If you've been browsing pallet trucks for sale, you may have noticed both stainless steel pallet trucks and galvanised pallet trucks are available. But what are they, what's so special about them, what kind of businesses use them, and are they worth your investment?
What are galvanised and stainless steel pallet trucks?
They are, unsurprisingly, pallet trucks made from either stainless steel or galvanised steel respectively. Are they the same thing?
The simple answer is no. Let's start with galvanised steel pallet trucks. They're made from galvanised steel, which is steel that has been coated with zinc. This is usually done by a process of dipping the steel into hot zinc, before letting it cool. The reason this is done is to give the steel resistance to rust - which pure steel can be quite prone to. Especially when exposed to the elements.
Stainless steel, on the other hand, is steel that has been cast with a mix of at least 10% chromium. Rather than galvanised steel, which is cast steel then dipped in zinc, stainless steel involves being mixed with another alloy while in the casting process. Stainless steel is also designed to offer protection against damage and rust, which can make it last considerably longer than normal steel.
What are the properties of galvanised and stainless steel pallet trucks?
So what makes these pallet trucks different? Both galvanised pallet trucks and stainless steel pallet trucks are made from material that is naturally more resistant to corrosion, which in kind means those pallet trucks they are used on will be too. But there are some other elements to those materials that you might want to consider, depending on the application you intend to use them in.
For example, both galvanised and stainless steel pallet trucks can be disinfected to a far higher degree than their standard counterparts - stainless steel particularly is completely hypoallergenic, and is used in many surgical grade items. This means if you're using the pallet truck to load in an area where it's essential germs and bacteria be kept at bay, they can be useful.
They're also both able to be washed at higher temperatures and withstand lower temperatures than normal pallet trucks. That means if you're using a boil wash or very hot water for the purposes of disinfecting, or you need to use your pallet trucks out in the elements, you can be more assured they're going to work reliably, without the metal becoming prone to warping or cracking.
Both stainless steel pallet trucks and galvanised pallet trucks are highly durable, too. They're better able to withstand impacts which can prevent cracking and breaking. With many pallet trucks, a spot of damage can be the source at where water begins to gather or unpainted metal is exposed. This is where rust can begin to take hold, and it will soon spread much wider.
What kind of businesses can use stainless steel and galvanised pallet trucks?
You'll find both galvanised and stainless steel pallet trucks in a wide range of businesses, but they are particularly suited to those that have exacting hygiene demands, or that require their pallet trucks to work in adverse conditions.
The easy to disinfect nature of them means they are particularly useful in industries that have strict hygiene codes - laboratories, chemical plants, hospitals, catering establishments, food factories are all examples of key users.
Stainless steel and galvanised pallet trucks are also popular with managers and business owners who prefer to invest a little more in something that's going to be reliable for the long term. A stainless steel pallet truck that is properly taken care of can have a useful service life far and above that of a normal one, which for many is worth the little extra investment.
Are stainless steel trucks better than galvanised pallet trucks?
As they are distinct from one another, both stainless steel and galvanised pallet trucks have slightly different properties, benefits, and disadvantages for you to consider when you're deciding which is the best one for your needs.
The advantage of galvanised steel is that it's generally more affordable than stainless steel, so galvanised pallet trucks will require a little less investment to buy. The downside is that they are not quite as durable in turn.
Stainless steel pallet trucks are more durable and easier to keep disinfected, but they are often more expensive to buy. It's also worth remembering that stainless steel is not "rustproof" - it can still rust, it will just rust much slower than steel that is left totally untreated. It's important to keep it in the best condition possible, for maximum usable service life.
How do you make the right choice between stainless steel and galvanised pallet trucks?
If you're deciding which is going to be the better investment for you, it's important that you first think about what your needs actually are. Think about the circumstances you're going to be using your pallet truck in.
If you need to make sure the pallet truck is regularly disinfected and as clean as possible, a stainless steel pallet truck will make that as easy as possible. If you simply need something that has improved weather resistance over a regular pallet truck for use outdoors or in a humid workplace, a galvanised pallet truck will be perfectly serviceable for you.
There's no "wrong answer" when it comes to making your choice. All you need to do is make sure you understand your circumstances, your needs, and your budget when you're browsing for pallet trucks and you're sure to find the right one. Between stainless steel and galvanised pallet trucks, both will offer you reliable service for your investment.
The resistance to the elements, the ability to be effectively disinfected and washed down, and the general toughness of both galvanised and stainless steel pallet trucks make them invaluable additions to any workplace. Whichever you choose, you're going to get a lasting return on your investment with a pallet truck that provides continual and totally reliable service.
To find out more about our range of pallet trucks, including stainless steel, get in touch with our friendly team today.