How To Safely Work With Pallets

How To Safely Work With Pallets

Pallets are used worldwide and are one of the most important tools. However, they can be dangerous if you do not handle them safely. Pallets that are used in supply chain operations can lead to punctured wounds, sprained ankles, broken toes, or more severe life-threatening injuries. If pallets are used for purposes such as a man lift, the results could be tragic. With over billions of pallets circulating in the United States, warehouse employees should take precautionary steps to avoid injury.

Never Man Lift Pallets

Pallets should never be handled by a man lift. Only use approved engineering platforms like a forklift after having enough training and receiving a certificate. Pallets may be designed to hold 2,800 pounds or more so these heavy loads should be used by a machine not by a man lift.

Make Sure Employees Are Properly Trained

Monitor the worker’s performance to ensure that workers are using safety guidelines and not taking shortcuts.

Furthermore, proper training for handling powerful tools should be implemented to prevent untrained employees from injuring themselves or others and possibly damaging the mechanical equipment.

Never Leave Pallets Standing

Empty pallets standing on end are unstable and cause injury to your foot or leg if they tip over.

Wear Protective Clothing

Always wear gloves when handling pallets and protective shoes so that a pallet does not fall and injure your foot or get splinters from not wearing gloves. Be sure to always wear personal protective equipment to prevent common injuries such as hand, foot, and back injuries.

Some facilities authorize a soft landing for pallets that are placed on the floor to avoid the noise from damaging the employee’s ears. DO NOT drop or bang pallets.

Do Not Use Damaged Pallets

If pallets are damaged or not appropriate for the job, they should be immediately removed from the workplace. Set aside damaged or substandard pallets for use in repair or recycling. If damaged or substandard pallets end up being used, they could cause serious injuries especially when placed on a high shelf with a heavy load.

Furthermore, inspect the pallets for any defects such as loose nails, splinters, or cracks. Discard or put damaged pallets aside for recycling or repair.

Always Clean Up Debris From Pallets

Broken or damaged pallets can cause slip and fall hazards and instability for handling material equipment. Debris in pallets can cause damage to the wheels of equipment. Always keep the warehouse clean to prevent dangerous accidents from happening.

Be Extremely Cautious When Standing On Pallets

Warehouse workers standing on a pallet could be injured if the deck board breaks or if the worker’s foot gets caught between the deck boards. Depending on the design of the pallets, some nine leg design pallets may be prone to tipping over when empty.

Use a Pick Hook

To avoid getting injured while stepping on a pallet, use a pick hook to reach the back of a pallet. This tool prevents a pallet from tipping over from a weight imbalance.

Be Careful When Stepping in Between Pallets

Some warehouses store their pallets side by side in storage racks so workers may step between or on pallets when accessing pallets. If the workers are not careful they can potentially get injured on the knees or ankles if they lose balance while stepping between pallets.

Manage The Risk When Manually Lifting Pallets

Pallets vary greatly in weight and size. Lightweight pallets can be lifted by one employee but heavier pallets are more common in the workplace and can be a hazard if they are not lifted safely.

If the warehouse does not have a forklift employees should be encouraged to work together and lift the pallet to prevent an injury from occurring.

Also, make sure that pallets are loaded with even weight distribution and do not exceed the maximum weight capacity when loading or stacking manually.

Don’t Stack Pallets Too High

The workers should not stack the pallets too high if they are stacking or unstacking pallets manually. Pallets should be stacked by a maximum of 4 feet to make handling a pallet easier and avoid potential injuries.

Also, have a forklift separate full stacks of pallets in half. Moreover, ensure the pallets are stacked flat and in stable piles when not in use.

Make Sure That Pallets Slide Freely

Ensure that pallets slide freely when tipping the pallet slightly to make sure that the pallet does not get snagged on a protruding nail.

It is better to have a co-worker assist you when manually moving a wood pallet off a stack.

Use Mechanized Equipment When Available

Forklifts and automated pallet dispensers are powerful tools of equipment designed to handle the weight of pallets with ease. It is better to use these powerful tools of equipment to avoid the risk of injury.

