Choosing the best pallet for your warehouse is an important decision.
Will Wood, Metal or Plastic Pallets be right for you? We can help.
Take our quick Pallet Quiz and for our recommendation on the best pallet for your needs.
Please contact us to see if Wood, Metal or Plastic Pallets are right for your application.
That’s funny looking. On first glance, “PP-O-40-NL3” may look like jargon from some new, unfriendly material handling science.
But wait- it’s actually one of our plastic pallet part numbers!
Confusing and random? No!
Once you understand our simple key, our part numbers are useful and make perfect sense.
Let’s dissect a part number.
PP- This one’s easy, PP simply stands for Plastic Pallet. You might also see, CP (Container Pallet / Bulk Bin), and PW (PressWood pallet).
PP-O- The letter “O” means Open Deck. You may also “S” for Solid Deck (or closed deck). Plastic Pallets have two main deck types, so this part of the part number can help you zero in on your preferred pallet!
PP-O-40- This number indicates a pallet or bin’s dimensions, and starts with the width. In this case, the pallet is 40 inches wide. If the length isn’t listed it’s typically 48 inches.
PP-O-40-N This letter means the pallet is Nestable, one of our 3 main pallet types. “N” for Nestable, “S” for Stackable, “R” for Rackable.
PP-O-40-NL– This letter classifies the a pallet or bin’s weight capacity. “L” for Light Duty, “M” for Medium Duty, “H” for Heavy Duty.
PP-O-40-NL3– The trailing number differentiates similar products by creating a series. Pallets with a smaller series number were added to our product line earlier. Example: NL3 was launched before NL4!
.001,.003,.005 These are found at the end of a pallet that has 1, 3, or 5 reinforcing rods.
FDA Typically at the end of a part number, indicates the plastic pallet is FDA approved. This means that the pallet is manufactured using virgin resin and is typically blue
Black,Blue,Red, Green, Etc. When our plastic pallets and bulk bins are available in more than one color, we put the color at the end of the part number.
FR All Fire Retardant pallets are designated with an “FR” in the product number.
FA Pallets molded with Freezer Additive are identified an “FA” in the product number.
Clear as mud right? While detailed, there is a science to our part numbers- and they do describe and explain the products they represent.
How long do plastic pallets last?
That’s the $64,000 question in our industry. Predicting a plastic pallet’s lifespan is both simple and impossible to determine.
Disclaimer: The claim that plastic pallets last forever assumes the following
Plastic Pallets last forever if… there are a lot of “ifs”.
Neither answer is really helpful in the real world of material handling.
However, we do know that when the right pallet is selected for an application and it’s handled appropriately, it will outlast a wood pallet many times over.
At One Way Solutions, we’ve seen pallets in active use that were produced more than a decade ago.
Treat your plastic pallets well and they will return the favor- they’ll last longer and you’ll save money by drastically reducing the frequency of pallet replacement.
We value your option and pallet expertise!
Please leave your comments below and contact us for assistance on finding the perfect plastic pallet for the right price.
To be honest, that’s a tough question. But I understand why you’re asking!
But first, a bit of pallet advice:
The cheapest plastic pallet isn’t necessarily the best plastic pallet for your application!
Considering that approximately 100 people per year die from forklift/pallet injuries, making sure that the pallet we sell is sufficient for it’s application is something we take seriously.
In the past 15 years, there have been dozens of customers that have not taken our pallet advice, only to regret it later. Fortunately, these cases resulted in an exchange for a more durable pallet and were not the result of an injury.
If we put aside the issue of application and look purely at price, we have several plastic pallets that match the ‘up front’ pricing of wood pallets. I say ‘up front’ because plastic pallets also have less tangible cost savings.
Because plastic pallets often weigh less than wood pallets, it costs less money to ship them to your warehouse and to your customers.
Plastic pallet durability is excellent, often outlasting wood pallets. The longer plastic pallet lifespan means you will replace them less frequently- and buying less often saves you money!
All of our pallets are priced competitively, but I’d like to mention one pallet that stands out in our pallet catalog.
Our least expensive pallet is the # PP-O-40-NL5.5 40×48 Nestable Open Deck Light Duty Plastic Pallet. We offer higher quantities of the NL5.5 for less $8 per unit, and it weighs less than 12 lbs.
Pro Tip: less weight means less pallet resin material, that’s less cost for our customers!
One Way Solutions co-designed the NL5.5 plastic pallet to have the lowest possible weight with a high load capacity sufficient for many applications and widespread use. It’s weight to capacity ratio is among the highest in our product offering.
At One Way Solutions, we strive to find cost savings at every opportunity so that we can pass these savings onto our customers. Combined with unparalleled service, we continue to build repeat business as loyal customers return for their plastic pallet needs.
