New Pallets

Written by Shirley Parker
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A pallet manufacturer generally sells both new and used pallets, although exceptions will not be a surprise. For some, business is more brisk in the used pallet arena. It depends on what they are producing, or refurbishing, as the case may be, and the type of manufacturing equipment they have installed. Wood pallets, perhaps selling for nine dollars each, are targeted at a different market than plastic pallets, perhaps selling for as much as $60 each. The latter may need a great deal more configuration to fit individual products but are extremely durable. On the other hand, metal pallets are made to handle enormous weight in environments more harsh than either plastic or wood can withstand. They cost considerably more to manufacture.

Within the wood pallet category, two of the most common types are stringer and block. Yet many variations exist. For example, a buyer may be deciding between a single-faced pallet; a reversible or non-reversible flush pallet; a single- or double-wing pallet; a skid, or something entirely different. If ever there was a time of there being a single, simple "pallet," those days are gone.

To help with the initial decisions, several companies now offer computer-aided design of the containers and pallets they custom-build. The software used actually designs a pallet according to the customer's requirements, with cutting and assembly also being guided by a computer. If there are areas in the load that will put extra stress on the pallet, the software will indicate where reinforcement is needed.

After They've Built the Pallet

Some waste is inevitable with manufacture of anything. Corrugated pallets have the advantage of being recyclable many times, so any leftovers are not a problem. Specific plastics can be recycled. Wood stringers or short pieces of deck board can be used to make planter boxes, toys, or a variety of other hobby items. Wood chips can be ground down to form ground covering or animal bedding. Scrap metal can be melted down or used in other ways, even in artistic works.


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