Designing Specialty Packaging for Oversized Loads: Using Extra Strong Materials For Extra Heavy Shipments

For most of the products shipped around the world, the standard pallet performs beautifully. Most pallets can safely carry a whopping 2,025 pounds, and software such as the Pallet Design System (PDS) enables manufacturers to design pallets that exceed this limit. As mighty as the pallet may be, there are some loads that are just too heavy. Consider, for example, large refrigeration units and compressors. These products can weigh upwards of 50,000 pounds. A pallet simply cannot handle this kind of load. In these cases, you need a specialty packaging solution. The designs for oversized loads require large pieces of hardwood that must be pre-drilled and bolted together. Specialized knowledge and equipment is necessary in order to design and build this type of packaging.

Building a Specialty Packaging Solution

Extra heavy loads require extra strong materials. The process begins with huge pieces of hardwood – in sizes as large as 6″x 8″x14′. These large cants are then bolted to slightly smaller, but still hefty 3″x4″ or 4″x6″ cants. These large pieces of oak are pre-drilled using a boring machine and then assembled using carriage bolts or lag bolts. Because of the thickness of the cants, the bolts must be massive as well. For example bolting a 6″x8″ board to 4″x6″ board requires a 3/4″ carriage bolt that is 10″ long.

Designing a Specialty Packaging Solution

Specialized knowledge and experience are important to ensure that the resulting design and product will bear its load safely.There is no room for error when dealing with these large loads, as a failure in packaging could result in expensive product damage or worse, an injured worker. CAD software, such as SolidWorks, can help design and analyze specialty packaging in much the same way a PDS analyzes pallets. These programs provide a quality design, however, they are unable to guarantee quality of construction. Experience in designing and building packaging for oversized and heavy loads is an important factor to consider when hiring a specialty-packaging manufacturer.