Pallets aren’t often thought of as glamorous, but they are an important part of the supply chain for a vast variety of products. Pallets are used to store and transport everything from groceries to cars and choosing the wrong type of pallet can affect company efficiency and profit. Selecting the right pallet for the job can be difficult because they come in all different sizes, types of materials, functions and budgets.
Types of pallets
There are two main types of pallets, stringer pallets and block pallets. Stringer pallets are usually made of softwood and the frame is made of three to four pieces of lumber, referred to as stringers, attached in parallel pieces to the top of the frame. Stringers are sometimes called “two-way” pallets because a pallet jack can only lift a stringer pallet from two directions, however a forklift can lift them from all four directions.
Block pallets tend to be stronger and more durable than stringers, as they are made from hardwood, and the lumber used to make block pallets is attached in both parallel and perpendicular pieces. Block pallets are also known as “four-way” pallets because pallet jacks and forklifts can both lift them from four directions.
At Dominion Pallet we custom cut the lumber for each specific need. We start by taking a description of the pallet requirements and where/how it will be used. That description is then entered into our Pallet Design System (PDS) 5.0, which compiles the information into an estimate of necessary pallet strength, durability and deformation.
The most common type of material used to make pallets is wood. Wood pallets are strong, durable, abundant, environmentally friendly, and repairable, which make them our material of choice. In addition, used pallets can be reduced to pulp and recycled, so very little pallet waste ends up in a landfill.
Pallets are occasionally made from metal as well. Metal pallets can be used for especially heavy products, as they are quite strong, but metal pallets are also very heavy and expensive. Plastic can also be used to make pallets. Plastic pallets vary greatly in cost and durability; however they are often expensive and can be difficult to repair.
Have more questions about what kind of pallets will work for your shipping needs? Call us today at (540) 894-5401 or contact us here.