Pallets and pallet trucks are widespread in the industry and have been around for years. We bet you can’t name all the facts below! Let us know the results.

1. Back in November 1939 George Raymond and William C. House invented what later became known as the pallet truck. They are also to thank for the modern time wooden pallet. 

2. About the same time in Germany lifting trucks were being made by a German man called Mr Gutsman. George Raymond’s company also made a similar product. Having  lost everything, Mr Gutsman fled Germany and started the Tyne Truck and Trolley company in a cellar in Newcastle upon Tyne, which closed down in 1986.

3. Pallet trucks were originally known as ‘stillages’, and the lifting mechanism worked through the use of mechanical linkages. Manual trucks now use hydraulic pumps to lift the forks and load.

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4. Pallets are known to have been used as far back as Ancient Egyptian times. They were first used in great numbers to complement the invention of the forklift.  The second World War meant that pallets were produced and used in large quantities to meet logistical requirements.

That means pallets have been around for over 4,500 years.


5. The first modern pallet truck prototype looked as simple as the one below.

6. After World War II the Commonwealth Handling Equipment Pool (CHEP) was started and run by a meat company from Australia that rounded up all the handling equipment used in the allies war effort and started a rental business. Both this and George Raymond’s company are still in business today.

7. Almost everything we buy will have, at one stage in its production, been handled by a pallet truck or placed on a pallet. As long as it has been mass-produced, it will almost certainly have been on a pallet within its life. In terms of things you buy, virtually the only exceptions are things such as small businesses and homemade products.

8. There are about 10 billion pallets in use on the planet with only 7 billion of us on Earth. Around 1.75 billion are in use in the USA and a staggering 3 billion in Europe.

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9. Pallets are a renewable resource and they are not made from prime timber. You could get about 15 pallets from a tree and it would first take 25 years to grow that tree.

10. There are no official figures on pallet trucks but you could safely say that the figure sits at around 1 billion worldwide.

Featured Image: © Wacker Neuson Ltd.