Technological Advances

Technological Advances in Plastic Pallet Design Meet Higher Levels of Operational Functionality than Traditional Wood Pallets

We are now living in an age where the design and development of plastic pallets are challenging the preconceived notions of what type of pallet industry should either buy or rent.

On the one hand the cheapest option has traditionally been considered the best approach and normally catered for by wooden pallet suppliers. On the other hand, however, many companies have weighed up the added value implications of using plastic alternatives, subject to the right standards having been reached for the intended environment in which it is being used.

By using more advanced forms of industrial grade raw materials and incorporating reinforcement in areas more vulnerable to impact damage, these measures can extend the life of plastic pallets and offer a much higher operational standard than the lower specification wooden alternatives. The following details will give an insight into the reasons why an increasing number of companies, throughout a wide range of industries, use plastic pallets in preference to the more traditional use of wooden pallets.

Reasons Why Plastic Pallets Are Better Way Forward than Wood


1. Rot Resistant and More Hygienic


Wooden pallets are susceptible to rotting and being infested with white ants that can jeopardise the safe and efficient export of goods to overseas markets. Wooden pallets are also very porous and can absorb and retain dangerous pathogens presenting a danger to areas where hygiene is a very high priority such as the food; pharmaceutical and other healthcare industries. Bacteria and insects do not take to the taste of plastics and as the materials do not rot, are non–porous and easy to clean, concerns about contamination no longer become a major issue.


2. Weather Resistant


When wet, wooden pallets are like a sponge because they are porous and can absorb moisture which not only increases the potential for contamination and rotting, but also adds considerable weight to the pallet which in turn can increase the costs of transport. As a result of getting wet wooden pallets can also warp in which case dimensions are then likely to change resulting in operational difficulties when used in Automated warehouse racking systems (ASRS).

Weather extremes are a significant factor in contributing to the warping of wooden pallets while Plastic pallets are completely water resistant and at the same time can maintain constant tare weights and dimensional stability.


3. Lighter and Safer


Plastic pallets are lighter as well as safer than wooden pallets. The average warehouse timber pallet weighs in excess of 38-40 kgs and can rapidly increase when water is absorbed into its porous structure .This weight gain can significantly increase transport costs and make pallets more difficult to handle.

Additionally, splinters, rusty nails and other metal parts will cause injuries to operational staff when handling wooden pallets resulting in preventable injuries not experienced when handling plastic pallets.


4. Durability


Plastic pallets are stronger and much more durable than the more fragile wooden alternatives. This means a longer more reliable service life can be achieved from a plastic pallet of the appropriate standard for the applications they are intended. This is achieved by incorporating the right design specifications and utilising the wide range of technical expertise and modern materials available in the manufacturing process.

When it comes to durability and operational reliability, plastic pallets outshine the capabilities of wooden pallets. A well-made plastic pallet can also add more value to their functionality and increase the service life expectancies over a longer period of time when compared to wood.


5. Concluding Recommendations


When giving consideration to purchasing plastic pallets it pays to carefully consider the following before committing to purchase:

Seek assistance and advice from specialists in the field of manufacturing plastic pallets and not from a company that makes wooden pallets but buys plastic pallets from elsewhere.

Don’t let the cheapest price fool you into an impulse buy. First make sure that the pallet will do the job you want it to do. Consider life expectancy of the pallet for the operational environment required. A heavy duty application will mean a cheap lightweight pallet
would not be suitable.

What loads will be applied and what will be the environmental circumstances under which the pallet will be used. Sub-zero temperatures will mean different demands to pallets used in ambient temperatures.

Ensure you check the pallets specification meets the required environmental and operational circumstances match your expectations.

Seek to test a sample before committing to purchase as mistakes can cost heavily.

The Ozkor brand has been successful in developing a good reputation for a wide range of plastic pallets and other materials handling equipment. If other materials handling equipment such as roll cages, stillages, plastic slip sheets are required we are only and email or phone call away.

Call Ozkor for free specialist advice and assistance in design expertise.