Be Cautious When Lifting a Pallet

When you lift a pallet, keep it vertical and close to your torso to maintain a close center of balance. DO NOT hold a pallet out from your body, you could end up getting injured.

Handle With Care When Entering The Facility With Pallets

When using a power jack to enter with pallets, make sure the stability of a load of merchandise by entering squarely. Be aware that when entering you may be pushing the pallet forward and potentially into another worker. Some facilities, however, implement a warning honk to alert other workers before entering with a new load of pallets.

Do not leave pallets on areas that need to be accessed, such as doorways, emergency exits, fire extinguishers, switch boxes, and emergency equipment.

Conclusion

Handling pallets is a daily task in many warehouses. Additionally, working with pallets can present hazards to workers and people that handle pallets daily. Workers can potentially suffer from cuts, abrasions, and other injuries from damaged pallets. Moreover, workers can also suffer injuries from broken pallets, and dropping pallets can cause potential damage to the equipment and workers.

Safely handling pallets in workplaces ensure a safe environment. Whether you’re the owner of the workplace, an employee, or someone that uses pallets regularly, you should ensure safety procedures are implemented and taught.

Are Wooden Pallets Safe For Transporting Food?

Are Wooden Pallets Safe For Transporting Food?

Pallets are extremely important. They are used to ship food and beverage products or any other goods.

The requirements for shipping pallets are unique and many manufacturers demand that pallets are of high quality for packaging and transportation.

Using wooden pallets for the food industry has come under scrutiny for some years from consumers and from the supply decision-makers.

Wood or Plastic?

It has also been refuted that the coarse surfaces of wooden pallets are more susceptible to microbial contamination.

However, there has been evidence to show that wear on plastic pallets which are a common feature of re-used plastic pallets are ideal for bacterial growth.

Therefore, wood has certain hygienic properties that in turn prevent micro-organisms from spreading.

When used properly, wooden pallets have an antibacterial property that is thirteen times more than plastic pallets.

It is, therefore, safe to conclude that the use of wooden pallets for raw materials, or any other products are suitable for use in food processing and transport.

However, the use of pallets for transport on raw materials and other food products requires strict adherence to the hygiene regulations and standards that apply to the transport, production, and storage of food materials. This includes continuous control of pallet quality and regular cleaning.

Whether or not you decide to use wooden pallets for your supply chain, there is a couple of safety concerns to consider.

If you do decide to use wooden pallets for your food industry then find out how to safely manage their handling to ensure that there are no contaminants.

Can The Use of Wooden Pallets Cause Food Contamination?

There has not been any evidence related to the use of wood pallets causing food-borne illnesses.

Research suggests that wood pallets are safer than plastic or any other alternatives because non-absorbent material pallets leave contaminants on the surface of the pallet posing a greater risk of cross-contamination than contaminants being absorbed into wooden pallets.

How Can Wooden Pallets Be Contaminated?

Wet wooden pallets that have reached the fiber saturation point will not be absorbed. They will also be vulnerable to mold.

There was a pallet company from a couple of years ago that analyzed their wood pallets and found evidence of Listeria, bacteria, and other harmful contaminants. This had sparked a chord with the media and the public which had a fear of potential food contamination.

Therefore, if the wooden pallets had not been properly stored, they will run a greater risk of contamination.

How to Eliminate Splinters in Wood Pallets

It may not be possible for a lot of food companies to eliminate wooden pallets in their production site. So control measures are implemented to avoid contamination of the finished product and raw materials.

The most common measures to control splinters from wooden pallets include:

  • Rotating regularly
  • Inspecting & removing damaged wooden pallets.
  • Keeping Wooden pallets dry at all times
  • Sanitizing wooden pallets
  • Putting a robust barrier layer between the wooden pallet and food product or raw material.

Ensure that your wooden pallets are safe to use by regularly reviewing, assessing, and practicing daily, weekly, or monthly checks to ensure that it is safe to use on raw materials or any products it comes in contact with.

Should Food Be in Direct Contact With Wooden Pallets?

The safety of having food products in direct contact with wooden pallets has been debated. There has also been a successful use of frozen bar sticks, wood cutting boards, wooden spoons, and more. There has also been a debate that wood is porous so it will be harder to sanitize.

