Best Pallet Buster: A DIY Pallet Skid Buster?
The question arises whether it is better to buy a cheap pallet skid or build one yourself. Some people say that building your own skid will save money because you won’t have to pay for shipping costs when buying a pallet.
Others say that if you are going to use a pallet anyway, then why not get the best quality possible?
There are pros and cons to both options. Let us look at each of them separately before coming to a conclusion.
Is it Better To Buy Or Build Your Own Skid?
If you’re just looking for something inexpensive and easy, then building your own skid might be the way to go. You’ll need some tools to do it though. If you don’t already have them, you’ll probably want to invest in a few of those.
You can’t just pick up a few pallets from the local supplier for this project. You’ll need to buy brand new ones that have never been used. You might want to use a pallet jack or a forklift to move them around.
If you do go this route, you will be able to build them any size you want and the height that you want. You can even change the gaps between the slats to accommodate different sized items.
The main disadvantage to this method is that it takes a lot of time and effort to build them. You’ll also have to store them somewhere when you’re done. If you decide later on that you no longer need them, then you’ll need to dismantle them before you can throw them away.
Should You Buy A Brand New One Or A Used One?
You can also just buy one that is already built. You should be able to find some pretty cheap ones online if you do some searching. The big advantage to buying one is obviously the time savings. You just have to load it on the truck and your work is done.
The disadvantage is that these pallets are usually built with the highest quality wood. That’s what allowed the manufacturer to sell them at a discount in the first place. You probably won’t be able to find one that is exactly what you’re looking for, which means you may have to compromise in some way.
Which Is More Cost Effective, Used Or New?
Let’s assume that you have to buy a brand new pallet and build it yourself. The average cost for a new pallet is around $50, but you may be able to find a deal online or at a local supplier for cheaper. Let’s say you pay $35.
You also need tools to build it. You can get by with just a saw and a drill. The cheapest ones you can find will run you about $50 total.
That brings us to a total project cost of $85 for materials. Now, we have to factor in your time and labor. If you need to rent any equipment, that will add to the total as well.
You can probably build one skid in a day, which means that this project won’t cost you any more than your time. If you make $15 dollars an hour, then you’re breaking even. However, if it takes you two days to build the pallet, then you are losing $30 dollars an hour.
If you decide to buy an used pallet, then you can really save some money. The main concern here is the quality of the pallet. If you buy an used one and it’s in poor condition, then you might not be able to use it for anything.
You may also have to fix it up a bit before using it. You can sand down the rough edges and repaint it if needed.
Let’s say you find a good used pallet for $30 dollars. After fixing and repainting it, you can get by with spending just $15 dollars in materials.
That’s a 75% discount on your pallet! If you make $15 dollars an hour, then your labor costs are basically nothing. Your profit is still not much to brag about at only $5 dollars an hour, but that’s still more than you’d expect from a used pallet.
Is It Really Worth The Savings?
Your time is worth money, no matter what.
You may be able to save money on the pallet by spending your own time fixing it up and building it, but is it really worth your valuable time?
If you have to spend a few days fixing it up and building it, then you might be better off just buying a brand new one for the discount price and spending your time doing other productive things.
The best way to save money is not to waste it in the first place. In this case, you may be able to save a few dollars by building a new pallet, but you’ll probably just break even or lose money because of your time involved.
It’s better to just buy the pallet if you can afford it. Your time is ultimately worth a lot more than whatever you might have saved.
Should You Pallet Swap?
The final option is to swap pallets. As I mentioned earlier, you can sometimes find pallets just lying around for the taking. If you see a good one, just load it onto your vehicle and take it with you!
The best part about pallet swapping is that it’s free! The only costs will be your time in loading the pallet and your fuel to get it to your house.
The downfalls of course are that it’s not always easy to find pallets in the places you need them and they might be in rough enough condition that you have to go through the process of fixing and building it.
In any case, pallet swapping can save you some money if you get lucky and find a good pallet in the right place at the right time. It can also be a great way to get free wood for your projects.
Sources & references used in this article:
Manufacturing rate busters: computer control and social relations in the labour process by CS Elliott, G Long – Work, employment and society, 2016 – journals.sagepub.com
Pallet stacking device by TC Loose – US Patent 2,579,685, 1951 – Google Patents
The Well-spoken Woman: Your Guide to Looking and Sounding Your Best by CK Jahnke – 2011 – books.google.com
A Process to Apply Hardwood Pallets as Viable Raw Material for Furniture Making by PA Blake – 2012 – smartech.gatech.edu
Corrugated pallet shipping method by CW Gabrys – US Patent 9,580,205, 2017 – Google Patents