network’s internal delivery rate to pay for power-assisted delivery equipment to address weight concerns.

From 1 February 2019, all vehicles making tail-lift deliveries will have power-assisted pallet trucks on board – similar to those pictured with network member Bartums – to ensure driver safety.

Pallet-Track MD Nigel Parkes told MT: “It doesn’t tackle every issue but it tackles most issues that we can see. It is not just the heavy stuff that is a risk. A 500kg pallet on a slope of more than a few degrees can be more dangerous than a 1-tonne pallet on a flat surface.”

Pallet-Track, which has its central hub in Wolverhampton, has negotiated a bulk deal for the power-assisted pallet trucks. On the basis of at least two years’ use for the equipment, it has arrived at a number equivalent to 25% of the internal delivery rate rise (levied for member deliveries per pallet) to pay for them.

The rate increase was voted through by members at a recent meeting.

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“We were waiting to see if the HSE would make a decision on a maximum pallet weight for deliveries. Following its decision [at the start of the year] not to, we looked at how to address this important issue in a way that was legitimate and right.”

The HSE had been looking into mandating a 750kg maximum weight limit for tail-lift pallet deliveries. However, it ruled this out at the start of the year, stating that a pallet weight limit would not be sensible.

It added it would “have the effect of preventing a large proportion of potentially safe hand pallet movements and would severely affect the industry with little or no safety benefit”.

  • Pallet-Track is still pursuing former member Canute, now owned by Almtone, for an unpaid debt of more than £47,000. MT understands that following the serving of a statutory 21-day notice on Almtone, which was uncontested, Canute’s owner subsequently questioned the validity of the debt ahead of issuing a winding-up petition against it (the next stage in the process). The parties will now take part in a hearing to establish the validity of the claim.