1. This man is George Raymond. Back in November 1939 he 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 these 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. This is what pallet trucks used to look like, they were called stillages then.
4. Fork trucks were called Fork Tiering Trucks in the past.
5. The first modern pallet truck prototype looked as simple as the one below.
6. After the 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. It is still running to day as is George Raymond’s company.
7. Almost everything we buy will have, at one stage in its production, been handled by a pallet truck or placed on a pallet.
8. There are about 10 billion pallets in use on the planet with only 7 billion of us on Earth. Around 1.75bn are used in the USA and a staggering 3bn in Europe.
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 there is somewhere around a billion of them out there.