British Pallets

The most popular British pallet the 1200 x 1000 mm, 9-block, with a full-perimeter base is shown below. This design is considered as the National UK pallet, though it is only one of many UK designs. It does not have a dedicated British Standard to formalise it. It is simply listed as one of six permitted modular sizes in ISO 6780 and EN 13382. The British 1200 x 1000mm footprint originally came from the 1960s dominant North American 48" x 40" 2-way stringer/bearer pallet. The UK difference was it became a 9-block design with a full perimeter base, with the fastenings, thicknesses and wood species evolving over time.

work1The annual UK timber pallet production of around 55 million units now includes many overseas pallet designs such as the Europallet, CP range, French VMF and US GMA pallets. In fact we probably make and use more designs than most European countries. In the worldwide push to reduce waste this may not be a merit, although, to balance this, there has been significant UK variety reduction in recent years. The UK also has a healthy pallet recycling industry and put a lot of effort into the creation of the international timber pallet recycling standard BS EN ISO 18613.

Terminology. Throughout this website we use the modern convention to define which side of a pallet is1.1b_400 length and which side is width. The rule is that irrespective of how long or short a bearer or stringer is, the side that the bearer or stringerboard runs is the LENGTH and length is always written first. In the pallet drawing above you are looking at the pallet LENGTH, in the pallet facing, this is the WIDTH. So if the pallet here has 1000 mm deckboards and 1200 mm bearers it is described as a 1200 x 1000 mm pallet. This rule is now well established commercially at home and abroad.

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