The Importance of Properly Securing Your Pallets
Authored by Pat McAssey
January 14, 2019
There are many reasons as to why you would want your pallets properly secured but most importantly is that your load gets to its destination in the same condition it left your facility. A lot of times people do not fully understand how to properly secure the load to the pallet and this article will demonstrate how to do so. The topics to be discussed include packing your pallet, wrapping your pallet and strapping your pallet. Once these three concepts are mastered you will have properly secured pallets every time your ready to ship.
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Packing Your Pallet
Wrapping your Pallet
Strapping your Pallet
Possible Outcomes After Transit
Packing Your Pallet
Before you actually load your items onto the pallet you want to ensure you have the right pallet. A major thing to keep in mind is the integrity of the pallet itself. You want to make sure that there are no loose or cracked boards and that the pallet itself is in good overall shape and able to hold your intended load. Now that you have selected your pallet, it is time to pack your items. You want to start with the largest and heaviest boxes first on the bottom and working your way to the top with lighter and smaller boxes if applicable. Another note to keep in mind when packing your load is that if packing equal size boxes try to stagger them which will help lock your load together. You want your items to keep level and square as possible to prevent weight shifting during transit. It is also important that nothing overhangs the edge of your pallet. This will ensure that anything that comes close to your load and bumps into it, bumps the pallet not your product.
Wrapping Your Pallet
There are a couple of different ways to wrap your pallet, you can either wrap it manually or with the assistance of a stretch wrapper. If you are going to opt for the manual option, you will want to start by taking some stretch wrap and squeezing it together making it similar to a rope and put it through and around a corner of the pallet. From here you can start to wrap your pallet. You want to keep constant pressure to ensure your getting the most out of your stretch wrap. Not only is it for cost effectiveness its critically important for the strength of your wrap. If you wrap it too loose then your items will be able to move and shift during transit. By keeping the wrap tight it locks the load together. When your first start you want to start at the bottom and make sure your wrapping includes your load and the pallet itself. Make sure to leave enough room for the forks of a forklift to enter the pallet. By wrapping your load and the pallet you lock the load to the pallet and secure together as one unit. This is important so that during transit your load does not fall off the pallet. You want to make sure that you go around at least 4-5 times to lock it together. Once you are done you can check to see if the loads moves as one, if so then you are all set to move on, if not you will need to wrap it tighter together again.
Strapping Your Pallet
Now that you have your load wrapped onto the pallet the next step to making the most secure load is strapping it to together. You want to strap the load together and to the pallet to ensure the load becomes one with the pallet. Failure to properly strap a load can make it very difficult to unload the pallets and even damaged product. When strapping the load it is important to use more than once strap. Usually two or four straps will be used. When four straps are used two will go the length of the load while the other two straps will go perpendicularly along the width of the pallet. It is important to have a single strap around just the load only to lock the load together, while also having another strap going around the load and pallet securing them together. With this strap it is important not to go through the area where the forks of the forklift slide through and they may damage or snap the strap. It best to have to strap around the edge or corner of the pallet and your load. When using four straps it is best to have two securing the load to the pallet and two straps locking the load together itself.
Possible Outcomes After Transit
If properly packed, wrapped, and strapped your load should arrive to its destination intact exactly the way it was when it left your facility. If applicable even have the ability to be stacked on top of other pallets to maximize storage.
Sometimes a pallet may shift slightly during transit and either the wrap loosens or the strapping shifts. When this happens sometimes the pallet will arrive will all of the load intact and on the pallet and the only thing out of place will be the strapping and or the wrap.
Other times however due to a variety of reasons a load may arrive and have shifted during transit. This results in a load that is not stackable and is very difficult to move off of the delivery truck. Sometimes it may have shifted so much during transit that it has to be manually unloaded or even been damaged during transit.