To ensure any contaminants, food works best when its packaged inside a box rather than in direct contact with food.

When Food safety auditors are not concerned with food, they are most interested in pallets that are dry, clean, and in good repair so that the pallet will not puncture or protrude any nail heads or splinters.

The Food Safety Modernization Act

The Food Safety Modernization Act requires that all pallets should not contaminate food. However, this does not imply to pallets that are not in direct contact or are sanitized.

The British Retail Consortium (BRC) Global Standard for Packaging and Packaging Materials state:

  • All pallets shall be checked for damage and contaminants.
  • All Unacceptable pallets shall be discarded.
  • Any wooden pallet that comes into contact with finished products or raw materials will be discarded and not allowed to contaminate the product.
  • Wooden pallets shall be sound, dry clean, and free from damage and contamination.

The FSMA requires that the vehicle transporting food is designed to not cause any contamination or for the food to become unsafe for consumption.

Temperature controls and procedures to prevent cross-contamination of food must be implemented, developed, and followed. Contamination between ready to eat food and raw food is to be prevented. Food that is a potential allergen must not be transported in the same load as the food that is manufactured to be free of that allergen.

Employee training and carrier training should have training in sanitary transport practices. This training applies to when the carrier and shipper agree that the carrier is responsible for the safety of the food.

The FSMA implements sanitary practices to both the food carriers, manufacturers, and processors.

The FSMA states that Procedures, agreements, and training should be documented and records should be maintained. The length of time will vary depending on the record and when the activity occurred.

Pallet suppliers are now developing processes to ensure that pallets are kept clean and dry until they are delivered to the customer. They are also advised to follow a process just to ensure that the wooden pallets are safe and undergo handling and inspection.

Alternatives to Wooden Pallets

Customers are concerned with wooden pallets contaminating their food supply and are looking for a lower risk of contamination. Some are looking for high-quality plastic or non-wood pallets just to make sure their food supply does not come into any contaminants.

However, wooden pallets have not had any evidence of food contamination and are safer to use in contact with food than any other non-wooden pallet.

Wood Pellet Market Expands To Minimize Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Wood Pellet Market Expands To Minimize Greenhouse Gas Emissions

The demand for wood pellets is getting a boost. As global warming awareness reaches new heights and greenhouse gas emissions are minimized, governments the world over are moving to lower their climate change impact.

To encourage the adoption of renewable resources, tax incentive programs are being offered all across the globe. These incentives include state sales tax exemption, corporate income tax deduction, local property tax exemption, and state income tax credit, to name a few.

It’s no surprise then that wood pellets are increasing in popularity for their heating applications. Since this process takes us away from dependence on non-renewable fossil fuels, heating applications of wood pellets are good for the environment and the wood pellet market.

By using biomass for heating applications in both residential and industrial establishments, the pellet fuel global market is expanded and boosted.

What Is Biomass?

Biomass energy refers to energy produced by a material that is living or was recently alive. Wood is one such material. The use of biomass as an energy source is encouraged because it minimizes our dependency on non-renewable fossil fuels. The use of wood pellets as a biomass energy source is a sustainable and beneficial act that adheres to responsible agriculture and forestry practices.

When it comes to considering a carbon footprint, biomass energy is ideal because it creates something called a “closed carbon cycle.” A closed carbon cycle occurs because biomass material takes carbon as it grows but returns the carbon when it’s burned. Thus, a closed cycle.

Wood pellets are just one example of biomass energy that contributes to and encourage environmentally-friendly practices.

Use Of Wood Pellets Incentivized

Talk of climate change, carbon footprints, and sustainability are ubiquitous. In response, governments are offering both support and incentives to non-profits, businesses, and organizations that engage in responsible operating practices.

This support comes not only in the form of tax incentives, but also from subsidies,  grants, funding programs, and the modified accelerated cost recovery system (MACRS).

These incentives and programs are giving the wood pellets market a boost. Such a heavy focus on renewable energy sources and environmental responsibility will only benefit the global wood pellets market in the months and years to come.

