FreightCenter Teaches You How to Build a Freight Pallet

February 9, 2017 by FreightCenter Team
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When shipping items by freight, items will typically need to be packaged by boxes, crates, or pallets.  Freight carriers will not pick an item up for shipment if the item is not properly packaged.  This will result in extra fees, wasted time, and added frustration.  If the freight carrier does transport the item, improper packaging could result in the carrier’s liability for damage being voided. We want to help you avoid these things with a short guide about the different ways your items can be packaged for shipment.

A standard 40 by 48-inch pallet has cutouts on the bottom edges of the sides that allow the prongs of a forklift or pallet jack to slide underneath before hoisting and moving the stack.
There are certain items that freight carriers will typically require that they be put on a pallet. This list is not exclusive or complete, as requirements change from one freight carrier to another.

·         Machinery
·         Ovens/stoves
·         Heavy equipment
·         Dishwashers
·         Engines
·         Washing machines/dryers
·         Compressors
·         Refrigerators
·         Generators
·         Sofas
·         Lawn mowers
·         Tables/desks/chairs

You can either locate a pallet in your area or see below for how to build one yourself.

What you will need:

Hardwood lumber stock:
(8) 3.5 by 48 by 0.625-inch boards
(4) 5.5 by 40 by 0.625-inch boards
(3) 3.5 by 48 by 1.375-inch
Boards Nails: 2.25-inch helically threaded or twisted shank

Step One: Fashion the three main beams. Take the three 3.5 by 48 by 1.375-inch supports that run the length of the pallet. Cut out two forklift notches from each beam, starting 6 inches in from the ends. Cut out a section 9 inches long with rounded corners. Cut the round corner at a radius of 0.75 inches. (What is commonly called a 2 by 4 can be used for the beams.)

Step Two: Assemble the bottom deck of the forklift by nailing two 5.5 by 40 by 0.625-inch crosspiece boards, mounting one flush with each end of the two outside beams. Nail the third beam parallel to the others in the middle. Use nine nails per 5.5-inch crosspiece, three at each joining. Then fasten three 3.5 by 48 by 0.625-inch crosspiece boards, one in the center of the beam and the other two just to the inside of the forklift notches. Use six nails per each 3.5-inch crosspiece, two at each joining. (Boards commonly called 1 by 4s and 1 by 6s can be used for the crosspieces.)

Step Three: Turn the pallet assembly over and fasten the boards of the top deck. Nail two 5.5 by 40 by 0.625-inch cross boards, one flush with each end of the beams. Use nine nails per 5.5-inch crosspiece, three at each joining. Then fasten five 3.5 by 48 by 0.625-inch crosspiece boards, one in the center of the beams and the other four evenly spaced between the middle crosspiece and the end crosspieces. Use six nails per each 3.5-inch crosspiece, two at each joining. With a rough sanding of the top deck, your durable homemade pallet is ready for packaging and then pick up by the freight carrier.

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