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3 Important Pallet Definitions – Dynamic, Static, and Racking

03 Nov 2017

How well do you know your wooden pallets? There are three different types of loads when it comes to wooden pallets: dynamic, static and racking.

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Definitions of the Pallet Types


Dynamic load is a term used to describe the weight placed on an item and then moved – hence the word ‘dynamic’. So, for instance, if a particular pallet is rated as having a dynamic load of 1000 lb, then the pallet should be able to withstand this weight, distributed equally, and then moved freely from one location to another on a forklift truck or a conveyor system.


A static load, on the other hand, is as its name suggests the static weight that can be placed on an object – that is, a load that doesn’t move. This might be used to describe wooden pallets stacked one on the other, taking into account that the bottom pallet would be bearing the total load of the wood pallets placed upon it. Therefore, the static load correlates directly with the single resting item at the bottom of the stack. The load capacity is usually higher than a dynamic load.


Finally, a racking load relates to the load capacity of a pallet when it is placed on a racking system. Many warehouses will have come across this pallet type, as they need to store merchandise on racks to free up space. Unlike the above types, the wooden pallet load rating for racking must be estimated, based on the individual racking system adopted in the warehouse. That said, it is possible to verify this figure by simulating the individual weight conditions in a lab.

Important Things to Take Away

While all three terms are relatively self-explanatory, for someone who is not familiar with the functions of a warehouse, it is important to understand the different ways that load can be treated. For example, a good way of describing a static load is the force downwards on an object – for example, someone holding an item and standing still. Whereas a good method of thinking about a dynamic load is picturing a person carrying a box but walking at the same time.

Now, if you imagine the person representing wooden pallets in a warehouse and the load being held depicting the items placed on them, then it is easier to understand the importance of movement in load capacity. Not only is there the risk of a heavy load damaging the wood pallet, but there is a chance that the items could topple over upon being transported from one place to another. When it comes to racking load, knowing how much the shelves can take is vital to avoid damage to equipment or injury to staff.

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