How do I Choose the Best Used Pallets?

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  • Written By: Summer Banks
  • Edited By: Michelle Arevalo
  • Last Modified Date: 17 June 2019
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Pallets are often used to store and move products for business use. The most common materials used when building pallets are wood, metal, and plastic. Those made of wood and plastic are used more often than the metal pallet, which accounts for only about 1% of the total market. Buying new pallets can be more costly than choosing used materials for the same job.

Once a pallet has been used, it is no longer considered to be new. Depending on the materials used to build it and its original purpose, a pallet could be reused many more times by the business that owns it, or sold to another person or company. A softwood pallet may tend to break down after completing one job, and may be discarded after it has served its purpose. Those constructed of stronger hardwood can usually be sold as used pallets.

Plastic pallets may also be sold after a business is finished with them. These plastic items often last through 100 uses or more, depending on the weight of the product packed on the pallet. When choosing a used pallet made from plastic, it may be important to disinfect and clean it before implementing it. This could be especially important if the used pallet will store or transport food.


After being used, not all pallets are in good enough condition to be sold. Substandard used pallets often undergo pallet repairs before being returned to service. Such work could include the replacement of any nails, boards, or braces. The condition after repair may determine the price for which used pallets are sold. Pallet companies may have different grading scales for the prices of such used items.

If a wood pallet cannot be repaired, pallet recycling can reclaim the lumber that was used to build it. The recycling of these materials can also be used to create custom pallets in sizes that are not standard. Once recycled, one will usually be designated as used, rather than new.

Pallet recycling is not necessarily limited to rebuilding. Some businesses will sell used pallets to companies that make outdoor structures, for use as heating materials or another purpose. Before burning used wood pallets, it can be important to ask what type of goods were transported on them, to be sure that the wood is not contaminated. For instance, if chemicals were spilled on the wood, those chemicals could be released into the air when it is burned.



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