To the average user, one wooden pallet is much like another. If you’re part of the many industries that make use of these pallets – including pallet production, haulage, warehousing, and more – then you’ll know that’s not the case. Wooden pallets come in a variety of sizes, depending on the job they are required to do. While there has been some attempt to standardise pallet sizes, particularly in the haulage industry, those different types of wooden pallets are still in regular use.
UK Standard Wooden Pallets
The type of wooden pallet most UK residents will have seen is this one. Measuring 1200mm by 800mm, it’s a common site in warehouses, industrial yards, and factories across the country.
Oversize Wooden Pallets
While 1200mm by 800mm is the most common pallet size in the UK, there are larger models available. These keep the 1200mm length (which ensures they can be lifted by most forklifts) but increase the width to 1000mm or 1200mm (creating a square pallet). These are often used for items that are large in size, light in weight, or both.
The Euro pallet marked an early attempt to standardise pallet sizes across the continent and has, for the most part, succeeded. Euro pallets share the same dimensions as their UK counterparts, measuring 1200mm x 800mm. However, this is only part of the story – the standardisation of the industry went much further than that. European haulage companies use standard-sized lorries for transporting their goods, specially-designed to accommodate Euro pallets and reduce wasted room. Likewise, manufacturers pack their products in boxes designed to fit a Euro pallet. While the boxes themselves might come in different sizes, their measurements are all in multiples of 200mm, so they can be arranged neatly on a Euro pallet with no shortfall or overspill.
A key difference between Euro pallets and UK wooden pallets is that the former needs to be heat-treated before it can be allowed on the continent. Heat treatment involves slowly firing new wooden pallets in a specialist kiln, raising the temperature sufficiently to kill off bacteria, insects, and fungi that might be residing in the wood.
As the name suggests, these pallets are half the size of a UK standard or Euro pallet, measuring in at 600mm x 400mm. They are commonly used for items that are smaller but heavier, as the weight is more evenly distributed across the smaller pallet, reducing the risk of broken slats when lifted by a forklift. They are also popular among wholesalers when delivering to their retail customers, as they can be comfortably loaded onto a roll cage or hand-trolley.