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Pallets- What does “Standard Size” really mean?

You’ve probably heard the phrase “Standard Size” when it comes to pallets but anyone who works with pallets knows there’s rarely anything standard about “standard” pallets.
In the UK a Standard is 1200mmx 1000mm but that’s where the standardisation ends. Within this range there are many further grades or specifications and it’s important to make sure your pallet is up to the job.
Here’s a rough guide to the different types of Standard pallet available in both the second hand and new market.

Grade A or Grade 1
Generally speaking these are capable of holding up to 1 tonne in weight. The pallet will have big blocks and narrower gaps between the top boards. The top boards will most likely run the short way (1000mm) but sometimes 1200mm top boards will suffice if the timber is thick enough and the blocks big enough. Here at Universal Pallets® we would also define this as being a perimeter based pallet.

Grade 2 or Grade B
This pallet is likely to be able to hold up to 750KG but you would now need to make further enquiries as to the exact spec. Some examples in this range are:
– PB ie fully perimeter based and the base boards are flush- usually very important if the pallets are going up in racking.
– Conversion or Raised- a 3 legger pallet (see below) which has had extra boards strapped to the bottom for extra stability but not classed as fully perimeter based and not flush.

Grade C or Lightweight
These pallets tend to be a mixture of PBs, conversions and 3 leggers but all of which can’t be classed as Grade 1 or 2 because, for example, they are very gappy or the boards and blocks are “skinny”. Load bearing capacity can be anything from as little as 200KG up to approx 500KG

3 Legger
This means that the pallet does not have any extra boards on the bottom – the difference between a 3 legger and a PB (perimeter based) can be seen clearly in these photos.

UP 41-Edit4 Way Entry Standard Size Super Grade One Pallet for sale4 Way Entry Standard Size Conversion Pallet for sale

(3 Legger)                                                                          (Perimeter Based)                                  (Conversion/Raised)

In any of the Grades you might come across “winged” pallets- this means that the top boards overhang the blocks like the one in this photo- usually designed to assist with shrink wrapping or for use on the chemical industry.

CP2 Pallet for sale



Please bear in mind that new pallets can be load tested to ensure they can take the weight but second hand ones can’t and so all load bearing capacities are approximate and not intended to be relied upon for any specific job- please particularly note that putting pallets up in racking dramatically reduces their load bearing capacity further. Also in the second hand industry definitions can vary from company to company and so you should always double check your spec!

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