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Top 7 Things You Need To Know When Working With Pallets

This is a guest post by Jerry Matos, a Product Specialist for Cherry’s Material Handling, an e-commerce store serving to the industrial warehouse and material handling industry.


Pallets make material moving and handling quick and efficient in industrial and distribution warehouses. Pallets can also present problems when they are not used correctly. Here are seven things you and your employees should know in order to handle pallets safely and get the most efficiency from them.

  1. Use Gloves to Protect Hands

The majority of pallets found in industrial or distribution facilities are manufactured from wood. This wood is rough-cut and not designed to have smooth edges. Any type of pallet handling should be performed with heavy-duty work gloves. Even the slightest slip can embed splinters in your employees’ hands. Depending on the type of pallet, these splinters could contain unwanted chemicals. Long sleeves and pants should be used to prevent scratches on arms and legs.

  1. Be Alert for Drops and Caught-Betweens

When pallets are being moved, employees need to be aware of where their hands and feet are during the process. This applies to manual movement or the use of a jack Palletsor lift truck. Workers should be wearing appropriate footwear to protect their feet in the event a pallet does fall. Caution is also required to prevent hands or fingers from becoming caught in between pallets, or between pallets and the floor or a shelf when the pallet is lowered.

  1. Stacking Correctly

Correct stacking, including how items are placed on pallets, how pallets are stacked on top of each other and how they are stored on shelving is critical.  When employees are placing materials on a pallet for moving, storing or shipping, they must make sure that the weight is distributed correctly. If the weight ends up all on one side, the pallet is likely to tip over.

This applies to stacking pallets as well. Keep weights centered and evenly distributed. If the stack begins to tilt, it must be immediately corrected before an accident occurs. Remember that if pallets are stored on shelving, there must be enough room to navigate a forklift or jack to remove the pallet when needed.

  1. Replace Defective Pallets

Wood pallets do not last forever. In fact, some manufacturers make one-time-use pallets. Pallets should have the IPPC logo to identify heat-treating or fumigation treatment. This is an indication of a more durable pallet. Once the wood begins to split or boards become loose, remove the pallet from service. It will no longer hold up to material handling needs.

Do not just throw your pallets away — they can be recycled. There is a large market for used pallets by individuals that enjoy woodworking and crafting. If you do not have a supplier that will pick them up for free, simply advertise that you have some available.

  1. Pallets are Not Ladders

Just as five-gallon buckets are not designed to work as ladders on a construction site, a stack of pallets should not be used as a ladder in your facility. They are not designed for climbing and standing. Pallets should never be used to create a personnel lift. Do not allow employees to change ceiling lights while standing on a pallet elevated by a forklift. The results are not good.

  1. Make Use of Material Handling Equipment

There is a large amount of equipment available that will make pallet handling easier for your employees. These items can increase productivity and safety in material handling. Lift tables are an excellent choice for raising pallets to the best level for loading and unloading materials. Workers will not need to perform as much bending and lifting, which will reduce back strain. Unloading or loading can be accomplished faster without sacrificing safety.

  1. Use Jacks and Lifts Correctly

Hand jacks or forklifts must be used correctly to ensure that pallets are moved safely. The tines of the lift should be in the center of the weight. Raise the forks slowly until the pallet is off the ground to make sure that the pallet does not slip and the wood does not break.

When pulling the forks out of the pallet, move slowly. Forks can become caught and drag the pallet or break away the wood. Never drive a lift with the load raised to a height that blocks the operator’s vision.

Optimizing Warehouse Space

Author/Editor Bio:

Jerry Matos is the Product Specialist at Cherry’s Material Handling. Cherry’s Material Handling is an e-commerce store serving to the industrial warehouse and material handling industry.

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Warehouse Management Software Buyer Trends

We would like to share a new research report by Forrest Burnson, the Managing Editor for Software Advice, an organization that  provides detailed reviews, comparisons, and research to help other organizations choose the right software to meet their needs.

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Every year, Software Advice speaks to hundreds of businesses that are searching for the best warehouse management system (WMS) to fit their needs. These interactions give them tremendous insight into the needs of WMS buyers across a wide assortment of industries. They recently analyzed a random selection of 385 of these interactions to examine the main reasons buyers are seeking new WMS software.

Some key findings include:

  • Among big businesses, 72% wanted barcoding capabilities, and nearly one-fifth wanted RFID tracking capabilities.

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  • More than one-third of buyers are currently using manual methods (e.g. pen and paper) as their warehouse management solution.

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  • More than 25% of 3PL firms wanted a WMS that offers EDI capabilities.

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If you are in the process of evaluating potential WMS solutions or would like to simply learn out more about their findings, you can find the rest of their research here: warehouse management software buyer trends

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Cycle Counting (Part 1): What Every Inventory Manager Should Know About It

We would like to share an interesting blog post by Adam Bluemner, the Managing Editor for Find Accounting Software, a service providing free software selection assistance.

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Cycle counting is an improved approach for inventory stock verification. In brief, cycle counting provides a method of splitting the inventory verification task out over time in order to create greater process efficiency and inventory records accuracy. It has two fundamental characteristics:

1.       Stock verification happens continuously over the year, rather than all at once.

2.       High value inventory items get additional attention.

Key points:

  • Industry experts attribute bin location accuracy rates of 95% or even 99% and overall efficiency gains of 5-10% to the implementation of a cycle counting program.
  • Cycle counting puts attention where your investment is by using a group assignment model based on item “value.” An item’s value is determined not by unit supply cost or number of inventory turns, but rather by the combination of the two factors.
  • The advantages of cycle counting over end-of-the-year stock verification intensifies as your organization’s investment in inventory increases.
  • Cycle counting doesn’t require a major investment in equipment, outside services, or human resources.

You can find the rest of this interesting article here: Cycle Counting (Part 1): What Every Inventory Manager Should Know About It

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