Pallet Boards | Properties and Application
Pallet boards keep industries running around the world because they are a strong and reliable method for shipping products. Warehouses, factories, and plants everywhere have wooden planks nailed, stapled, and screwed to pallets – but what exactly are they? And how are they made?
An internet search for “What are pallet boards?“ yields thousands of results from wood packaging companies, wholesalers, and DIYers. Oddly enough, you will have difficulty finding a definition for such a simple word.
When searching for pallets, you’ll most likely find options to buy new pallets, to buy old pallets, or to buy “reclaimed” pallet boards. So we will make it easy and give three answers to the question, “What are pallet boards?”
We’ll break it down into three sections: pallet boards by definition, the cost-effectiveness of pallet boards, and their strength.
The wooden planks that attach to the top and bottom of pallets are known as pallet boards, or deck boards to pallet manufacturers and industry professionals. More broadly, they can refer to any board used to construct a pallet, such as stringers and notched stringers. In spite of the simplicity of this definition, the variety of pallet boards available today is astronomical.
Pallet boards can be used for a wide range of purposes based on three main factors: size, shape, and heat treatment.
Almost any tree species can be used to make panel boards, but the most common are Southern Yellow Pine (SYP), Spruce-Pine-Fir (SPF), and a variety of hardwoods. Based on the specific application, manufacturers determine which species to build from. Each species has its own strengths and weaknesses.
Depending on what they’re meant to move, the wood product comes in a variety of shapes and sizes. Pallet boards, as well as their lead boards, can be customized to meet any need. Pallet boards can be made to hold everything from HVAC systems to heavy industrial pipe and steel.
Last but not least, heat treatment also increases the variety of pallet boards available. The ISPM-15 heat treatment is applied to all wood destined for international shipping, including pallet boards. Heat treatment ensures that wood packaging is free of wood parasites that could cause chaos in foreign shores.
Pallet boards may seem simple, but this common item is available in many different forms.
An Affordable Product
In addition to their versatility, pallet boards are affordable. There are many factors that determine cost-effectiveness, but they can be boiled down to two: availability of resources and required manpower. Let’s start with resource availability.
Pallet boards are usually made from wood or lumber. The lumber industry in North America is one of the oldest and most profitable on the continent. The forests in North America were and still are enormous. With improved resource management, these forests will continue to produce large amounts of useful lumber for many years to come.
As a result, lumber is available everywhere for personal and commercial use. Most people could find some ready-to-use within 10 miles with a quick search.
Our next concern is manpower.
Pallet boards, unlike other everyday products, do not require extensive manual labor before they reach the end-user. Pallet boards are typically touched by very few hands before they are used on a pallet, starting with the timber company, then the sawmill, and then the manufacturer. This is different from other materials like steel or plastics.
The availability of pallet boards, along with the amount of manpower needed to produce them, results in a relatively inexpensive product that doesn’t sacrifice quality.
The Strength of Pallet Lumber
Lastly, pallet boards are strong. They use industrial wood to make these wooden planks sturdy and reliable so they can move different products. Pallets can be used to transport a few dozen pounds of product or thousands of pounds of product, depending on the pallet.
The life of a panel board is filled with stress that manifests in many ways. Stress from the weight of its payload, shifting weight during transport, and stress from the bottom up from being picked up by forklifts can all lead to problems with pallet boards.
Sometimes, as the pallet continues to be used, the strength of pallet boards can be compromised. Fortunately, some manufacturers sell pallet cut parts so that pallet recyclers and others can replace damaged parts and make their pallets stronger than ever.
A pallet board is cost-effective and ridiculously strong. Between these three answers, we hope that we have adequately answered the question, “What are pallet boards?” for good.