Noteworthy Developments In Wood Pellets Market

Below are some further developments in the global wood pellet market:

  • U.S.-based pallet manufacturer PalletOne, Inc. acquired North East Texas Pallet, improving both the customer service experience and efficiency.
  • South Alabama-based Westervelt Company expanded its lumber manufacturing capacity and is set to produce 250 million feet of lumber per year.
  • AAR won an order from USAF worth $27.5 million for cargo pallets.

The global wood pellets market is expected to be valued at around $14.5 billion by 2027. Wide use in heating applications and the current popularity of pellet fuel as an ethical, environmentally-friendly practice should continue to drive the market.

Although solar and wind energy has received a lot of attention in recent years, biomass energy is still less capital-intensive and therefore more appealing in many sectors.

Wooden Pallets: An Eco-Friendly Alternative To Plastic

Wooden Pallets: An Eco-Friendly Alternative To Plastic

At any given time, there are an estimated 4 billion pallets circulating in the United States. With these numbers in mind, the environmental impact is significant. But there is a long-standing debate over whether plastic or wood pallets are more eco-friendly.

To get to the bottom of this mystery, Penn State researchers conducted an in-depth study of comparisons between the two materials. As a result, they have determined that wood pallets are more sustainable and eco-friendly than pallets made from plastic.

The Study

The Penn State study involved a “life-cycle assessment” for both plastic and wood pallets. Some of the factors taken into consideration were the environmental impact of resources consumed and released emissions. To further gauge environmental impact, Penn State researchers considered the following factors: aquatic ecotoxicity, non-renewable energy, global warming, and influence on ozone layer depletion.

Their findings were published in the Journal Of Industrial Technology and established that wooden pallets create a slightly lower carbon footprint than plastic pallets. One important consideration is how wooden pallets are treated. For example, heat-treated wooden pallets have a carbon footprint 20-30% smaller than those treated with methyl bromide fumigation.

Although plastic pallets tend to have a longer life cycle than wooden pallets, the sources they are derived from make their carbon imprint significant. Although the wooden and plastic pallet industries have conducted their own sustainability studies in the past, the Penn State study was intended to provide an unbiased alternative.

The Big Picture

As the globe moves toward more environmentally sustainable practices and considers carbon footprints, studies like the one by Penn State are necessary and beneficial. With millions of pallets circulating at any given time, understanding the environmental impacts of these items is important.

Although the superior sustainability of wooden pallets is labeled as “slight” by the Penn State study, experts remind us that taking small, deliberate steps in the right direction is far more effective than doing nothing at all. 

Wooden pallets are used in a wide variety of ways and are in integral aspect of the transportation of necessary goods in the supply chain. Pallet reuse is common, and durable, high-quality wooden pallets can effectively last a long time. 

Wood: An Eco-Friendly Choice

It’s no secret that wood is one of the most eco-friendly materials on the planet. Wood can be recycled into any number of things and grows naturally. Even if a wooden pallet has reached the end of the line in terms of shipping, it can be repurposed in any number of useful ways. 

It’s also quite simple to refurbish a worn-out wooden pallet. This makes wooden pallets a cost-effective choice with a lot of potential for longevity and sustainability. When synthetic material is rejected in favor of wood, carbon emissions are impacted in a positive way. 

Wood is not only less expensive and more durable than plastic, its carbon footprint makes it the clear eco-friendly option. By reducing costs and carbon emissions, wooden pallets help impact an organization’s carbon footprint, and the environment, in a positive way.

Pallets In A Pandemic

Pallets In A Pandemic

We all know that hospital staff, grocers, and first-responders are essential workers. But the pallet industry is extremely important in this, and every time. Pallet factory workers are indeed unsung (and mostly unseen) heroes. But why exactly do we need pallets in a pandemic?

Pallets Make The World Go Round

While pallets might not actually cause the Earth to spin on its axis, they certainly help humanity and all its necessities run a whole lot smoother. Supply chains depend on pallets and factory workers to keep our grocery stores and cupboards full of all the necessities.

Items like toilet paper, medical supplies, and just about anything else you can think of coming to us courtesy of pallets. Pallet factory workers help keep supply chains in working order, getting necessary items and critical supplies where they’re needed when they’re needed.

Pallets In A Pandemic: Going The Extra Mile

Sometimes, a single pallet factory might be responsible for items as diverse as food packaging, poultry, and PPE (Personal Protective Equipment like masks, shields, and gloves.)

