What Are The Different Types Of Wooden Pallets And Their Properties

Wooden pallets are horizontal slabs of wood that come in various types and sizes and serve as bases to load and transport items in bulk. They are popularly used to transport fruit and vegetables from the farm to the point of delivery. They also transport fragile and temperature-sensitive items such as wine bottles and medicines in the pharmaceutical industry.

How Are Wooden Pallets Made?

Most wooden pallets made in the united states use about 45% hardwood and 15% softwood in their production. The softer the wood, the cheaper the pallets and the more disposable they are. More complex pallets made of better quality wood are long-lasting and can be reused and recycled.

The process of manufacturing wooden pallets can be divided into the following:

Selecting The Material

This is the first step of the manufacturing process. In this step, you must first select the material you will use for your pallet. Wooden pallets are made with a combination of hard and softwood. The most commonly used hardwood is oak due to its wide availability and strength, such as teak, maple, and mahogany. There are many softwood varieties, such as fir, yew, spruce, and pine. Due to its surplus availability, pine wood is the most frequently used type for making pallets.

Advantages Of Using Oak

Oak is durable and robust, and thinner planks of oak can be cut to achieve the same level of strength

Advantages Of Using Pine

Pine can be dried quickly in a kiln, reducing the chances of catching mold and harboring fungi and other pests. Combining oak and pine makes the perfect mixture for manufacturing pallets.

Cutting The Wood

The next step in the manufacturing process is cutting the wood. Depending on the type of pallet that needs to be made, the plants’ wood is cut. They are first received from the local sawmills as cants. They are then cut into the desired dimension and thickness for making block or stringer types. Trimming and ripping the boards take place during this step. If the pallet is meant to be used in the pharmaceutical or food industry, then the wood is treated with chemicals to sterilize it completely.

Wooden Pallet Dimensions

The dimensions of the wooden pallets can be chosen depending on their use, but the standard dimensions of wooden pallets are 40″ X 48″, according to theĀ Consumer Brand Association. Industries that use wooden pallets have their own sizes that they prefer for their goods, such as:

Grocery 48″ X40″
Drum 40″ X40″
Automotive 48″ X45″
Dairy 40″ x40″
Military 40″ X48″
Cement 40″ X48″
Retail 48″ X20″
Beverage 36″ X36″

Chamfering The Wood

Chamfering is performed using a wood chafer machine. It bevels the edges of the wood, creating finished and rounded corners where needed. The deck boards are also beveled to allow entry of pallet jack wheels as well as to facilitate fork lifting.

Nailing It Into Design

A nailing machine is used to nail pallets together depending on the design of the pallet that is meant to be made. Parallel wood planks are nailed together when making the stringer type in the frame design. Deck boards are nailed on top. For a block design, perpendicular planks of wood are nailed into place along with deck boards in the right place.

Notching For Easy Lifting

Notches are created on the frame of the pallets to facilitate lifting with forklifts. Once loaded with goods, pallets can be heavy and require machine lifting. Notches on all four sides are created to allow proper lifting with forklifts and pallet jacks, so there is no danger of mishandling the items. Forklifts require a four-way entry, whereas pallet jacks require a two-way entry.

The process is complete. The wooden pallets are now ready to be used.

Properties And Advantages Of Wooden Pallets

The advantages of using wood for pallets are:

  • It is inexpensive
  • It is low maintenance
  • It can be reused
  • It can be easily repaired
  • It is readily available
  • It is strong and long-lasting

The Disadvantages Of Using Wooden Pallets:

There are a few disadvantages of using wood for pallets as well, such as:

  • They can catch fire easily
  • They are prone to harboring bacteria
  • They are not water resistant

What Are The Different Types Of Wooden Pallets?

Wooden pallets can be divided into two broad categories:

The Stringer Pallets

Stringer pallets are one of the original designs of pallets and are very commonly used. They are shaped like a frame of 3 or 4 parallel pieces of wood called stringers, with a deck board placed on top to create the structure of the pallet. They have notches in them to allow easy and secure lifting via forklifts.

The Block Pallets

Block pallets are also known as four-way pallets, as they have both parallel and perpendicular stringers or pieces of wood. They are used for more items that are more fragile and can be moved using pallet jacks.

Other Types:

Some other pallets are also used and are often custom designed according to their use. They are less common than the block and stringer types. The following types are namely:

  • Flush pallet
  • Carrier block
  • Perimeter base pallet

The Final Word

Pallets are made in other materials, such as plastic and paper, but wood is the most popular material for making pallets. They can be made in many different designs and widely used by the supply chain industry. Loading, carrying, storing, and transporting are all important tasks that can be carried out using wooden pallets and crates. Many different dimensions of pallets can be cut to suit the needs of the various industries that use wooden pallets.