Pallets 101

Types of Pallets

Grading of Recycled Pallets

The most common size pallet is the 48 x 40 inch 4-way entry pallet, referred to as the GMA (Grocery Manufacturer Association) pallet.  Pallets move through a life cycle from new to used (recycled) to scrap.  The grade indicates where the pallet is in its life cycle and is broken into four categories.  There is some subjectivity in grading recycled or reconditioned pallets so it is important that you verify that you are getting what you pay for.  Below are general descriptions of Grades of GMA pallets:

Recycled GMA Pallet Grades:

Grade A (#1) – A pallet repaired to close to its original condition.  Broken stringers may have been replaced or repaired with metal plates.  All damaged deck boards are replaced.  Grade A pallets have structural integrity close to that of a new pallet.

Grade B (#2) – A pallet that has had stringer damage to one or two stringers and has typically been repaired by attaching an additional stringer along side the damaged one, known as a companion or double stringer.  The deck boards may be slightly uneven in thickness and may be unevenly spaced but the pallet retains the majority of its load bearing capacity.

Grade C (#3) – A pallet that has been repaired numerous times.  Most of the stringers on a "C" grade pallet will have companion stringers.  The deck boards may be very inconsistent in size, spacing and thickness.  These pallets are near the end of their usable life and have a risk for failure.  They are only suitable for rough applications and may have a reduced load bearing capacity.

More Pallet Terminology

Pallets in the Food Industry

Pallets for International Shipping

New vs. Reclaimed Wood

Renting vs. Buying

Environmental Impact

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