Deliveries that arrive on time are perhaps more critical now than ever, and the pallet workers behind the operation are doing amazing work in these trying times. Naturally, they too are required to amend their practices and procedures, committing to high safety and sanitation standards as they continue to do their jobs.

Pallet factories have had to shift their priorities, too. In the age of Covid-19, some pallet workers place special emphasis on protective gear, medical supplies, sanitizers, and soap. Other factories oversee grocery store distribution. They are tasked with the incredibly important task of ensuring that the American people get their necessities.

For some pallet factories, this current season has outdone even the holidays in terms of volume and demand. An important aspect of this increased activity is educating all employees to make sure they remain safe and healthy while providing their essential services to the public.

Pallets In A Pandemic: Rising To The Challenge

In addition to the additional safety measures, gloves, masks, and sanitation efforts, many pallet factories have gone to great lengths to buoy their hardworking staff. Some of these measures include:

  • Increase in hourly pay for workers
  • Making hand sanitizer available to all staff, even when in high-demand
  • Setting up health screenings upon entry to the factories
  • Providing masks to all staff
  • Offering bonuses to management
  • Given gift certificates and lunches to staff to boost morale
  • Personally thanking workers and expressing gratitude
  • Ensuring all workers are taken care of through emergency leave

In this difficult time, there are countless industries whose staff work tirelessly to keep Americans safe and sufficiently-supplied.

Pallet factories and their workers are no exception. Their dedication and commitment in this stressful time are what help keep America going strong in uncertain seasons like these.

Five Reasons to Choose Custom Packaging for Your Business

If you run a business that packs and ships items, you’re already familiar with the need for
custom packaging. When it comes to packaging your products, one size does not fit all.
Having a variety of packaging material, shapes and sizes at your disposal is important so you
can avoid waste and escalated shipping costs. If you’ve considered personalized packaging
but worry that it will strain your budget, you’ll be thrilled to know that custom packaging can
actually help you save money. Here are five ways custom packaging can benefit your business.

1) It’s Ideal For Fragile Items

Fragile items require custom packaging. You never want to take short-cuts when packing and
shipping a fragile item, so sturdiness and durability are key factors to consider. Many custom
packages are made from wood, a superb option when sending valuable and fragile items.
Using wood packaging for these kinds of products ensures that they will reach their destination
whole and in pristine condition. Items damaged in transit as a result of improper packing
methods can be a nightmare for both you and the buyer – one you want to avoid at all costs.

2) It Can Save You Money

The options with standard packaging are limited. If you’ve been shipping small or lightweight
items using standard packaging, it’s quite possible you’ve been wasting money. With custom
packaging, your options increase considerably. With more packaging choices, you can find just
the right materials to suit a specific item. Custom packaging can also qualify you for
discounted rates at both the post office and other shipping companies.

3) You’ll Get Customized Packing Materials

The protective materials you use are just as important as the package itself. When shipping
products to a customer, you want to be sure those products arrive in perfect condition and are
presented in an appealing, responsible manner. Your customer’s first impression won’t be the
item itself – it will be the care and thought that went into the package and the packing
materials. The right custom packaging and protection items send a clear message to the
customer that your company is meticulous, instilling further confidence in your product and
reputation.

4) You Can Promote Your Logo

With custom packaging, you can incorporate your company logo into the mix. Whether you
opted for corrugated cardboard or wood, if packaging is being created specifically for your
company, your logo can easily be assigned to your order. Along with the quality of packaging
and protective materials, having your logo on the package indicates to your customers that
they are receiving a quality item from a professional, thoughtful source.

5) It’s Perfect For Heavy Or Unusually-Shaped Items

Standard packaging won’t always meet the quality requirements you need to protect very
heavy or oddly-shaped items. If you have a product that fits one of these descriptions, your
most efficient, effective option is custom packaging and custom protective materials. Your
customer will greatly appreciate the extra thought and precision that went into guaranteeing
the safety of their item.

How to Stay Safe Around a Loading Dock: Top Eight Loading Dock Safety Tips

Loading docks, regardless of the setting, are dangerous because they’re typically busy most of the time.

