Pallets are a vital tool in the daily operations of all warehouses throughout several industries. While there are a few types to select from, one of the most popular options is wooden pallets. Although they are a great option, you should be aware of how to properly handle, use, and store your wooden pallets to avoid damage. Learn some tips for preventing damage to your wooden pallets by reading below.
Use the Right Pallet for the Right Product
Not every pallet can hold every item. While there is a standard size wooden pallet available, you’ll likely need a variety of custom-designed pallets to hold various kinds of products. This is all part of knowing how to properly palletize your products. It might seem like common sense, but there are many professional businesses that don’t practice this. If you put too much weight on a pallet, it is likely to break. Not only are you now down a pallet, but this could lead to damaged products, comp claims, loss of goodwill, labor waste, serious injuries, or even death. At the very least, you’re looking at serious revenue losses and damage to your company name. Luckily, there are some helpful ways to avoid overloading your pallets. First, make sure the products aren’t large enough to where they stick out over the pallet—this will ensure they aren’t hit, become caught on something, or bumped into when workers are moving, loading, and unloading them. You should also make sure the pallets aren’t too large for the product. The pallet can become damaged from the product sitting on it unevenly, putting more stress on the joints holding the majority of the weight. Another thing to remember is to keep the product completely flush with the edges of the pallets when using any wrapping to stabilize packages.
Check the Pallets’ Construction
It’s important to make sure any wooden pallets you use are properly constructed. One of the ways to ensure you receive pallets built correctly and safely is to check that a packaging engineer or a reputable vendor, such as First Alliance Logistics Management, made them. The pallets these experts design and construct will meet certain specifications that decrease the odds of them becoming damaged. Furthermore, the design of these pallets will also protect products while in storage and during the shipping process. These are just a few good reasons to consider using custom pallets constructed to handle specific amounts of weight. Another aspect of a pallet’s construction to check is the fasteners. While many wooden pallets use basic nails, which lessen the damage to the wood (especially when being taken apart for refurbishing), threaded nails can create a thread-like interlock with the wood for further support.
Make Sure Your Pallets Stay Dry
Protecting your wooden pallets from moisture is vital to keep them in high-quality condition. Some might think that pallets having too much moisture exposure could lead them to weaken and break over time. However, the real concern of pallets not staying dry is mold. Moisture won’t affect the wood’s strength, but it’s not ideal to have any kind of product arrive at its destination with mold on it, as it can be damaging to goodwill. For example, the pharmaceutical and food industries cannot receive products exposed to any mold under strict regulations from the FDA. As such, the best way to protect your pallets from moisture damage is to store them somewhere dry and indoors. Ensure that there is quality ventilation and that it’s a reasonably lit area, which will further prevent it from becoming an environment for mold germination.
Train Employees in Proper Forklift Training
This is one of our most vital tips for preventing damage to your wooden pallets, as it will also protect your employees. It is imperative that you train all employees thoroughly to properly operate forklifts and pallet jacks. Not only can they be dangerous, but they’re some of the leading causes of pallet damage. When going to lift a pallet with a forklift, you must do so at an appropriate speed. Keep the tines lined up and level with the pallet. You also need to spread the tines before you use them to lift the pallet, and you must make sure that they’re far enough in the pallet to properly support it.
Handle Pallets Properly
Pallet users must remember to balance the speed of moving products against the need to protect the product and reduce pallet damage. Never drop and toss the pallets around. In order for them to last, you have to be as careful with them as possible. Always make sure to avoid stepping on them, as putting all your weight on a random part of a pallet could make it break since the design cannot handle that amount of force. Proper stacking methods are also vital for keeping your pallets in good-quality condition. You need to make sure they are stacked evenly to avoid toppling. Make sure that any weak or broken pallets are pulled and kept separately, as these could cause instability in the stack, which can also make it tip or fall over.
Purchase Recycled Pallets From Reputable Sources
One final thing to consider is the source you plan on getting any used or recycled pallets from. First, you should understand that recycled pallets could have had any number of uses and damage beforehand. This means you will need to have them refurbished using the best methods the industry has to offer if they’re going to be as useful as a brand-new pallet. If the company you’re getting these pallets from is reputable, then they should have gone through proper methods to clean, replace, or strengthen any areas that had damage and could cause issues. Properly refurbished wooden pallets will be just as strong and useful as a newly produced one
If you have damaged pallets that need to be removed, contact First Alliance Logistics Management. Here, you can utilize a pallet buy back rebate program that offers payment for your wooden pallets that need to be recycled or scrapped.