We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What are the Advantages of Wood Pallets?

By Summer Banks
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
About Mechanics is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At About Mechanics, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Pallets are a packaging material often used to store and transport goods from a warehouse to distributor. Wood pallets are commonly used because they are eco-friendly, inexpensive, and easily repaired. Fast production times and the ability to be resold are two additional factors when choosing wood pallets.

With increased concern for environmental impact of shipping materials, wood pallets provide an eco-friendly option. Materials used in their construction can be harvested from old pallets, or recycled for other uses. The pallets can be recycled into mulch, poster board, and paper. Old ones made from wood can also be used to construct new pallets, depending on the condition of the material.

Unlike those made of plastic, if wood pallets break, repairs can be made to restore them for use. Many wooden models are made with various boards. These boards can be removed, if broken, and replaced individually. If a plastic pallet cracks or breaks, repairs are not as simple because the material would have to be melted down and remolded in order to make a repair.

Wood pallets are quick and easy to construct. Many pallet manufacturers build them by hand. Construction of the simplest design, stringer pallets, often requires only three stabilization boards, with deck boards attached. Stringer pallets can be constructed in just a few minutes, once the materials are measured to meet the manufacturing size standards.

Raw materials used to manufacture wood pallets can be inexpensive. Softwood is often used to build disposable pallets, and is extremely cost effective. Hardwood is more expensive and often requires a down payment from the business ordering hardwood pallets before they are built.

Hardwood pallets may cost more than other wood pallet varieties, but they can be resold, or even sold back to the manufacturer for replacement parts or resale. Some hardwood manufacturers will reduce the price of the pallet, if the business agrees to return those that are used. Many hardwood models are known as block pallets, which can be lifted from all four sides. Wood pallets that can be lifted from all sides may be easier to store in a warehouse, and to maneuver with forklifts or pallet jacks.

When choosing a pallet variety for shipping purposes, the business may consider both wood and plastic pallets. Cost, resale value, and impact on the environment may be evaluated before choosing the best material. Wood pallets may also need to meet certain health guidelines before being shipped between countries.

About Mechanics is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

Discussion Comments

By anon285552 — On Aug 16, 2012

I saw a post on Pinterest where someone made an outdoor couch for their deck. They put two pallets side by side, with two on top of each other. They put large casters on the bottom and metal (copper?) piping around the sides for arms. It looked like a covered twin side mattress for a cushion. Would the pallets last through rain? I would take them in during the winter and I would use sunbrella fabric for a cushion. Are they treated? I don't want anything chemically treated.

By kentuckycat — On Dec 20, 2011

@jcraig - I agree. There is really no reason to buy wood pallets unless you are the person shipping something. If you just want one for your garage or something, you can always find a free one if you look around. We used to have a lot of bonfires when I was younger, and for wood we would just drive around town looking in dumpsters, and there were always pallets. The best part is that they are usually dried out and burn really well.

I am finding myself wondering now, though if they make treated wood pallets that are water resistant. I know most pallets are just shipped in trucks and stored in warehouses and stuff, so there usually isn't much use to have them treated, but I could see a few cases where it would be beneficial to be able to keep them outside without them rotting eventually.

Also, do they ever make pallets out of composite materials? Obviously, they wouldn't have the same overall strength as solid wood, but it seems like it might be a valid option for lighter shipments. It would be much cheaper, as well. Anyone have any idea?

By jcraig — On Dec 19, 2011

@JimmyT - The company I used to work for used a bunch of pallets to ship things. We were a small operation, though, so we just made all of our own pallets. For the most part, we would just buy bulk orders of pine and cut them to length to use for pallets. Sometimes, though, if we had a heavier pallet that was going to need loaded, we would get some oak and make them out of that.

That being said, I think the only real advantage of using hardwood would be that it will support heavier loads than softwoods. I would say you can basically use any type of hardwood, though. Oak is just usually the most available from what I have been able to tell.

As far as getting your own pallets, I don't know where you live, but I constantly see free wood pallets sitting next to dumpsters at construction sites. I think bricks and shingles and stuff like that are delivered on them, and the pallets really just take up space in their dumpsters, so I'm sure they would have no problem with you taking them off their hands. It would save them disposal costs, too.

By JimmyT — On Dec 19, 2011

What types of wood do they usually use for pallets? Are there any real advantages to using hardwood over softwood to make the pallets? I know I have seen both before, but I don't know what their uses were.

Overall, I think wood pallets are really the best option, since they are able to be used several times over, and you don't really have to worry about recycling them, so to say.

Also, sometimes I find myself wishing that I had a pallet or two to put different things on just so that they weren't sitting flat on the ground. Does anyone have any ideas about where you would find wood pallets for sale?

By Izzy78 — On Dec 18, 2011

I guess I never really thought that much about what all went into manufacturing wood shipping pallets. I think they are really beneficial to have, though.

If you are moving stuff around a warehouse, it is pretty easy to get a forklift or handlift under a pallet compared to whatever the alternatives are.

I don't think I have ever seen plastic shipping pallets, though. What are they usually used to ship? It seems like if you put something really heavy on them, they would also be much more prone to getting bent and deformed and wouldn't be nearly as effective.

About Mechanics, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

About Mechanics, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.