Any product on the market has certain tolerances, and manufacturers expect they will be used as designed. When abused, products don’t perform as they should, and some fail completely. This is true of plastic pallets, too. Overloading them reduces their lifespan by almost 43 percent. So, how much weight can a pallet hold?
Honestly, that depends on the pallet you choose to use. It also depends on some other things as well. To understand how much different pallets can hold, let’s take a closer look at what factors determine load capacity.
Types of Plastic
There are several different factors that will determine what the load capacity is of any plastic pallet, and there are a lot of them with more variations than most people would want to count.
The type of plastic material they are made from is important. Different pallets are made from different plastic resins. For instance, our Hygienic Euro Pallet, the RRM H8330FC, is made from food-grade HDPE and used for food and medical products. It is 47.2” x 31.5” and weighs between 37.5 and 42 pounds. The version with fully closed runners has a static capacity of 11,000 pounds, a dynamic capacity of 5,500 pounds, and a racking capacity of 2,750 pounds.
Virgin plastic resins are stronger and more durable than those made from recycled plastic resulting in more consistent performance. They are also more expensive.
When it comes to the different types of virgin plastics, the two materials most often used are high-density polyethylene (HDPE) and polypropylene (PP). HDPE is used more often due to its price and load capacity.
What it is Designed For
The intended purpose and environment the pallet is designed for is important when it comes to reliability and performance. If specifications of a pallet are not adhered to, the pallet will not perform as expected.
Although HDPE has a leg up on PP due to price, pallets produced with PP can hold very heavy loads. Consider our high-performance RRM 9000, a very strong rackable pallet designed specifically for heavy loads. It has a static capacity of 13,200 pounds, a dynamic capacity of 6,600 pounds, and a racking capacity of 3,300 pounds.
Weight Capacities Explained
There are three types of weight capacities that are discussed with plastic pallets—static, dynamic, and racking. The differences are important to understand so they are used correctly and perform properly.
Static load capacity is the amount of weight a plastic pallet can hold when it is used in an immobile or fixed position. This could be a floor display at a local retailer or when pallets are stacked together and waiting to be used.
Dynamic load capacity is the amount of weight a plastic pallet can hold when lifted by a forklift or hand jack. Pallets holding goods are often moved from one location to another, such as being loaded onto a truck for delivery or moved within a warehouse.
Racking load capacity refers to how much weight a plastic pallet can hold without any supporting structure underneath it or in the center. This might be in a warehouse racking system where supporting beams are below each end of the pallet and there is no center structure to support the middle of the pallet.
Check the Data Sheet
When deciding which pallet is best for your purposes, figure out the ideal dimensions and what the maximum weight put on the pallet could be. When calculating the weight, consider if they will be double-stacked for shipments or storage. If so, don’t forget to multiply the weight by two to compensate for the bottom pallet. Next look at how they will be used, whether it be static, dynamic, or in racking. Choose the pallets in the dimensions you need and read the data sheets for those specific models. It is very likely that there is a pallet designed for your specific application, with the correct capacities, and made with the correct material for the job.
For help narrowing it down to the best solution for your business, give us a call at Plastic Pallet Pros. Our team is ready to help you find or custom design the perfect plastic pallet.