Our very first customer in 2003 is still a customer in 2017.
Please contact us for pricing or info on any of our plastic pallets, including our cheapest one.
You may have seen that some pallets have a solid deck as opposed to the open deck or open grid design. We wanted to review the benefits of the solid deck pallets and dispel a common myth.
Myth: Solid Deck Plastic Pallets are stronger than their open deck counterparts.
Fact: All else being equal, a solid deck and open deck pallet of the same design are equal in loading capacity. It is the vertical rib structure under the deck of the pallet that provides the strength. The solid deck skin equates to a horizontal rib and doesn’t provide much strength at all. This principle can be demonstrated using a square piece of cardboard. It’s relatively easy to bend the cardboard when held horizontally. Now take that same piece and place it on a table vertically and try to bend it. It’s much more difficult.
Here is an example from our plastic pallet offering, the PP-O-40-NL3 and PP-S-40-NL3 pallets. One pallet has an open deck design and weighs 22 lbs, the closed deck pallet weighs 23 lbs.
Despite the additional 1 lbs of plastic and solid deck design, both nestable pallets have identical load capacity ratings: 2200 lbs dynamic and 5500 lbs static.
So then why do we offer solid deck pallets? There are 3 main reasons: Aesthetics, Hygenics, and Small Parts.
Why not just make all your pallet solid deck then?
The answer is simple. It requires more material to close the spaces between the ribs and more material means higher cost, though it’s typically a modest increase.
If you have any questions about whether you need a solid deck plastic pallet or not, please contact us.
We’ve got great pallet handling questions coming in through our articles – keep them coming please!
These inquiries are always interesting because they transcend the more general guidelines set forth by various regulatory agencies.
The latest question was regarding safe pallet stacking; specifically, how to safely calculate maximum pallet loads when stacking pallets.
Q: Hi Robin. We place four 55 gallon drums of juice onto a pallet. Each drum is about 450 pounds. We want to stack these pallets of juice on top of each other in our freezer. How high can we stack these? Since it is sitting on a cement floor I assume this would be figured out as a static load. We have 40 by 48 wooden pallets. Since our finished pallets are not subjected to other forces (Dynamic, conveyors, racking) the static load can exceed the dynamic rating of the pallet. Is this an accurate statement?
Whoa, 1,800 pounds of juice on each pallet is serious business. I can see why this is important; overloaded pallets are dangerous. Plus, upsetting 220 gallons of juice would result in a costly, time-consuming mess.
This is not an accurate statement, necessarily. At some point, you will be moving the juice onto the pallet and stacking the pallets, exceeding the dynamic load during the process could be disastrous and should be avoided.
For safety’s safe, please make sure the following guidelines are followed:
The safe number of laden pallets per stack will depend on your pallet’s load capacities. Please use this formula to calculate the safe number of pallets per stack:
RoundDown (Static Load Per Pallet Total Laden Weight Per Pallet)
Example: Static Load Per Pallet is 10000 lbs, Dynamic Load Per Pallet 2200 lbs, Total Laden Weight Per Pallet is 2100 lbs
Round Down 10000/2100 = Round Down 4.76 = 4 Pallets!
As long as the total weight of the stacks doesn’t exceed the bottom pallet’s Static Load Capacity, you should be fine.
But once you have completed your stack, do not move any multiple pallet stacks unless the bottom pallet load is safely under the Dynamic Load capacity.
Thanks for the question and let us know if you need help finding the most competitive price for your plastic pallets and container bins. We’ll be happy to help you with any performance calculations you may have!
Just when we think that we’ve reached new heights of pallet wisdom, one of our prized customers steps in and pulls us back to earth.
Sure, we routinely optimize pallet shipments to find our pallet buyers the most competitive shipping rates- so why not share that wisdom on our blog?
I am interested in your 24 x 32 Nestable Plastic Semi Pallet Item ; # PP-O-24-NL. I would like to stack several together to achieve a particular height. Your website indicates that one pallet is 5.1″ tall. Can you tell me the height of just the pallet’s deck so I can calculate how many pallets I would need to stack together to achieve a particular height?
One of the most basic, yet elusive calculations we perform is the stack height of plastic pallets. We want to fit as many as possible into the truck that delivers your pallets, to reduce your freight cost per unit.
To calculate the stack height of nestable pallets, you simply need to add the full height of one pallet, plus product of the additional number of units and the pallet’s nesting height.
Total Pallet Units (Quantity): 10
Pallet Full Height Per Unit (Full Height): 5.1″
Pallet Nesting Height (Nesting Height): 1.60″
(1 x Full Height) + ((Quantity-1) x (Nesting Height))
(1 x 5.1) + ((10-1) x (1.6))
= (5.1) + (9 x 1.6)
= 5.1 + 14.4
= 19.5 Inches
Choosing the correct pallet size for your warehouse or industry is simple with our easy-to-understand pallet sizing guide.
