What is a pallet board?
A Working Definition | A pallet board is a simply-designed and easily-built flat platform, constructed of boards of different materials to store products shipped to warehouses and companies worldwide. Pallets moved with forklifts aid trucks in unloading, moving, and storing merchandise with very little physical exertion.
Where did the pallet board find its origin? Have they always been used by the transportation and logistics industry? The answer, with brevity, is no. Here’s why.
In 1887, a rough version of the “low-lift” hand truck was first created. A few years later, a much better copy of this was brought to light. Finally, in 1915, the first real fork lift was invented, which was just in time for the creation of the pallet board in 1920.
At first, the pallets were just wide enough to make it through a standard sized doorway. However, with the construction of large warehouses–used for the massive, bulk storage of merchandise–manufacturers created wider and larger pallet boards to grow with the scaling demand for them. This made pallet boards exceedingly powerful. Today, one wooden pallet can hold up to 2,200 pounds (1,000 kg) of merchandise.
Pallet Board Construction
The first pallets were not built like they are now. Since 1925, pallet board designs gradual altered. These alterations made their use increasingly viable for transportation and logistics companies internationally. These new additions made it much easier for forklifts to carry pallets loaded with products.
Pallets are generally made out of the cheapest wood available, as long as it is strong enough to handle the size of the load. To construct a pallet board, industry professionals use 1/2 inch slats and sometimes 3/4 inch slats. They use three runner boards to provide the structural support needed to evenly distribute the heavy weight they carry. In order to accommodate the fork lifts needed to move the pallets, spacer boards are needed, along with grids. Unfortunately, the three runner boards in pallets are hardly ever worth salvaging, due to being full of shank-nails that refuse to allow anyone to pull them out. However, pallets, within the late 2010’s, have been highly sought after by creatives to recycle into rustic furniture pieces and/or other household items.
Enhanced Construction Materials
As time has passed, however, industry professionals have found other materials to create pallet boards, such as plastic and resin, which, in turn, extend the lifespan and eco-friendliness of the pallets. The recycled resin pallets, for example, are just as efficient as wood but are much cheaper to build. These can be recycled over and over again.
Deep Cuts to Expenses
What once was used to take a crew of laborers several days to do can now be done in just a few hours with pallets and forklifts, reducing the need for manual labor, which, in turn, cuts workers’ compensation requests because people injure themselves less in moving heavy product loads. The money saved on labor costs can be spent on other business initiatives, such as enhancing products and services or scaling the business.
The wooden pallet, in combination with the forklift, proves to be a more cost effective and efficient way to allocate resources in the transportation and logistics industries. The concept for the wooden pallet is ninety-seven years old and continues to uphold the great name they have earned through time-tested, widespread use.