Standard wood pallet sizes are based on the most common (and popular) pallets in a region.
In the United States, the most common pallet size is the 48×40 pallet, often referred to as the GMA Pallet. Followed by the 42×42 and 48×48 pallet.
The Standard Pallet Size:
The standard pallet size in the United States is 48×40 (usually with each deck board being 3 in. wide and 5/16 in. thick).
Around 30% of all new wood pallets produced in the US fall into this category.
The 48×40 pallet is a standard set by the Grocery Manufacturers Association – and it sets the standards for pallets and other equipment in the transportation of consumer goods. Having a set standard for an industry, like the 48×40 pallet, is imperative to ensuring that the entire industry runs efficiently.
The 48×40 pallet is also commonly used in general warehousing and storage.
Other Common Pallet Sizes:
The other two popular standard pallet sizes in the United States are the 42×42 pallet and the 48×48 pallet. Both of these pallets can be two-way or four-way (this determines the entry type for the forklift of pallet jack).
The 42×42 pallet is most commonly used in the telecommunications industry and the paint and technical coating industries. However, it was originally designed for the US Military to transport and store mortar rounds.
The 48×48 pallet is usually only used in the chemical industry – used to store and transport drums.
The 36×36 pallet size is used in the beverage industry by some of the top pop and soda distributors.
The 48×45 pallet size is commonly used in the automotive industry.
Standard Pallet Sizing Chart
Pallet Standard Weight Capacity and Height.
The standard pallet is about 4 ½ inches tall. With the top and bottom deckboards being ½ inch, and the stringers taking up 3 ½ inches of the height.
The load capacity of the pallet can depend on many different factors such as: block or stringer and number of blocks or stringers. However, the standard 48×40 pallet with 5/8” wood thickness can hold up to 4,600 lbs.