Plastic Pallets

Written by Shirley Parker
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Plastic pallets weigh less than wood pallets but are just as sturdy. The amount of weight they can handle varies with the manufacturer. Durability will also vary, but for the most part, plastic pallets can withstand a wide temperature range without cracking or warping, and aren't damaged by being left out in the elements. In other words, wind, rain, sleet, snow, hail and sunshine have little or no effect on them.

Many manufacturers in numerous countries mold plastic pallets. Some pallets are thermo-molded, meaning they are welded together. Others are made from heated plastic resins through an injection molding process. Still others may be the result of a number of combination processes. All are configured, prior to manufacture, to meet specific needs of a particular industry or type of product, whether bottles, cans, boxes or odd-shaped items. Pallet containers are also available in plastic and may have removable sides or hopper fronts.

Like wood pallets, plastic pallets have a stringer category. They're also available as a block pallet and as a nestable pallet. The latter take up far less space when being stored for future use. All plastic pallets weigh less than wood does in their size category and don't splinter or inflict nail wounds on personnel handling them. Unless the pallet has been damaged, which is unlikely, it doesn't have sharp edges, either.

Additional Benefits of Plastic Pallets

Plastic pallets are obviously re-usable and have little or no need for repairs. Maintenance is relatively simple since they can be steam-cleaned, sprayed with water, or wiped off with cleaning solvents to maintain hygienic properties. When kept clean, they don't develop mold or fungus from anything spilled on them. Plastic pallets also don't absorb liquids, so they don't swell or encourage bacteria or bugs. They are easy to handle, whether by hand, pallet jack or forklift; back injuries from moving them around are far less of a problem.

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