Pallets are often used in manufacturing plant warehouses as finished or semi-finished goods are transported on them to various destinations. Pallets are used as industrial equipment and are often a square or rectangular shaped object that is raised off of the ground by a few inches. The device has a deck board that is made of flat planks of wood, plastic, cardboard, composites or metal that can support material for storage and transport. A pallet also has stringers which are the supports the deck boards or runners sit on. The material that is secured to a pallet is often covered with a heavy clear plastic for protection. A pallet is such a simple device, but it is used in all types if industrial and commercial sectors around the world for transporting goods on.
North American pallets are measured in inches with the most common size being 48 by 40 inches, however they can be custom made to suit any size and weight options. Block pallets are more costly as they have deck boards on the top and bottom. Wingtip pallets have an overhang on them, while the boards on a runner pallet are flush with the stringers. Runner pallets come as four-way models to enable forklift and pallet jack access from all sides, or they come as two-way units that can be lifted from only two sides.
When selecting a pallet, you must make sure that it will not cause any damage to the material that is loaded on it for transport. Some factors that are worth considering when handling pallets are the injuries that may be caused to the workers, as well as the disposal of used pallets. All of these factors have a direct impact on finances and expenses, which are important and cannot be neglected. Years ago it was a common sight to see many used pallets sitting outside of various industrial and commercial establishments, just going to waste. However, a lot of people did put these used pallets to good use as they were often dismantled and used for firewood.
Wooden pallets were once widely used; however, after disposal of them became a major problem, people sought to use other alternatives. Better durability, usability and lighter weight, and easier to handle were considered more desirable elements for pallet construction. Pallets made from strong plastic, composites and corrugated cardboard were introduced as they offered more advantages than wooden pallets did.
Other factors to consider when selecting a pallet are weight of the load that the pallet will carry, the frequency of shipping the pallet and the type of storage system that will accommodate the pallet. Make sure that the pallet you are using is strong enough to carry the load it will be transporting.