There are many plastic pallet sizes in today’s market. Often the requirements of the pallet’s application and industry will help guide the size selection. Many standard pallet sizes were established long ago when wood pallets were the only option. Although industry specific sizes are not necessarily requirements, they are often the most popular and are therefore most commonly used.
Yes! Plastic pallets are quickly growing in popularity – and are even required for some industries. Plastic pallet sizes were initially driven by high volume wood pallet sizes. This is a tremendous benefit to plastic pallet users in all industries; their preferred size is available and offers the natural plastic pallet benefits such as:
There are several reasons for the need to have the pallet made to a specific size.
Trucks and shipping containers have standard sizes. Many pallet sizes are designed to optimize or “max out” the truck’s carrying capacity, shipping as little air as possible to reduce freight expenses.
Match the pallet dimensions to the footprint of product packed for shipping allows a more uniform unit load and reduces product damage. Here are a few industry examples:
The Dairy industry commonly uses 40” x 40” pallets.
The Automotive industry commonly uses 48” x 45” pallets.
Some pallet sizes were created to differentiate against common pallet sizes found in the market. If a pallet is smaller or bigger than a commonly used size, its specialized size can deter pallet theft because its specifications may exclude it from use in certain industries.
Here is a list of popular plastic pallet sizes the industries they serve.
48 x 40 is the most popular pallet size in the United States and is available in greatest variety of styles, from lightweight nestable plastic pallets to heavy duty stackable plastic pallets supporting racking loads greater than 3,000 lbs.
Its widely accepted size easily fits drive / edge racking and beam racking.
A champ for truck loading, 40 x 48 pallets are “pin wheeled” by alternating 40 and 48 in each row for maximum packing density.
48 x 32 pallets, also called “Euro Pallets”, is commonly used for outbound export to Europe and is designed to fit smaller European trucks (lorries), that are smaller than US Trucks.
Widely used, this size is the European version of the US 48” x 40” pallet.
42 x 42 pallets are a less common, specialized size designed to deter pallet theft.
Trivia: 42 x 42 pallets were originally designed for the US Military to transport and store mortar rounds.
48 x 48 pallets nicely fit the footprint of 4 x 55 gallon drums, eliminating the drum hangover that occurs when less optimal 45 x 48 size pallets are used.
48 x 42 pallets are uncommon, but used in certain niche industries.
The Dairy industry commonly uses 40” x 40” pallets, and this no accident. 40″ x 40″ pallets best fit the configurations of stacked milk crates.
Common Industries/Uses: Dairy
The Automotive industry commonly uses 48” x 45”, and this is no surprise. 48″ x 45″ pallets match the footprint of returnable bins/containers (the totes “cube out” nicely on this size) transported to and from auto parts manufacturers and the automobile companies.
Common Industries/Uses: Automotive
45 x 45 pallets are commonly used to transport drums and chemicals. They are also used to transport ocean freight in sea container shipments because their size makes efficient use of the container space, “cubing out” to maximize freight density. With the high cost of a container shipment, it is critical to ship as little air as possible.
44 x 56 pallets, known as bulk beverage container pallets, was one of the first plastic pallet sizes in existence. This pallet size is used to ship empty cans and bottles from the container manufacturers to beverage fillers.
Common Industries/Uses: Beverage
36 x 36, 37 x 37, and 36 x 48 pallet sizes are known as beverage pallets and are frequently used to move filled goods, sized specifically to fit in small bays on soft Coke & Pepsi delivery trucks, and through the doors of retail stores that sell the beverages to consumers.
40 x 24 & 48 x 20 pallets fit nicely on the floor in store aisles, making them a natural choice for Point of Purchase (POP)/Store Displays.
Common Industries/Uses: Retail, Point Of Purchase
Who would have thought there were so many pallet sizes? On second thought, the more you think about the diversity of American industry, the less surprising the variety of plastic pallet sizes seems.
So you’re interested in the different plastic pallet typess? You’ve come to the right place. We’ll provide our plastic pallet expertise to help you understand the differences between the three main types of pallets.
Nestable Plastic Pallet decks are commonly supported by 9 legs and lack runners. Nestable pallet legs are tapered, allowing the legs to nest into one another when stacked. Nestable pallet decks are solid or grated (see also: open, perforated) and are usually designed with nesting registration holes that match the footprint of the pallet legs.
These pallet design features allow empty pallets to stack inside one another, normally achieving a 3-1 ratio, a distinct space saving advantage over a stackable pallet. Some nestable pallets can achieve up a 75% volume reduction during storage and transportation! This space economy reduces the per pallet freight costs & storage space required of empty pallets.
