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Selecting a Plastic Pallet

Before selecting your plastic pallet, spare a moment to consider the following:

Pallet specifications normally have three stated capacities:

  • STATIC load is the maximum weight that the pallet can withstand when placed on a level solid surface.
  • DYNAMIC load is the maximum weight that the pallet can accommodate when being moved by a forklift.
  • RACKING load is the maximum weight that the pallet can accept.

All plastic pallets have a safety margin to ensure that they can be loaded to these maximums, however these capacities assume that the load is evenly spread.

If your load is concentrated in or across the centre of the pallet, this should be allowed for.

Style

Pallets are available in three styles: nestable, full-perimeter or non-perimeter. Descriptions of all three styles can be found on pages 7 to 9.

Choice of deck

Pallets are available with open or closed decks. Open decks allow easier draining when wet and easier manual handling. Closed decks offer superior hygiene, protection from splash up and are easier to clean.

Optional lips

Normally, the lips on the edge of the pallets are 6mm high and 3mm wide, running in two short sections, nominally 300mm, on each side. On non and full-perimeter pallets, when moved in stacks of empty pallets, these lips locate into the pallet above, making the stack very stable. Depending on the size of the goods loaded on full pallets, the lips can help to locate and hold the load.

Materials

Plastic pallets are manufactured from polypropylene (PP) or polyethylene (PE), high or medium density. Specification will depend upon the proposed application.

PE has good shock absorbing performance, even in very low temperatures, whereas PP has improved stiffness even at higher temperatures, providing excellent performance on racking.

If your pallets are to have direct contact with food, or if high performance is required, virgin materials (rather than recycled) are recommended. They also look better, if that is a consideration. However, recycled materials offer a more economic and environmentally friendly alternative.

Operating temperature

If pallets are being used in extreme temperatures, it can adversely affect the loading capacities and performance. Because there are so many variables involved, it is important when specifying your pallet to state if it will be used in extreme operating temperatures.

Anti-slip surfaces

In some exceptional circumstances, anti-slip surfaces may be required to reduce product movement. Anti-slip strips and pads are available as an option on some models.

ESD & conductive products

Static electricity can be very damaging to micro electronics, and sparks arising from static can be a major hazard in areas dealing with explosive materials. In these circumstances, pallets can be supplied that are specially treated to be anti-static, have electro static discharge (ESD) properties or alternatively are conductive.

Ask the experts

If you need help selecting the best plastic pallet for your application, call our expert team of advisors on 01323 744057 or email sales@goplasticpallets.com.