What do you need to know about pallets to choose a truck

What is a pallet?

A pallet is a flat structure that is used for shipping and transport, and also makes it possible to move unit loads more cost effectively, safely and ergonomically. The use of the pallet, as we know it today, was developed during the Second World War. Pallets are usually made of wood, plastic or metal and the choice of pallet usually depends on the load and the environment it is being used in.

What is the standard pallet size?

International standard sizes don’t really exist because pallet definitions, construction standards and terminologies vary enormously from country to country. However national standards and unofficial branch standard sizes are common so contact with your local association or organization for more information..

Not all industrial forklift truck types are compatible with all types of pallets – be sure to check pallet dimensions and load size (including overhang) before specifying your requirements on forks.

Weight and content of unit loads affect the centre of gravity, and the residual capacity of the industrial forklift truck required for stacking.

Sizes of wooden pallets often vary from country to country, depending on usage. However, the most common pallet size used in Europe is 1200 x 800 mm.

Euro pallet

What do you need to know about the EU Pallet?

  • The EU-pallet must contain at least 78 nails of a specific type that are subject to a  prescribed nailing pattern. 
  • The final pallet weighs 20 to 25 kg.
  • Only dry wood may be used, so that it cannot become mouldy.
  • On the left corner leg the EPAL logo is shown.
  • On the central leg the code of the producer company is shown along with the signature of the verifier and the name of the railway company that installed the verifier.
  • On the right corner leg the EUR logo is shown.

Open Pallet

Open Pallet (EU, EPAL Pallet)

Also known as a 4-way entry pallet, Block pallet or Euro pallet

Consist of a block construction with bottom boards on 2 sides and the centre. 2-way open entry and 2-way entry across bottom boards which give possibility to a 4-way entry. Makes handling easy with virtually all types of industrial trucks on the open entry sides and shaped corners and bottom boards to make it easier to enter the pallet.

This type of pallet is a very common pallet type in Europe (except in the UK)

Bottom Boarded Pallet

Bottom Boarded Pallet (CHEP Pallet)

Also known as a Chep pallet, 4 way entry pallet, Block pallet, Bottom board pallet or GKN pallet.

Consist of block construction with bottom boards on all 4 sides and centre. 4 way entry is possible, all across bottom boards. Makes handling easy with virtually all types of industrial trucks although it is not possible to use a fork over support arm stacker truck for stacking. Shaped bottom boards make it easier for the truck forks to enter the pallet.

This type of pallet is a very common pallet type in the UK.

Stringer Pallet

Stringer Pallet

Also known as a 4-way entry pallet, Block & bearer pallet, Bottom board pallet, Grocery pallet, GMA pallet (USA) or CPC pallet (CDA)

This is a block and side bearer (with fork cut-outs) construction. 2-way open entry and 2-way entry across bottom boards which give possibility to a 4 way entry. Hand- and electric pallet trucks and support arms trucks with elevating support arms can be used for horizontal transport.

Low profile forks like hand pallet truck (low fork height), reach, straddle or CB trucks need to pick this pallet up from the bearer side. Shaped bottom boards make it easier for the truck forks to enter the pallet.

This type of pallet is a very common pallet type in North America, Africa and Asia

Bearer Pallet

Bearer Pallet

Also known as a 2-way entry pallet, Block & bearer pallet or Bottom board pallet

This is a block construction with side and centre bearers and with the possibility of 2 way entry only. Makes handling
easy with virtually all types of industrial trucks although it is not possible to use a fork over support arm stacker truck for stacking. Shaped bottom boards make it easier for the truck forks to enter the pallet.

This is a very common pallet type in Africa and Asia.

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