Choosing The Right Euro Pallet
11 Apr 2018
The European Pallet Associated (EPAL) lays down strict regulations governing how Euro pallets are made and their sizes. Although most pallets conform to the 1200mm x 800mm x 150mm sizing, there are in fact different Euro pallet types. Used pallets are graded according to their quality, and when you’re buying used pallets it’s important to know what the various gradings and descriptions mean. Let’s take a look at the main Euro pallets.
Used Euro Pallet 13 (A Grade EPAL)
These conform to the standard dimensions and are capable of carrying a load of 2500kg, provided the weight is evenly distributed across the pallet. The pallet has four entry ways, one on each side, for forklifts or other automated lifting. This is a very high-quality pallet, often used in pallet racking. The pallet itself weighs 21kg.
Used Euro Pallet 14 (B Grade – EUR)
These are as strong as the “13”, weigh the same and have the same standard dimensions. They’re also capable of carrying 2500kg, have four way entry slots and are suitable for use with pallet racking. The only difference between these Euro pallet types is that the “14” tends to be a more cheaply made pallet and in appearance may look more weathered. But this doesn’t affect their performance.
Used Euro Pallet 15 (C Grade)
The grade C pallets have the same dimensions as the standard Euro pallet, but these are lighter – they weigh only 12kg. They’re suitable for lighter loads: their weight-carrying capacity is 750kg provided that the weight is evenly distributed. However, they can’t be used with pallet racking.
Euro Pallet 16 (D Grade)
This has the same standard dimensions, but it’s much lighter. For that reason, it can’t be used with pallet racking. It can hold up to 300kg of weight as long as it’s evenly distributed across the pallet. And it only weighs 7kg. Like the others, it has a four-way entry for forklifts and other automated lifting equipment.
So the first factor in your buying decision has to be whether you are using pallet racking. If you are, only pallet types 13 and 14 are suitable. If not, you can choose from any of the four types.
Some used wooden pallets are also heat-treated. This is particularly important if you are exporting or if your load might be affected by mould or other organisms. Diseases borne on untreated wooden pallets can drastically affect the ecology of other countries, so there are now strict rules on the type of wood that can be used for shipping products between different countries.
The supplier has to adhere to regulations called Ispm15. You’ll see the description “phytosanitary” applied to these pallets. It means they can’t carry any pests.
If a pallet has been treated in this way, it will have a symbol burned into the wood, along with the details of the company that carried out the heat treatment, and the type of heat treatment that was applied. The marking HD is common on the Euro pallet types described above. That means that the pallet has been treated with steady heat at 56 degrees C for 30 minutes or more and the pallet is now safe to use.