7 Tips To Help You Prevent Pallet Damage While Utilizing Forklifts

Every business utilizes forklifts to manage pallet shipments, so it’s important to follow these safety tips to prevent pallet damage!

pallet damage is possible while utilizing a forklift

It’s absolutely critical for every business team to prevent pallet damage as a part of their overall supply chain management, and the following are just a few reasons why protecting the condition of your pallets is so important:

  • A damaged pallet can potentially damage the products that are on the pallet
  • A damaged pallet can potentially cause product damages during transit
  • Reusing pallets becomes much more difficult when they need to be consistently repaired or replaced
  • Products shipped on pallets cannot be damaged due to aesthetic and health concerns

There’s no doubt about it that wood pallets can be damaged in many different ways, but the most common culprit for pallet damage is the forklift. There are many instances in which business leaders simply need to retrain their forklift operators to better coincide with proper pallet handling maneuvers and techniques, and there are countless other instances in which pallet damages are a matter of due diligence.

But no matter how forklifts are damaging your pallet supply, it’s always beneficial to ensure that your forklift operators understand how pallet damages cost your bottom line.

Below are 7 tips that your business should keep in mind when it comes to preventing pallet damage!

1. Be Sure To Always Use The Correct Pallets Based Upon Transportation Conditions And Product Parameters

Although it’s pretty clear to recognize whether or not a product fits well on a pallet, there are many other considerations that business leaders need to keep in mind. For instance, even if your product fits on the pallet it doesn’t necessarily mean that the pallet has been constructed to carry the product’s overall weight.

There are also many issues that are caused by products that don’t have an even weight distribution. Over-loaded pallets, including heavy duty pallets, are always going to be more prone to twisting, breaking and splintering. This subsequently means that they’ll be much more susceptible to forklift-caused damages as well.

2. Do Your Best At De-Cluttering Your Warehouse Floor

Forklift operators are always going to need a clean space to properly operate the machinery, which means it’s important for business teams to minimize the amount of clutter that a forklift operator could potentially bump into. It’s also simply important to make maneuvers easier on forklift operators, which means eliminating any unnecessary clutter that makes it harder for them to move around your warehouse.

It’s also important to consistently sweep up any debris from your flooring area to prevent any potential jostling or bouncing for the forklift operator. These extra bounces can actually be pretty stressful on pallets, which increases the chances for pallet damage.

3. Be Sure To Always Properly Stack Your Pallet Supply

You’re of course going to need to stack your pallet supply within your commercial property, but this means that you should ensure that your pallets are centered, even and squared up with one another.

Proper pallet stacking is extremely important because it ensures an even weight distribution amongst your pallet supply, which then goes a long way at preventing any deckboard damages. Proper pallet stacking also helps in terms of preventing any falling or leaning.

4. Taking Your Time

Every industry that utilizes forklifts on a daily basis understands how forklift operators are generally in a hurry, and it’s always unfortunate when rushing through daily necessities leads to pallet damages. Forklift operators are simply much less likely to pay an adequate amount of attention to pallets when they’re in a hurry, and this also applies to pallet stacking as well.

That’s why it’s always best to have your company’s forklift operators taking their time and going a little bit slower, because preventing pallet/product damage should always be a major concern during the regular hustle and bustle of a workday.

5. Properly Spacing Out Forklift Tines

The tines of a forklift are typically the main culprits for pallet damage, which is why your team needs to always ensure that your forklift tines are evenly fitting into a pallet without making any direct contact with the pallet until the lift mechanisms are enacted. Improper tine spacing can scrape pallet stringers and ultimately damage them.

Spacing out your forklift tines also goes a long way in terms of ensuring even weight distribution across the pallet, which then leads to more stable movements.

6. Be Sure To Always Clear Pallets Fully When Exiting

Just like there can be potential damage when a forklift enters a pallet, there are also risks associated with proper tine exits. What tends to happen is that a forklift operator will turn out prior to fully clearing the tines from underneath the pallet, which then leads to extensive stringer damages.

Pallet stringer damage can lead to reduced weight capacity and even potential collapses. So it goes to show that forklift operators must always be particularly cautious while exiting from underneath a pallet!

7. Always Avoid Short-Forking

The term short-forking refers to a forklift not being fully underneath a pallet prior to lifting, and this is a particularly troublesome issue because pallets are always designed to be carried while tines are fully inserted. Short-forking will lead to a ton of unnecessary stress on the pallet’s fasteners and deckboards.

Another common issue associated with short-forking is the potential for pallets falling or slipping while being moved around.

Reach Out To The Pallet Guys To Learn More About How Your Business Team Can Avoid Pallet Damage!

The Pallet Guys have supported countless businesses throughout the United States and abroad when it comes to providing high-quality pallet supplies, but we’re also here for you when you need support in terms of taking care of your pallets.

Reach out to us online or call us at 832-895-7555 to get in touch with our pallet specialists and learn more about how we can help you avoid pallet damages!

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