Pallets have many different uses across many different industries, and sometimes it’s easy to take them for granted. However, when you use pallets on a regular basis, it’s important that they’re properly looked after and stored correctly to ensure they stay strong and sturdy. Pallets that are maintained and stored properly can also last for longer. If you’ve bought your pallets, you want to make the most out of your money, and want to avoid having to make repairs. Damaged pallets can also be dangerous. They lose their load bearing capacity, and can cause damage to goods as well as potential injury to those who are using them. Therefore, it’s important to follow these tips for properly looking after your pallets.
Choose high-quality pallets
If you want to get the most out of your pallets, then it’s worth investing in quality. Firstly, picking the right pallets is essential, so when you’re looking for a company offering pallet sales, make sure they are skilled and experienced. You’ll then be able to discuss what kind of pallets you need, and can decide on:
- Load bearing capacity – make sure the pallets can cope with your load, or they will break more easily
- Materials – wood is usually fine, but in damp conditions or when there’s a risk of spillage, you might want to opt for plastic
- Build – when you receive your pallets, check how well they’re well-built, with strong joints and sturdy wood
Using pallets correctly
Using pallets correctly is the best way to extend their life. Pallets that are overloaded will wear out much quickly, and ideally, they should be loaded evenly for safer transport. If you’ve had a lot of damaged pallets, then it might be worth training staff in how to load them properly to avoid damage. Loading the pallets onto a forklift incorrectly can also cause problems. If the wood drags, this can put pressure on the pallet, which can weaken it and reduce its lifespan.
Don’t stack pallets on their side
Pallets should always be stacked properly, as improper stacking can lead to them getting damaged, or cause injury to employees. If you look at the design of pallets, they’re made to be stacked, so make sure they fit together when stacking. Never stack pallets higher than six feet, as they can topple, and don’t lean them against walls as they can slide and become damaged. If you have too many pallets, get someone to carry out pallet removal in Perth, which will help you reclaim some space. If you have large stacks of pallets, make sure they’re secured with rope or plastic until they need to be used.
When stacking pallets together, it goes without saying that you should stack the same sizes together. Stacking smaller pallets on top of larger ones makes an unsteady load, and it can be difficult to get pallets down when you need them.
Don’t keep damaged pallets
Damaged pallets can cause issues because they can’t be safely stacked. They become a sort of loose link in the chain, which can cause the whole lot to topple. There’s also the risk that people won’t realise they’re broken, and try to use them as usual, leading to accidents. The best thing to do is to mark broken pallets, and put them in a separate area so they aren’t used. You can then get them collected. You could also:
- Take them for recycling – most areas have wood recycling
- Use the wood to make furniture
- Remove all nails and use them for firewood – just make sure they’ve not been chemically treated
There are lots of ways to re-use pallets, but most people find it easier to simply get them collected, reclaiming the space.
Store in a dry area
While pallets are usually treated to prevent damp, it’s a good idea to keep them in a dry part of your warehouse where possible to keep them strong. Wooden pallets can stand up to a lot, but if you need pallets that are waterproof, then you might want to consider plastic. Find an area that’s ideally away from your workspace, ensuring that pallets aren’t in the way.
Keep large quantities of pallets away from your building
Large amounts of pallets can become a fire hazard, and that’s why it’s important to carry out proper pallet management, so you don’t have too many in stock. Pallets are usually made of wood, which when it dries out can create fuel for a fire, so even a small ignition can start a fire. If you have large stacks of pallets, keep them in a separate building away from machinery or anything that might cause sparks. This will ensure that you don’t lose large quantities during a fire, or end up with damage to your business.
Use stacking frames or racks
If you always feel overwhelmed with the number of pallets, then consider installing stacking frames or racks that are especially designed for pallets. This can help prevent damage, and helps you make sturdier piles. It can also help you organise your space more efficiently, ensuring that you can stack as many pallets as possible, safely, in the allocated space. This is ideal for warehouses where space is at a premium and you need to ensure that people can still work safely.
Use a company you can trust
It’s important to buy pallets from a reputable firm, who you can be sure is delivering high-quality pallets that aren’t damaged or old. While there are many firms offering very cheap pallets, these can often be a false economy, as they’ll need to be sent back for repair more often. Good pallets are easier to use, have less chance of damage, and will serve you well. Plus, if they do get damaged, they can usually be repaired much more easily, making them friendlier to the environment.
Manufacturers and suppliers of the highest quality pallets, contact Palletwest in Perth for all your pallet needs. Simply call (08) 9434 2264, or e-mail [email protected] to find out more.