Every pallet user has experienced fastener failures at some point.
Putting a nail or screw into a wooden pallet sounds simple enough, but it can actually get quite technical. When there is a failure, a good set of photos is often enough for an engineer to identify if the problem is the fastener or something else entirely.
Choosing the right fastener
There are many measurements that determine the withdrawal strength of a nail. The snapshot above details four different types of fasteners. In general, helical (screw) nails are better suited for harder wood species, and annular (ring) nails hold better in softer species.
Here are some more notes:
Common Fastener Failures
Following are a few insights on fastener problems and solutions for wood stringer style pallets:
The best way to spec a nail is to give some guidelines, such as “2-1/4” helical’, and then also reference the Uniform Standard for Wood Pallets. This standard specifies minimum performance requirements for withdrawal in nails. Unfortunately, many pallet manufactures do not use this standard and may continue to use a sub-performance nail.
Are fasteners the issue in your pallet failures? Send me photos. I can offer an evaluation to see if fastener withdrawal is contributing to the issue.
Post by: John Clarke, Technical Director
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