How do I know which plastic pallet will work best for me?
There’s a huge variety of plastic pallets out there. While it’s good to have choices, it can also be overwhelming. Here are some ways to narrow down your options and figure out which pallet is the right one for your business needs.
Four Basic Types of Plastic Pallets
There are four general categories of plastic pallets: nestable (able to fit together tightly), stackable (similar, but a little sturdier), display (used for warehousing and retail), and rackable (takes up more space, but strong enough to bridge racks with weight on them).
In short, the distinctions come down to 1) how much strength you need 2) how much storage space you have and 3) the logistics channels being used.
What Size Plastic Pallet Do You Need?
You want to match the footprint of your cargo load to the size of the pallet as close as possible. Not only does this mean being economical with space, but this avoids a lot of uneven and lopsided loads. You’ll want to match the load weight as well as the area. There are two factors to consider when matching weight: the values for dynamic and static loads. Dynamic load is the maximum amount of weight a pallet can hold when it’s being moved by, say, a forklift. Static load is the maximum when it is sitting still with other loads on top of it.
Weight is also a factor in deciding between single and double sheet pallets. Single sheet is less expensive but is really only good for up to about 1500 pounds. While twin sheet pallets can cost a little more, it’s good for anything above that up to 3000 pounds or more.
How Are You Storing Your Pallets?
How you’ll store your pallets will help determine what type of base you’ll want to look for. Some racking systems without a center support require rackable pallets and nothing else. If you’ll be double-stacking uneven loads, you’ll need pallets with a full-perimeter base to make sure they’re stable. And as described above, nestable pallets store in a smaller space than other types. That’s perfect if space is at a premium.
How Will You Move Your Pallets Around?
You’ll also want to keep in mind how your pallets will be moved when they’re in storage. Forklift? You’ll want pallets with four-way entry for easy access.. Hand jacks? A lot of reversible pallets only have two-way entry, making it tough to use with a jack.
What are you storing in your plastic pallets?
You’re not going to use the same pallets for heavy industrial parts that you would for gallons of milk. If you’re transporting food or other perishables, you’ll want a pallet that’s easy to clean. If for any reason food might have direct contact with the plastic, you might want FDA-approved plastic pallets. Closed deck pallets are good for containing any possible spills. An open deck pallet is good for lighter loads where you don’t need the overkill of a heavy-duty pallet.
Get Help Choosing the Right Plastic Pallet
At Vantage Plastics we have the expertise to sort through all of these options for the pallet that’s right for you. And if your needs are really specialized, we can custom design the right pallet for the job. Contact Vantage Plastics to get your pallet questions answered.