In fact, the # 1 cause of ¼ of all warehouse injuries results from a busy loading dock area combined with human error. For this reason, it’s extremely important to practice safety protocol when working on or near a busy loading dock.

Here are 8 crucial loading dock safety tips to follow to ensure your safety as well as others around you.

Top Eight Loading Dock Safety Tips

#1. Properly train employees

It all starts with properly trained employees. If all employees are properly trained, it cuts back on accidents due to a lack of knowledge. Training employees on the proper use of PPE and other safety procedures is the best way to reduce work-related injuries that could otherwise occur when not properly trained.

#2. Wear your PPE at all times

Personal protective equipment (PPE) is a basic protocol. It’s often inconvenient to employees but is extremely important since it reduces the risk of injury. PPE includes protective eyewear (safety glasses), high visibility vests, gloves, hardhats, and other protective equipment.

#3. ALWAYS keep area clean and dry

A dry and clean area is vital for a safe work environment since slip and falls are often caused by a dirty or wet work environment. When there is nothing to slip or trip over, it reduces the chances of work-related injuries on or near loading docs.

#4. Inspect equipment regularly

Regularly scheduled inspections on equipment are important to ensure there are no malfunctions or problems with working equipment. If not properly maintained, equipment such as pallet jacks, forklifts, and other loading equipment could seriously injure or kill workers. That’s why this is one of the most important precautions to take.

#5. Follow standard procedure

It’s important to make sure you and everyone on your team is practicing proper safety procedures because this reduces the chance of unnecessary accidents that could have been prevented.

#6. Turn off vehicles, not in use

Gas emissions are a huge, invisible risk to workers which can be easily avoided by simply turning the vehicle off when not in use.

#7. Establish safety zones

Marking off safety zones with high visibility tape is the best way to establish safety zones for hazardous areas. This shows everyone where not to go or where to be especially careful to ensure safety. Places that should be marked include blind spots where collisions are likely, as well as electrical panels.

#8. Use dock plates and levelers correctly

You should always check load plates for wear and corrosion prior to use each time. When doing so, make sure the plates being used are suitable for the combined weight of the cargo, lifting machine, and workers so there are no unforeseen problems. Proper use of the dock plates which fill the gap and the levelers that smooth out the lift is crucial for dock safety.

Stay Safe!

As you can see, the most important thing to remember while working near a busy loading dock area is to stay safe. If you follow these safety tips and you shouldn’t have any problems following through with that.

Why Wood Packaging is Best for Shipping Fruits and Vegetables

If you’re looking for the best way to ship your fresh fruits and vegetables, wood packaging is your best bet.

Wood packaging has been used for centuries in the preparation, packaging, storage, and transportation of food.

This is mostly due to all the awesome benefits wood packaging entails like low-costs, helping the environment, as well as ease of use.

Benefits of using wood packaging for shipping fruits and vegetables

Wood packaging has some really awesome benefits! Some of those benefits include:

  • Stronger, sturdier material which means it’s able to endure high levels of stress. Wood packaging is designed to handle heavy mechanical stress which is commonly experienced during transportation and storage.
  • Best for heavy products. 
  • Moisture and erosion resistant so they typically aren’t damaged by moisture and products stay dry.
  • Saves space since most wood packaging can be stacked.
  • It’s cost-effective. Wood packaging is cheaper when compared with plastic or other shipping material.
  • It’s recyclable so, in a way, you are helping the environment when you choose wood packaging over other materials.
  • Doesn’t rust

Different types of wood packaging options

There are now more than 1,500 different sizes and styles of wood produce packaging material to satisfy your packaging and shipping needs. Here is a list of some of the most popular types of wood packaging that works perfectly for safely shipping your fruits and veggies depending on what you’re shipping:

1. Wooden crates

Wooden trays work perfectly for the transportation of tomatoes, while large wooden crates are a great option for watermelon and other types of melon as well as other large fruits and vegetables. 

Wooden crates are an awesome option for shipping fruits and vegetables because they offer many perks like a higher efficiency for large fruits and they are recyclable.

