The Pallet Repair Process: In-Depth Look

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Kamps employee repairing a broken pallet

Recycling is our top priority here at Kamps Pallets; and a large portion of our recycling is performed through our signature pallet repair program. Our pallet repair program is comprehensive, standardized, and spans multiple departments.

Below is an in-depth look at all the steps involved to repair a pallet and some key details about our own process.

What is Pallet Repair?

Pallet repair is the process of taking a pallet that may have broken stringers and deck-boards and restoring it back to usable condition. While the repaired pallet may not look as aesthetically pleasing as a new pallet, it is safe to use and will perform better.

Repaired pallets are also an environmentally friendly option – as they extend the life of the pallet and prevent lumber from ending up in the landfill.

Where The Pallet Repair Process Starts

The process begins with inbound pallets arriving to our sort yard.

Here the pallets will be inspected by one of our expert pallet sorters. Upon a quick inspection, he or she will decide whether the pallet can be simply re-used, needs repairs, or dismantled for reusable components. If none of these options are suitable, the pallet will head over to our wood resource division where it will be ground up for mulch or biofuel (energy).

At any given moment during the day, you will find our sort yards filled with thousands of pallets being diverted to their proper destinations.


Video Overview of Our Process


The Repair Stage

Once the pallets fit for repair have been identified, they are transported to one of our many repair stations.

At the repair station, one of our pallet repair experts will once again examine the pallet to identify the extent of the damages and what repairs are needed. During this process, our experts are also executing our standardized plan on how to repair the pallet in the most efficient way possible.

Once all areas that require attention are identified, our experts get to work and repair the pallet using various methods, tools, and quality workmanship. Upon completion, the repair expert will grade the pallets based on repairs needed and final condition of the pallet.

For accountability, Kamps requires all of our repair experts to mark the pallets belonging to them with their own signature. This not only makes it easier to identify who to direct questions to during the final inspection stage, but also pinpoint areas of re-training internally.

Most Common Pallet Repairs

Some of the most common repairs a Kamps Pallets repair expert will perform is the installation of a stringer plug (sometimes referred to as a “companion stringer”), staples, and broken deck-board replacement.

Examples of common pallet repairs including stringer plugs and broken deck-boards Stringer Plug

A stringer plug is a piece of a stringer (cut to varying lengths depending on the needs and size of the pallet) that is placed next to an existing stringer that is damaged. This stringer plug is then nailed to the existing stringer to help stabilize it and better support the load that will be going onto the pallet eventually.

Staples

Staples are place on top of any cracks the stringer may have on its side. Staples not only help the stringer be better stabilized, but they also help to prevent the crack from expanding and further compromising the integrity of the pallet.

Damaged Deck-Board Replacement

Repairing and replacing damaged deck-boards is also a common task that our employees perform on a daily basis. Damaged boards usually are either split, chipped, or completely broken. Kamps has strict and standardized criteria that our pallet repair experts use to help guide them when repairing deck-boards.

 

a stack of 48x40 repaired pallets outside Final Inspection

Once the pallets have been repaired, they are sent to final inspection. At this stage, quality control will closely inspect the repairs, the determined grades, and anything else that may hinder the pallets from being utilized as intended.

Once the pallets pass the inspection process, they are placed in inventory by grade and will be shipped out to customers as needed.

 

Takeaway

Pallet recycling is our top priority at Kamps, and a superior pallet repair process is a large component of that. That is why at Kamps we have dedicated a vast amount of time and resources to building a process that is comprehensive enough to consistently deliver high quality results – but also standardized enough to be able to support large demand.



 

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