Trying to get a heavy load off the ground? You’ll need a strong pallet. But exactly how much can a pallet hold? It’s an important question with a surprisingly complicated answer. There are lots of different types of pallets to choose from, so it all depends on what you have on hand.
Before we get started, it’s always best to check the owner’s manual. Contact the original manufacturer for a more precise answer to your question. You should always know the limits of your pallets before putting them into rotation. Overloading the pallet will shorten the lifespan of the product, forcing you to invest in new storage materials. This also increases the chances the pallet could collapse beneath the weight, putting your entire storage system at risk.
Whether you’re looking to buy a new pallet container or you’re trying to get a load off the ground as safely as possible, learn how much different pallets can hold to keep your inventory intact.
Defining Weight Capacity
Weight capacity varies based on how the pallet is being used.
- The rackable load capacity means how much the pallet can hold when it is on the stack rack.
- The static load capacity is how much the pallet can hold when it is not moving.
- Dynamic load capacity is how much the pallet can hold when it is being handled by a lift truck.
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Weight Capacity Based on the Type of Pallet
The weight capacity varies based on how the pallet was made. The more durable the pallet, the more it can hold.
- Stringer Pallets
This type of pallet gets its name from the “stringers” or beams of wood that run across the pallet to help support the weight. Two-way stringer pallets can be accessed from either the front or the back, while four-way pallets are accessible from all four sides.
Wooden stringer pallets come with a rackable load capacity of 2,500 lbs., a dynamic load capacity of 2,200 lbs. to 2,500 lbs. and a static load capacity of 2,500 lbs.
- Block Pallets
A block pallet is a four-way pallet that comes with solid posts in the middle to further support the weight. These kinds of pallets can range in size and shape, but they can hold considerably more weight than stringer pallets.
Wooden block pallets come with a rackable load capacity of 2,800 lbs., a dynamic load capacity of 4,600 lbs. and a static load capacity of 5,500 lbs.
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- Plastic Pallets
As you might expect, plastic pallets can hold even more weight. Wooden pallets aren’t the most reliable. They are generally used for short-term shipping and storage. They can also bend, warp and disintegrate over time, which will limit their lifespan and weight capacity.
Plastic pallets are much more durable than those made with wood. They will hold up in the rain while retaining their physical dimensions so your load won’t get rejected.
The load capacity varies based on the type of plastic, so be sure to check with the manufacturer.
A plastic pallet comes with a rackable load capacity of 2,800 lbs., a dynamic load capacity of 5,000 lbs. and a static load capacity of up to 30,000 lbs.
- Metal Pallets
Metal pallets are more durable than plastic pallets, but they may not hold as much weight–depending on how they were constructed.
A stainless steel pallet may come with a rackable load capacity of 2,200 lbs., a dynamic load capacity of 4,000 lbs. and a static load capacity of 8,000 lbs.
Consider the temperature of your facility, as well. Wood pallets can be susceptible to condensation, which can lead to warping and even the spread of mold. Research this recent investigation of pallet design using alternative materials for cold room applications.
There are so many different factors to consider when looking for plastic pallets for sale.
It’s also important to remember a skid plate is not the same as a pallet. Skids do not have as much structural support as traditional pallets. Learn more about skid vs. pallets to make sure you know the difference between the two.
Use this guide to make sure your pallets can support the weight in question. It’s always better to err on the side of caution.