Having trouble deciding which type of plastic pallet fits your industry’s prerequisites? There are eight main factors to consider when choosing the perfect pallet:
1. Pallet Weight Capacities
Every plastic pallet has a safe maximum loading weight. A STATIC load is the maximum weight a pallet can hold when placed on solid ground. DYNAMIC loads refer to the maximum weight a pallet can hold when moving on a forklift truck. And finally, a RACKING load is the maximum weight a pallet can carry all together when placed into pallet racking.
2. Open or Closed Top Deck
Closed top decks have a smooth surface, which is better for a required hygienic transport. They are also easier to clean and dry as well. Open top decks on the other hand, allow for easy manual handling and easier draining when wet.
3. Pallet Style (RCK, STK, EXP & EPP)
- Export Pallet: Lightweight, hygienic, low-cost, for one-way trips or limited use.
- Three-Runner Stackable Pallets: Forklift use, heavy load capacity, rackable.
- Full-Perimeter Stackable Pallets: Long lifespan, rackable, heavy load capacity, forklift use.
4. Anti-Slip Surfaces
It may or may not be a requirement for your pallets to contain anti-slip surfaces to reduce product movement. Some product works best with an anti-slip pad, while others function best with anti-slip strips.
5. Temperature of Pallet Location
Some pallets are transported in extreme temperatures. Extreme heat or cold can affect the pallet and the performance of the transportation process. It can also impact the racking performance.
6. The Addition of Lips
Lips are parts that are molded on to the top deck edges of the pallet, providing an extra stable surface.
7. Materials Used
Most medium and high density pallets are made with polypropylene or polyethylene. Polyethylene has a good shock absorbing performance and functions well in cold weather. Polypropylene functions better in higher temperatures, but are better for racking situations. Some industries use recycled plastics because it is a much more environmentally friendly and cheaper alternative. Virgin plastics, however, are better for more hygienic situations.
8. ESD and Conductive Products
Some pallets can be provided that are designed to be “anti-static,” having electrostatic discharge (ESD) properties. Static electricity can be very hazardous in areas that deal with explosives or flammable materials.