2. Wire-bound Crates

Most often used for sweet corn, snap beans, and other produce that requires hydro cooling (crucial for the ripening of produce) although they can be used for a variety of fruits and vegetables. They are sturdy and easily stackable which effectively saves on space.

The great thing about these crates is that they come in a variety of sizes — from a half bushel to standard pallet bin size and have enough space to allow proper ventilation and cooling.

The down-side to using wire-bound crates is that they are not usually reused.

3. Wood pallets

The produce industry uses approximately 190 of the 700 million pallets produced every year in the US and depending on the size of the produce package, one pallet can hold between 20 and 100 individual packages of produce.

Plastic film is typically used to secure produce, which severely restricts proper ventilation to your produce. Luckily, there is an awesome alternative that properly secures the load and offers sufficient ventilation — plastic netting.

4. Pallet Bins

Pallet bins are typically used to move produce from field to packing location. Capacities range from 12 to over 50 bushels.

When stored outside, they last approximately 5 years. When properly stored they can last more than 10 years and be reused multiple times.

5. Corrugated Fiberboard

Corrugated fiberboard is commonly mistaken for cardboard. It comes in all weights and styles and is low cost compared to other wood shipping materials. For this reason, it’s the most popular choice for shipping produce and will probably remain so in the future since strength and features are continuously being improved.

This is the best option if you’re looking for low cost and ease of use.

One drawback is that cold and hot temperatures can reduce the durability and strength unless specifically treated.

Requirements for shipping fruits and vegetables in wood packaging

Wood packaging for your fruits and vegetables should offer:

  1. Protection- Must protect produce from poor environmental conditions as well as mechanical damage during handling and distribution. Your packaging of choice should be sturdy enough to resist damage throughout the packaging, storing, and shipping process.
  2. Identification- Must indicate what the product is on the packaging. For example; name, brand, size, grade, variety, weight, grower, shipper, and country of origin may be required depending on where you are shipping to or from.
  3. Containment- The packaging must completely enclose the product without wasting space and should be packed in convenient units for handling and distribution. As a general rule, packages of produce exclusively handled by hand should be no heavier than 50 lbs. For produce that will be moved by forklift, weight shouldn’t exceed 1200 lbs.

Why you should use wood packaging over another packaging material

As you can see, wood packaging has some amazing benefits, but what’s stopping you from choosing another type of packaging material?

The answer’s easy, wood packaging has many noteworthy advantages over materials like plastic and metal (rust resistance, cost, and capacity).

Good manufacturing quality, handling practices, and proper sanitation treatment makes wood a highly suitable option for transportation and storage of fruits and vegetables

20 Creative Ways To Use Pallets

20 Creative Ways To Use Pallets

Often times pallets are thrown out, but these pallets are not all rendered useless. There are many ways you can transform a pallet into something worthwhile.

It can also be a fun DIY project. Possibilities are endless, that is what makes pallets so versatile.

You can also get pallets for free!

Below are 20 neat ideas to help you get started on your project.

1. Standing Garden

The small slots these pallets provide are perfect for making a beautiful standing garden.

2. Coffee Table

Pallets can make a beautiful, chic coffee table. You can add wheels for easier to move and a glass mirror to make your coffee table look nice and modern. You could also use the shelving as storage for magazines and books.  

3. Pallet Couches

Transform a pallet into cheap couches. Just add in the pillows and your couch is ready to go. A stylish and functional way to make a cheap couch.

4. Bookshelf or Toy Bin

Pallets can be great for a neat DIY bookshelf or toy bin. It can hold books, toys, and other knick-knacks, as well as picture frames.

5. Shoe Organizer

Pallets make great shoe organizers since they fit perfectly inside the pallet. It is also a cheap way to organize your shoes.

6. Swing

Using either a rope or chain could transform a pallet into a nice and cozy place to relax on the porch or patio.

7. Wine Bar or Wine Rack

For those wine lovers, a pallet could be used as a wine bar. You could go for a simple bar or go all out and build an entire bar on your patio. Not enough storage, a wine rack will surely do the trick and it will look cute and stylish in your kitchen.

8. Pallet Lights

Pallets could be turned into cute lanterns. If you’re going for a rustic look, you could use these lanterns outdoors in your patio or indoors.  

