Pallet couriers are a cheaper, easier and faster solution to shipping goods in large numbers.
But to ship your goods on pallets with no problems, you need to know a few things first.
So, let's dive straight into answering the most frequently asked questions about wooden pallets!
What Type Of Wood Are Pallets Made From?
Ever wondered about the type of wood UK pallets are made from? Or perhaps you have found yourself wondering ‘what type of wood are pallets made from?’ a few times and decided to educate yourself. Well, you have reached the right place.
Though it may come as no surprise, hardwood and softwood are both used in the production of wooden pallets. As a matter of fact, pine and oak wood are both examples of the types of soft and hardwood used in the production of pallets.
Most manufacturers just choose to refer to them as ‘wooden pallets’ as it's easier than specifying the exact type of wood.
On the other hand, there's different types of wood treatments used for pallets. These generally include heat-treatment, kiln-dried, debarked and methyl bromide (chemical) treatment.
The method of wood treatment is normally stamped onto the side of the pallet, offering a clear indication of the type of wood each pallet is made from. See below examples:
- HT - means that the wood has undergone the heat-treatment process, preventing infestations of pests and wood rot
- KD - means that the wood as been kiln-dried. This is similar to the heat-treatment process
- DB - means that the wood has been debarked (had all of its bark removed)
- MB - means the pallet has been treated with methyl bromide. Try to avoid pallets that are stamped 'MB', particularly if you are shipping food supplies.
How Are Stringer and Block Pallets Different?
Though you may think there’s no difference between wood stringer and wood block pallets, many would argue different. Actually, block pallets are thought to be stronger and more robust than stringer pallets.
Contrary to stringer pallets, wood block pallets have a base that consists of solid wooden blocks; this also offers more structural support when carrying significant weight.
Usually, there are nine blocks in each wood block pallet with one placed in all four corners of the pallet. The other five are fixed to the centre and the sides to offer additional support.
On the other hand, stringer pallets are held together by stringers. These are large wooden boards that essentially help to maintain the pallets’ bodily structure. Wood stringers are two-way pallets, however they can still be accessed by forklifts and pallet jacks just as block pallets can.
If you are struggling to differentiate stringer from block pallets, remember that block pallets are four-way pallets. In other words, they can be accessed from all four sides by a forklift or a pallet jack.
How Much Weight Can Wooden Pallets Hold?
Wood pallets are widely used in the pallet shipping industry, and even if you take no interest in their average weight capacity, it pays to know more about this in advance.
As you’d expect, all pallet couriers set out their own weight limits and restrictions but based on which wood the pallet is made of, these may differ slightly.
For example, if your pallet is made of hardwood then it will usually have a higher weight capacity than pallets made of softwood.
As it stands, wood stringer pallets can hold up to 2,500 pounds while block pallets are capable of carrying up to 5,500 pounds, thus block pallets are considered to be the better option of the two.
This would also explain why most pallet delivery couriers use and only accept block pallets for freight distribution.
Can Wooden Pallets Be Recycled?
While pallets that are made of wood are generally affordable, they also can be used again for many more pallet shipments and are widely recycled too.
Pallet wood is a strong and durable material, so it would take a lot of wear and tear to prevent you from reusing it.
At the same time, if there is too much wear and tear you can just as easily recycle a wooden pallet or give them away to people who are building upcycled projects.
Plenty of people rely on old and worn pallet wood to create household or garden furniture on a budget, so it’s always worth recycling them as they will be put to good use.