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The Lumber Selection Process for Wooden Pallets

28 Aug 2014

Within the pallet industry, wood is still the number one choice for the majority of customers. It provides a cost-effective transportation solution whilst maintaining strength and durability. There is a wide range of lumber that can be used to produce pallets, and it’s important to understand which is the right one for specific requirements.

Lumber has long been seen as a critical element in the production of pallets. Plastic pallets are starting to grow in popularity, but they still face significant obstacles. The biggest of these is their initial high price. Wood that is used in the manufacture of pallets is carefully selected. Most types of timber can be used, but there are certain considerations when deciding which the best one is.

Price

The cost of a pallet is a prime consideration and can have a major impact on your final choice. The type of pallet you choose will largely depend on the budget you have available. Some users prefer to spend more for a higher-quality product. This provides them with a greater degree of strength, and they tend to be more durable, allowing them to be used over and over again. However, for other customers the price is key, and they will choose a lower-grade wood to reduce the final cost.

Strength

When you’re selecting which type of lumber to use for pallets, it’s crucial that you consider the weight of the goods they’ll be carrying. Pallets are always made from leftover sections of trees which have been used to manufacture higher-cost items, such as furniture. Previously, they were typically produced from lower-grade off-cuts. However, now the trend is moving towards the use of better-quality scrap pieces. This produces a stronger pallet that will last longer and can carry heavier loads.

Soft or Hard Woods

Pallets can be made from both soft and hard woods. The choice you make will be determined by what the pallet will generally be used for, as the various types of lumber have different properties. The majority of pallets are produced from hard woods, and it’s usually a combination of different types, including oak and cherry. These create a durable pallet which can accommodate heavy loads as well as provide protection for fragile items.

Soft woods can still be used to make pallets, but they are suited to carrying lighter loads and those items that are not easy to damage, such as paper. Kiln-drying can be used to make the pallet more durable. Timber that has been kiln-dried can often match the strength and durability of a hard-wood pallet. One of the benefits of soft wood is that it weighs much less than hard wood. This can impact on the amount it can accommodate, but it also has benefits regarding handling issues and the price of transportation.

If the right type of lumber is used to make a pallet, it will be more effective in use. By using pallets incorrectly and overloading them, you could damage the goods and affect the durability of the pallet.

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