Like so many things, if you treat a pallet well, it will reward you with years of good service. If you treat it poorly, however, it’ll be junkwood in no time, and nobody wants that. So here are some tips to help you take better care of your pallets!
1) Pick the Right One for the Job at Hand
This shouldn’t come as a surprise to you, different pallets are designed to fulfil different needs. So, obviously if you stay within the parameters and use the pallets as intended, they’ll be more reliable and last longer.
You don’t want to lose or damage stock because you used a pallet designed for moving light goods like flowers to move your mountains of gold bullion (not the stock kind). Be sure to consider what you’re intending to use the pallets for when ordering, which leads us on to…
2) Make Sure Your Pallet Handlers are Well Trained
It’s the people handling and using your pallets on a day-to-day basis who will have the biggest impact on your pallet health and budgets, so make sure they’re well trained.
Make sure they:
- Are able to identify and use the correct pallet for the job
- Are able and willing to spot damage early
- Know how to handle and transport pallets
- Know what to do when chemicals spill onto pallets, or at least know where to find the right instructions for managing the spill
- Are appropriately skilled and qualified, e.g. your forklift operators are properly licensed.
Prevention is better than cure, and getting your team to understand how and why they should treat your pallets correctly is a large part of this battle. You could even tie pallet health into their performance reviews as a group so that they hold each other accountable and self-police.
3) Identify Damage Early and Have Pallets Professionally Repaired
It’s inevitable that pallets will get damaged at some point during their lifespan, even with well-trained and diligent staff. The earlier you spot damage to your pallets, the more likely it is the pallet can be saved, so this is key to pallet longevity – embed these review practices into your day-to-day work.
If there’s a small amount of superficial damage, this may or may not lead to weakness in the pallet’s integrity and maybe even health and safety issues down the line, depending on the damage type and location. So create and disseminate a policy describing what can be repaired and what cannot.
We recommend having your pallets professionally repaired to ensure that the repairs are high quality and safe. Include in your procedure a clear policy about what is kept to be sent off for repairs and what is to be recycled – you don’t want valuable storage space taken up by pallets that serve no purpose just because people don’t understand what should be discarded and what can be saved.
Better yet, when you call Universal Pallets and request our Repair and Return service, we’ll pick up any pallets that are beyond hope, recycle them and provide you with the paper trail to prove it.
4) Invest in Good Quality Racking and Storage
Your pallets aren’t only at risk of damage when they’re in use – they’re still vulnerable when they’re being stored.
By investing in your racking and your storage areas you can protect the integrity of your pallets by reducing the amount of environmental threats (e.g. water, chemicals) and reducing the possibility of damage through forceful contact with compromised racking.
Keeping your pallets stored in an appropriate location also reduces the chances of them being accidentally damaged or moved more than is necessary, resulting in less wear and tear.