Choosing the Right Plastic Pallet
08 Mar 2018
There are a few factors to bear in mind when choosing plastic pallets to make sure you have the right pallets to do the job. However, just making the choice to use pallets made of plastic is a step in the right direction, as they are so versatile, being durable, light, easy to clean and resistant to moisture. Each type of pallet can bear different loads and will have different safety ratings according to what type of pallet it is. When choosing your pallet, it pays to think about what you need to achieve with it and what plastic pallet weight states it will encounter.
Loads of Options
The static load of a pallet refers to how much weight it can bear when it is sitting flat on a level solid surface. The dynamic load of a pallet is the amount of weight it can bear when it is being moved from one place to another by forklift, and the load for all plastic pallet weight states should be spread evenly across the pallet.
Another variable to bear in mind when choosing plastic pallets is their racking load – the maximum amount of weight a pallet can safely bear when it is being moved into a racking system, either a selective rack, a drive-in rack or an automated storage and retrieval system (ASRS) rack.
The Fab Four
Pallets made of plastic come in four basic forms. These are the nestable or stackable pallets that fit neatly together vertically for easy storage when not in use. The single deck or single-sided pallet is flat on top and underneath has three parallel runners, while the reversible pallet is the same on top and bottom. The double-decker has a flat top surface and six runners underneath – three parallel in both directions, so that they intersect and divide the bottom area into quarters.
Surfaces also vary when it comes to choosing pallets. Plastic is well suited to moving goods that require a high level of hygiene, and the full top surface pallet is usually the choice for items such as food or pharmaceuticals, where cleanliness is important. The other type of surface is the mesh top.
Plastic pallets are made of polypropylene, or PP, and high-density polyethylene, or HDPE. HDPE pallets are great for absorbing impacts in cold conditions, and PP can deliver great performance on racking systems. While pallets can be recycled and reused many times over, for jobs where hygiene is important it is a good idea to choose pallets made from fresh matter, or virgin materials, that have not been used before. A blend of recycled and virgin materials is also popular.
A few other variables to think about when choosing plastic pallets are the temperatures they will be used in, whether conditions will be slippery and whether conductive products may be needed for the electronic industry. If temperatures are going to be extreme, it is a good idea to choose a pallet that is manufactured to perform in conditions of that type. Depending on the surface or fastenings used with the pallets, straps to prevent slipping and rubber gourmets may be needed to prevent goods sliding around. With all those choices, you are sure to find a great pallet for the job.