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What Is a Pallet?

A pallet is a flat transport structure which supports goods while being lifted by a forklift, a pallet jack, a front loader, a jacking device, or a crane. It is the structural foundation of a unit load which allows handling and storage efficiencies. Goods carried by new refrigerator vehicles and other cargo freights are often placed on a pallet and secured with a shrink wrap or strapping before shipping.

Benefits of pallet vans:

  • Businesses that use pallets have reduced costs for the handling and storage of goods and also enjoy faster material movement.
  • Pallets make it easier to move heavy stacks.
  • Loads with pallets under them can be hauled by forklift trucks or pallet jacks, making loading and unloading easy.
  • They work well with modern packaging like corrugated boxes and intermodal containers.
  • They can be made with recycled materials and are therefore eco-friendly.
  • They are better forms of crating for fragile cargo than the wooden box and wooden barrel.

Types of Pallets

The pallet van you want heavily depends on your budget, expected load weight of your cargo, and the cargo your refrigerator vehicle carries. A pallet can be categorised based on its dimension, construction, or material.

By dimensions, the major types of pallets are

  • Two-way pallets
  • Heavy duty pallets
  • Four-way pallets

By construction they include:

  • Stringer pallet
  • Block pallet
  • Flush pallet
  • Perimeter base pallet

By the materials with which they are made:

This is the most popular method of sorting pallets. They can be made with the following materials:

Wood pallets: The most common material used in making pallets is wood. Because of this, wood pallets are the cheapest. The cheapest pallets are made of softwood and are discarded after use while hardwood is used for more durable pallets. Wood pallets can pose serious biohazard risks as they are susceptible to bacterial and chemical contamination. If your used refrigerated van is used in transporting food products, untreated wood pallet can contaminate the cargo with E. coli during transportation.

For safety, the wood pallets used in our pallet vans undergo supervised treatments to meet the standards required for your protection. They are treated with anti-bacterial fungicide. Raw, untreated wood is not used for pallet manufacture as it could be a carrier of invasive species of insects and disease.

At Glacier Vehicles, our wood pallets bear a stamp indicating the form of treatment they underwent. HT indicates heat treatment while MB stands for methyl bromide treatment. Other materials do not require such extensive treatment.

  • Heat treatment: The wood is heated to achieve a minimum core temperature of 56⁰C for at least 30 minutes.
  • Chemical fumigation: This involves fumigating the wood with chemicals such as methyl bromide.

Steel pallets: Steel pallets are strong and used for heavy loads, high-stacking loads, and loads moved by logistic systems. Metal pallets are scarce and expensive when compared to wood pallets. The trade-off is that they are durable and do not require a paint coating. They do not require treatment as wood pallets do and they are sanitary and recyclable. They are, however, susceptible to rust and are not ideal for refrigerator vehicles.

Paper pallets: They are often used for light loads and can be disposed of or recycled after use. They are manufactured using engineered wood such as plywood, oriented strand board, and corrugated fibreboard. They are cleaner, safer, and cheaper than other types of pallets.

Plastic: It is durable and resistant to rot, chemicals, and corrosion but it can be difficult to repair and is way more expensive than wood.

Aluminium pallets: They are stronger than wood or plastic, lighter than steel, and are resistant to corrosion and rot. They are mostly used for air-freight or sea freight.

The Wheelbase and How It Affects Your Pallet Van

If you are using pallets to transport your cargo, then the wheelbase of your van is important as it will determine the space you have available for them. There are three distinct categorisations for wheelbase–long, medium, and short.

  • Long wheelbase: 3 to 4 pallets. 2.9m to 4.2m internal length. They can carry with ease a refrigerated payload of between 800Kg and 1300Kg.
  • Medium wheelbase: 2 pallets. 2m to 2.5m internal length which makes their payload between 400kg and 800kg
  • Small wheelbase: 1 pallet. 1m to 1.5m internal length. The payload is between 300kg and 500kg.

Some manufacturers produce vans with an extra-long wheelbase. These extra-long wheelbase vans measure 7,367mm on the outside and 4,707mm on the inside. They have enough room for seven Euro pallets.

At Glacier Vehicles, we supply and convert different fridge and freezer vans with your pallet according to your requirements. Once you provide us with your specifications and your goals for the new freezer van, we can recommend you a suitable and budget-friendly pallet van from:

  • Mercedes Vito
  • Mercedes Sprinter
  • Toyota
  • Volkswagen Crafter
  • Fiat Scudo
  • Renault Trafic
  • Renault Master
  • Vauxhall Vivaro
  • Vauxhall Movano
  • Nissan NV400
  • Citroen Relay
  • Citroen Dispatch
  • Fiat Ducato
  • Ford Custom
  • Ford Transit
  • Peugeot Boxer
  • Peugeot Expert
  • Iveco Daily

At Glacier Vehicles, all our pallet cooling vans, whether used or new, undergo thorough HPI checks and performance tests before they are delivered to our customers. We supply and install pallets on your new refrigerator vehicles. We are available to supply, clean, repair, and replace your pallet.

We ensure that our wood pallets are treated with anti-bacterial fungicide. Also, the pallets we use on your vans are made with materials incapable of being carriers of invasive species of insects and disease.

If you want to buy a used refrigerated van, a used freezer van, a new refrigerated van or a new freezer van call, Glacier Vehicles on 0208 668 7579.