How many GMA, 48 x 40, stringer-style, pallets can McIntosh Box & Pallet deliver in one load?
Well, that depends on how you load them! A standard “dry van” or tractor-trailer, trailer has a truck bed length that is fifty-three (53) feet long (636 inches), and just over 8 feet wide. Here at McIntosh Box & Pallet, when we repair and recycled pallets, we typically stack them twenty-one (21) pallets high. The question is; how many stacks fit in a truck load? Since GMA pallets measure 48 inches long, but only 40 inches wide, different loading configurations will allow different payload quantities per load. And as we all know, the more pallets we can deliver in one load, the less the delivery costs affect the price of each pallet! Three typical load configurations we use are:
- Straight Load / Straight In
- Pinwheel Load
- Notch Load
Straight Load / Straight In
There is the standard, straight in, load where the 48 inch runners are parallel with the long side of the trailer. You will get thirteen rows of two stacks side by side, and this will equate to a payload of 546 pallets. This is very fast to load and unload and when we “live” unload at your site, allows for various material handling equipment to unload quick and simply. Manual pallet jacks, electric pallet jack, and forklifts / tow-motors can all access the “open” end of a stringer style pallet, so this choice is the best for fast and easy unloading. And since time is always important when “live” unloading, this is a great choice for that reason! That said, the delivered price per pallet will be higher as the freight cost is now only spread across 546 pallets.
There is the pinwheel configuration, where one pallet is turned the other direction, alternating directions each row. This gets fourteen rows of two stacks, which will give a payload of 588 pallets. This can still be loaded and unloaded with a pallet jack or electric pallet jack, but since the notched side of a pallet cannot be accessed by a pallet jack, it does require additional material handling time! When unloading, the stack with the open end will be unloaded first, then the pallet jack will need to enter the notch loaded stack from the side, jacked up, then turned 90 degrees in order to exit the trailer. This a great option if we want to reduce the delivered price by a bit, but still need to use pallet jacks for unloading.
This is the best choice for those who use many pallets, want to keep the delivered price as low as possible, and can unload with forklifts / tow-motors with variable width forks. The most pallets that can be loaded in a standard trailer are in the notch loaded configuration, where the runners are parallel to the short side of the trailer and we are only taking up 40” from front to back. They do need to be four way pallets in order to do this. Fifteen rows of pallets fit side by side adding up to 630 pallets per load. Of course, manual or electric pallet jacks can no longer be used to unload pallets delivered in this configuration, so that must be known upfront and considered prior to our first delivery! That said, this will give our customers the lowest possible delivered price by spreading out our delivery costs over 630 per load!