Increase the lifespan of your pallets by knowing their load capacity

Plain Pallets on 29 May 2018

It probably comes as no surprise to you that different pallet designs have different static, dynamic and racking load capacities.

But if you're wondering how to wrap your head around their weight capacity, we're here to help. Multiple factors influence pallet load capacity, and it's vital to choose pallets that can bear the weight of the goods you wish to transport.

Here's a quick guide to wooden pallet weight capacities and how to increase different pallets' service lifespan.

Want to chat to our friendly team about wooden pallets? Give us a bell on 03 9545 7344 or get a quote.

Factors that affect pallet weight limits

The main factor that influences the weight capacity of a wooden pallet is the thickness of the timber used as well as what type of wood it is. Other factors include the manufacturing process and design.

A pallet's load capacity is the maximum amount of weight that the pallet is designed to carry. The three primary pallet load capacity types are:

  • Static Load Capacity

  • Dynamic Load Capacity

wooden pallets being transported2

Static Load Capacity is the amount of weight a pallet can hold when it is 'at rest' or in a fixed position on a level surface (including when it is stacked!). Static loads aren't affected by activity or motion.

Dynamic Load Capacity is the maximum evenly-distributed weight a pallet can hold while being hoisted by a forklift or pallet jack. Pallets need to be the right size to be accessed by forklifts or pallet jacks so if you've got an unusually heavy load, you may need to opt for a block pallet instead of a stringer pallet to accommodate the greater weight involved.

Crunching the numbers for pallet weight limits

There are hundreds of types of wood used in the construction of wooden pallets, and they can be categorised into two groups:

  • Stringer pallets

  • Block pallets

Block pallets are generally better for heavier loads. Stringer pallets are 2-way platforms whereas block pallets are 4-way by design. That means block pallets offer more clearance for forklift insertion.

The weight of the goods you wish to transport will also affect the type and size of pallet design available to you. When it comes to purchasing pallets, you can opt for new or secondhand designs.

Here are the standard load capacities for Victoria.

PalletStatic Load CapacityDynamic Load Capacity

New wooden

3,600 kg

1800 kg


1,000 kg

500 kg

Basic reclaim

2,400 kg

1,200 kg

Standard reco

3,000 kg


Premium composite

3,200 kg


Exploring options in wooden pallet design

As with all things pallet, there are many different options available no matter which weight capacities you're dealing with. Whether hardwood pallets, softwood or a composite of the two, the great thing is that you can rest assured your pallet's weight limits have been reviewed and tested during the manufacturing process.

Your pallets should be an asset, not a liability. While keeping costs down is important for any business, you also need to make sure your wooden pallets have the correct weight capacity for your intended application. Any money you save on your pallet costs will quickly disappear into the expense of damaged goods if you choose to cut corners in this area.

As well as paying attention to pallet weight limits, remember to adhere to safe stacking guidelines.

  • Pallets should be stacked straight and flat

  • Never mix sizes if stacking pallets in the same pile

  • Keep outside stacks of pallets at least 7 metres away from buildings*

  • Keep stacked pallets away from flammable materials and compressed gases

  • Ensure your pallet stacks are not obstructing any fire sprinkler systems

  • Keep indoor pallet stacks half a metre away from any walls

* Distance between stacks and walls can vary depending on the height of the stack. Fewer than 50 pallets - 7 metres, up to 200 pallets - 9 metres, over 200 pallets - 15 metres.

wooden pallets neatly stacked in a warehouse2

At Plain Pallets, our secondhand wooden pallets come in a variety of different sizes and configurations. As pallets are one of the most critical pieces of inventory for Australian factories and warehouses, we take our role as suppliers very seriously. Our full public liability insurance covers all our pallets.

Speak to us today about your intended application to get tailored advice about which pallets will be best for your needs. We have a wide range available to suit different requirements, from custom pallets to plastic and steel pallets

For more information or to get a quote, call us on 03 9545 7344.