Forklifts, front loaders, cranes, and other heavy machinery frequently use wood pallets as a flat transport platform. Pallets may be used for DIY projects, such as building a temporary table or shelf.
Although pallets may be created out of a wide range of timbers, they typically depend on where the pallets are manufactured. Pallet makers use wood from trees that proliferate and are continually accessible like ourselves. Wood is a more desirable alternative since it originates from trees that develop at a slower rate, making it more expensive. This instantly makes hardwood a less undesirable option.
When it comes to stringer pallets, softwoods like pine are so inexpensive that they are generally used just once before being discarded at the end of the supply chain because of their durability. However, supply chain managers typically overlook a third option when deciding between these two types of wood: plastic.
But in this article, we will only be talking about wooden pallets and the kinds of wood used to make pallets.
Let’s get started;
Reasons Behind Using Woods
Pallets are now available in wood and plastic varieties. There are several reasons why wood pallets are preferred to plastic pallets; among them:
Even though plastic pallets can be recycled, the recycling process in and of itself can be hazardous.
Pallets made of wood may be easily recycled, making them an excellent choice for cost and environmental impact. A wooden pallet may also be fixed quickly and easily with the help of a screwdriver!
Plastic pallet production has a more significant environmental effect than wood pallet production. In contrast to plastics, wood is a renewable resource that can be replenished over time.
Wood is usually the more economical alternative and is better for the environment. Pallets can be expected to last for ten years or more with minimal maintenance.
It’s possible to recycle, reuse, and repurpose them once they’ve served their role in the supply chain. In terms of repurposing, plastic is less “user friendly” because it is non-biodegradable and cannot be recycled.
Wooden pallets will continue to be the pallet of choice for supply networks.
Things to Consider When Choosing wood for making pallets
1. Lumber Type
The first thing to look for in a new lumber supplier is product quality. A completed product is only as excellent as the ingredients used to generate it. Find out where they collect, process, and store their lumber so you can judge its condition once it’s in your hands.
2. Total Cost
Price should not be the main criterion in selecting a new lumber supplier. However, the cost is essential in business and should not be ignored. While many timber providers claim to offer the most excellent pricing, the only way to verify this is to conduct some research. Compare how each timber supplier decides cost — by quarter or volume. Remember to keep track of the lumber quality criteria.
3. Supply Stability
Unlike other manufactured commodities, lumber is produced by Mother Nature. There may be distinct harvesting seasons and limited growing zones depending on the wood. Determine the types and quantities of lumber you’ll need before picking a provider. Once you know what you need, you may engage with potential lumber suppliers to see whether they can provide. If a supplier can’t provide the materials you need, it might hurt your bottom line. So, before doing business with them, be sure they are reliable.
4. Product Choice
If a provider does not stock the wood species or board type you require, don’t bother doing business with them. Some timber vendors will declare they can deliver a certain wood upon request. But, little notice or special orders might cause challenges with quality and consistency.
Before choosing a new North American timber provider, make sure you’re reliable. Customers are one of the easiest methods to judge a timber supplier’ reliability. If your business relies on lumber, you need to know you’ll get what you ask for. Checking a supplier’s reliability may save you time, money, and hassles.
Kind Of Wood Are Pallets Made Of
However, because the timber used in pallet production is typically a combination of hardwood and softwood species, pallet makers cannot define the wood used.
As a high-density hardwood, oak can handle heavier loads of delicate products on pallets. Due to its durability and vast availability, oak is employed. There is typically an excess of oak left behind in markets like homes or furniture buildings, subsequently used in pallet manufacture.
As a result, the product has a high strength-to-weight ratio if made of pine, a softwood that weighs less than hardwoods. Softwoods may also be dried more quickly, reducing the risk of fungus, mould, or other pests infesting the finished product.
As a result, SYP-based pallets are appropriate for sectors such as pharmaceuticals or food & beverage, where cleanliness is critical. Keep reading as we have differentiated the kinds of woods below;
The high density of oak makes it an excellent choice for pallets that must transport heavy loads of sensitive products. Because softwoods are more stable in their weight than hardwoods, pine is also a popular choice for pallets because it has an excellent strength-to-weight ratio compared to other types of wood.
Beech is a robust, straight-grained wood commonly used in furniture, cabinets, kitchenware, tool handles, plywood, and sports equipment. Beech is used for piano pin-blocks and drums and has a tone between maple and birch. In brief, beechwood offers unequalled qualities that make it ideal for use in constructions and furniture, carvings, turnings, veneer, plywood, pallets, and coatings.
Pine is another softwood widely used in pallets because softwoods have a more constant weight distribution than hardwoods, resulting in a product with a high strength to weight ratio. Softwoods are also simpler to dry, which helps to reduce the likelihood of contamination by fungus, moulds, or other pests in the finished product. As a result, pallets made from a combination containing SYP are particularly well suited for pharmaceuticals or food & beverage businesses, where pallet cleanliness is critical.
Southern yellow pine (SYP)
About 80 per cent of all pallet and box applications utilise SYP because it is less costly, plentiful, lightweight, and performs a decent job of safeguarding the majority of shipments. This implies more industrial-grade SYP on the market for the wood packaging sector, which helps keep supply and pricing stable. For example, southern yellow pine is used for windows, doors, paper, furniture, and even for homes and the wood packaging sector.
It’s not always a “either/or” option. The term “softwood” suggests inferiority to hardwood, which discourages adoption. There would be a minor argument if they were labelled “evergreen” and “deciduous”.
Using both types of pallets has several benefits. Softwood pallets are much lighter than Hardwood pallets. Still, they perform a better job of gathering heavier supply items for shipping.
The bottom line is that any wood may be used. Still, pallet makers pick which ones to use based on availability, cost, and suitability.