I Didn't know which group to post this anyway here I go
Since I have seen a lot of discussion about wooden pallets I though
this would be the best place to ask. From time to time I hear rumors
of people repairing or building pallets on the side and making money
selling them ( usually rumors of rumors ).
Is it worth the effort/time? If anyone does this could you give a
How would one go about doing this? Just walk up to a store and offer
your services? Or can you sell to a recycler or something?
I guess it depends where you are located. Here in central Missouri, pallets
are pitched or trashed. Immense stacks of the things are out at the recycle
center waiting to be dismantled and ground up into mulch. Granted, if a
pallet is in near perfect condition there will be someone willing to take it
off your hands but I doubt they'll pay much.
CHEP claim to be the largest pallet hirer in the world and repair their own
pallets, the hirer just drops them off and exchanges bad for good. If you
have a CHEP depot nearby go and have a look at whats involved in repairs -
not just claw hammers and nail guns. The last one I visited had hydraulic
spreaders to lift broken boards, turntables and lifts to turn the pallet
over/round, robotic spray painting, etc etc. Each return pallet was checked
for "square", broken blocks and boards.
Non return/non hire pallets are made cheap and are rarely worth the cost of
repairs - new being cheaper than the repairs.
The most common size pallet is 48 x 40. People are willing to take them and
you can buy new ones for about $7 and repaired ones for $4.50 if you buy a
TL at a time. Last bunch I bought was $4.50 each for 500 pallets and
You need the right tools, the right sources (free, usually) for the
materials. Some companies will pay you to haul them away, but you must take
the good with the bad. Some are odd sizes and have lots of broken boards.
This means you will have scrap to get rid of also. We have a lot of 36 x 40
pallets and often just cut them up to get rid of them and give away the wood
By the right tools, I mean some industrial sized saws and a "planer' that
takes nails and all. I've not seen this thing but the salesman told me
about it. They don't plane smooth or to very critical dimensions but they
eat up a lot of wood fast.
In the right location you may be able to make beer money with home
equipment, but for real sales, you have to have the right setup. I know
that I can sell 48 x 40, 4 way entry pallets for $2 cash. How many can you
fit in the pickup to make it worth your time to pick up (scrounge) and
They weigh about 55 pounds each and are a bear to stack by hand. You may
want to invest $1k in a steel strapping setup also. Some companies want the
strapped in stacks about 8' high. You need a fork lift to move them.
People do make a living at it, but investigate thoroughly before you jump
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