Resolving Your Pallet Problem in Five Easy Steps
Although often overlooked, wooden pallets are a crucial part of every supply chain and can last a long time if cared for properly. Neglected pallets cause escalating costs, delays in shipping, and underperformance in packaging capability. Even if you purchase the most expensive pallets available, they won’t last long if you don’t take steps to maintain them. To help you care for your pallets and resolve your pallet problems, check out these easy-to-implement tips and suggestions.
1.Prevent Mold Growth
Mold growth affects many wooden pallets, especially in humid, warm conditions. Most molds love organic materials, and even the smallest amount of moisture can trigger severe mold concerns.
Improve handling stability by wrapping pallets in stretch wrapping, but be wary of unventilated wrapping — it can cause accumulated moisture and increase mold growth. It’s vital to release the trapped moisture by using tear-resistant stretch film and cutting vents at the pallet openings. This solution retains handling stability while also removing the potential for mold growth on the pallet.
2.Learn about Lumber Grade
Pallet manufacturers often construct pallets from low-grade lumber that has warps, holes, and splits. Although pallets may have aesthetic defects, rest assured that manufacturers must perform safety and performance tests before grading lumber for commercial pallet use. Most imperfections you see, such as splits in the wood, don’t affect the pallet’s usability as long as they are cosmetic and addressed by properly securing the pallet slats.
It’s vital pallet customers understand pallet grading and which lumber defects to fix to know if their pallets are stable or problematic. At Unaka Forest Products, we source lumber and construct pallets on-site to ensure that all of our pallets perform well, regardless of the lumber grade we use.
3. Address Exposed Nail Heads
Nail heads are a major pallet problem. Not only are exposed nail heads a safety risk, but they can also damage the product on the pallet. Unlike some other pallet performance issues, pallet suppliers are responsible for fixing exposed nails. If you notice exposed nails, or “shiners,” on your pallet, make sure to contact your supplier to resolve the issue.
4. Avoid Mishandling Failures
Cross-docking puts a lot of pressure on pallets, as it involves pushing, pulling, and twisting unit loads into position. While pallet manufacturers account for some harsh pallet handling, mishandling will often push pallets past their limits and cause unit load damage or other accidents.
As a premier pallet supplier, we produce pallets that have added components to improve severe handling resistance. However, you should also consider your methods and processes for handling pallets and consider if your material handling system causes undue strain that results in pallet problems.
5. Use the Correct Handling System for Your Pallet Size
Long pallets present a handling issue when they extend past the forklift tines. When the center of gravity sits over the end of the tines, it places severe stress on the pallet, breaking the top deck board or bottom end board.
We always recommend that our customers use a handling system that matches their pallet size. Sturdier deck boards may alleviate the issue, but this handling technique is a safety hazard. Avoid dangerous workplace accidents with a thorough review of the handling system.
Pallet problems can arise from several underlying causes. While it’s easy to blame pallet quality, consider your needs when selecting your pallets. Working with an expert pallet consultant can alleviate most pallet problems and lead to better pallet performance.