9. Pallet Pathway

You could completely take a pallet apart and use the pieces to make a pathway in your garden. This adds a lot of texture and makes your garden look beautiful. It is also a cheap way to make a pathway.

10. Wall Art or Wall Sign

Paint over your pallet and use as a decorative focal point for your wall. You can also write a sign as another fun way to decorate your home. As a plus, you can personalize the sign to say exactly what you want it to say.  

11. Wooden Pallet Hanging Decor

Spice up your home or outdoor living space with wooden pallet wall decor. You can also add plants to add an extra flair to your decor.

12. Flower Box

You can transform a pallet into a flower box for your dining table or for your patio. Create a rectangle and store your plants inside the pallet.  

13. Ottoman

Transform a pallet into an ottoman by adding the padding, decorative legs, and fabric and you’ve got yourself a neat looking ottoman.

14. Desktop

Add a piece of a pallet on top of a table top and you’ve got yourself a cute desk to store your things.

15. Stools

Add some cool exciting stools to your patio by stacking a few pallets and adding some faux leather fabric to them.

16. Pot Rack

If you want a rustic look, use a pallet as a pot rack. Just add a chain to the sides and some hooks to store your pots in. It is very stylish and functional.

17. Plate Storage

You could transform a pallet into a rustic way of storing your dishes. It will look beautiful and stylish in your home.

18. Bench

Pallets are also great for outdoor seating or entryway. Just add in some stylish legs and pillows and you’re good to go.

19. Pallet Headboard and Bed

Make a headboard out of a used pallet. You could leave it the way it is for a chic rustic look or you can paint in any way you want. Using pallets to build a bed is a great way to transition your child to sleeping into a bed because they are lower than traditional bed frames. You could even add some lights underneath the bed to add a warm glow and focal point to the room.

20. Wooden Pallet Dog or Cat Bed

Some dog or cat beds can be pretty pricey, why not make your own. Your pet will surely love it! You can also customize their bed by adding their name to it or decorating however else you want. All they need is a pillow and some sheets to their new bed.

How to Dismantle Wooden Pallets

How To Dismantle a Pallet

If you just got ahold of free or cheap pallets and you have no idea how to dismantle it, this article will help you get started. This article was put together by the wonderful staff at Pasadena Skid and Pallet, a Houston pallets manufacturer.

You want to prevent splitting and breaking of your pallets. Dismantling a wooden pallet takes patience and effort, it’s not as simple is it looks.

I will show you five simple methods to dismantle a pallet.

The Brick Chisel & Hammer

To start, you will need to remove the nails using the hammer and the brick chisel.

Put the brick chisel between the planks and rafters, or the dice of the blocks, then hit it with the hammer.

Remember, do not hit too hard since this could cause the wood planks to break. Instead, hit gently and repeat this several times until the nail breaks.

The Claw Bar

Use this method to remove the dice on the pallets.

With the hammer, tap on the dices to slightly loosen them up.

In order to avoid damaging the pallet, use a tapping block between the dice and the hammer.

Place the hammer between the cross and the dice, and then hit.

Repeat this using the claw bar.

The Sawzall or Reciprocating Saw

This method is one of the fastest if you have a ton of pallets to dismantle.

To make this process easier, you can use a plank to set your pallets in between so that it stays in place or you can place your pallets on top of a wooden table. Clamp your pallet in place so that it doesn’t move around.

Grab your sawzall or reciprocating saw and slice through the nails on each end of the pallet. Start at the edges and then work your way towards the middle.

The Pallet Buster

This tool is very effective and efficient. It is a two way tool designed to use in 4 way pallets or 2 way pallets.

Grab your pallet buster or pallet dismantling bar and place between the deck boards.

Using the handle, push the pallet buster down towards you, the pallets should come apart easily.

The Two Technique: Using The Chisel & Reciprocating Saw

Place the chisel in between the deck board, then grab the hammer and hit softly to loosen up the gabs. This will make the reciprocating saw easier to cut in between the deck boards.

Grab your reciprocating saw and slice through the nails. You can also use a crowbar or pry bar.

Place the crowbar or pry bar between the stretcher to pry between the pallets using the hammer.