Warning: Nestable Pallets are not designed for double stacking! Stacking nestable pallets on top of sensitive, uneven loads can result is product damage and unsafe working conditions.
Stackable Plastic Pallets are designed to stack on top of each other and do not nest inside one another when empty; perfect for stack loading, static storage, and conveyance in manufacturing, warehousing, and processing environments.
Stackable plastic pallet bases are usually provided with 3, 5 or 6 runners. Pallets with bottom runners travel more safely and consistently through a chain or roller conveyor system. Pallet runners also provide additional support and stability for double stacking loaded pallets. Runners work to more evenly distribute the pallet load for more even stacking, reducing the incidence of product damage.
Rackable Plastic Pallets have bases with runners, a cruciform or 6 runner pallet is most common. Rackable pallets are designed to be placed in perimeter racking where pallets are supported on fours sides, but are not supported in the center.
“All certified mail is registered- but registered mail is not necessarily certified”
– Newman (Jerry Seinfeld’s arch enemy)
Huh? Similarly, Rackable pallets are almost always stackable – but stackable pallets are not necessarily rackable!
Of course every “Rackable” plastic pallet has a racking load capacity, but the suitability of the pallet’s capacity should always be tested for this very important reason:
Pallet capacity changes based on the unique properties of each load-
even with loads of identical weight!
Some rackable pallets are designed with additional support to boost their load capacity. This is achieved in two ways:
Was that helpful? If you have any questions about plastic pallets or need help finding the best pallet at the most competitive price, please contact our friendly Plastic Pallet Experts.
Care to share? We’d love to hear from you – please leave a comment below.
Want to continue learning more about plastic pallets? Here’s an article we wrote on how to determine pallet capacity!
Is your pallet strong enough for the job? In this post, you’ll find pallet capacity explained in plain terms to remove the mystery and uncertainty of finding pallet best suited for your application.
Plastic pallet designs have many variations. The somewhat straightforward wood pallet design, simplified using PDS Pallet Design System software, offers much less design variation / innovation.
Ultimately, the decision making process is similar; always select your pallet design based on the requirements of your specific application.
When choosing a plastic pallet for your application, the manufacturer’s specifications must meet or surpass the cargo weight that is placed on the pallet.
Specific load capacity ratings should be defined in your core requirements. Here are the three most important types of pallet load capacity types to know:
Understanding the 3 types of pallet load ratings is essential to selecting the proper plastic pallet; read on to learn everything you need to know about each one to master plastic pallet selection.
Dynamic Load Capacity is the maximum evenly distributed weight a pallet can hold while being raised by a forklift or hand jack. If your workflow causes you to lift pallets (commonly with fork or jack); consider this your maximum weight capacity.
Tip: Remember, “dynamic” denotes activity or motion.
Pro Tip: This excludes conveyors, unless they lift the pallet upwards.
Static Load Capacity is the measure of weight that the pallet can hold when it is at rest or in a fixed position on an even, level surface (also when stacked). Static Loads do not vary since cargo is static, or at rest.
Tip: Remember, a static pallet is a pallet at rest.
Pro Tip: Don’t get cute! Just because you are stacking individual pallet loads doesn’t mean you’re not exceeding capacity. Remember to calculate your total load based on the total weight your pallet is supporting (including other pallets).
Super Pro Tip: Because dynamic loads are subjected to additional forces, the Static Load Rating is always greater than Dynamic Load Rating.
Racking Load Capacity is the maximum weight a pallet can hold in a racking system (where the center and or/sides of the pallet is unsupported).
Tip: Think of Racking Load Capacity like a bridge’s weight capacity.
Pro Tip: Treat Racking Load ratings as estimates; variations in racking system designs can cause variations in a pallets working Racking Load Capacity.
Don’t go over the maximum rating! Exceeding pallet load capacity ratings can cause the pallet to fail and break, potentially creating seriously undesirable consequences:
Tip: Keep your pallet specification sheets for reference.
Pro Tip: Don’t have your pallet’s specification sheet? Contact our Plastic Pallet Experts for help.
A plastic pallet manufacturers calculated performance specifications are based on an evenly distributed load that covers the pallet’s entire top deck surface. If you follow weight distribution best practices, you should be able operate within the manufacturer’s load ratings.
Some unit loads can cause the working load capacity to fall below the manufacturer’s load capacity.
Here are some loading missteps that can diminish or confuse a pallet’s working weight capacity:
Pro Tip: Stack boxes using “brick stacking” or “cross stacking” formations so the cargo moves as unit for more secure transport and minimize point loading.
Hope that helps! For help in figuring out which plastic pallet is the most cost effective solution for your unit load and material handling environment, contact our friendly Plastic Pallet Experts.
Got a suggestion or question? We’d love to hear from you – what challenges or solutions have you encountered during your material handling adventures?