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Although it might appear easy, if your pallets aren’t wrapped securely, you may risk wasting valuable time, and money, risk the possibility of damaged goods, and increase your risk of injury. 

If you’re new at this or want to improve your process, don’t worry. Your perfect hand-wrapping technique is just six simple steps away. 

How to wrap a pallet by hand

Knowing how to properly hand wrap a pallet will significantly improve warehouse performance.

Many companies use wrap machines that automate the process. These machines however do occasionally malfunction and can be a time-consuming task to set them up correctly. Follow the steps below to find out how to securely wrap a pallet by hand.

First Step: Prepare the materials and locate the most suitable pallet for the task

Before starting, ensure that you have all the necessary materials, including the stretch wrap, pallet, and a sturdy pallet suitable to carry the load of the goods.

The condition of the finished product is significantly affected by the pallet of choice. After all, it serves as the base for your entire load, therefore you must take care to have a solid foundation. 

Finding a pallet that will fit your products properly is your first step. Stay away from any splitting edges or broken planks that could compromise stability. Proceed to the next step as soon as you’ve located the ideal pallet.

Second Step: Load the goods onto the pallet

Although this step might seem self-explanatory, stacking your products properly takes skill. Ensure that the goods are stacked as close together as possible. If they have room to move after being wrapped, the pallet wrap will get loosened, causing the load to become unstable and raising the possibility of product damage. Use anti-slip layer sheets between the layers to stop movement if you cannot eliminate gaps between the products. Consider your load carefully; a column stack pattern will shield the boxes better than an interlocking brick stack configuration, which may increase pallet stability.

Stacking the lighter, more compact things on top of the larger, heavier ones is recommended. Try to keep the items inside the boundaries of the pallet to reduce the possibility of damage during transit.

Third Step: Start attaching the hand wrap, working your way up from the base of the pallet

Working your way up, begin at the bottom and make sure that each layer is on top of the one before it. If necessary, begin making your way back down once you’ve reached the top to stabilise the load. Keep the stretch constant as you wrap the film around the pallet’s base.

Make sure to wrap it securely to provide stability and prevent any items from falling off. We advise wrapping the base at least four times, paying special attention to the corners. Once you’ve tightly wrapped your base, progressively work your way up the stack. 

Fourth Step: Use a consistent tension and overlap each layer

For added security, be sure that each layer of pallet wrap overlaps the one before it. To provide the best stability and lessen the possibility of any harm to your products while in transit, wrap with a constant yet tight tension all the way to the top. Then, simply work your way back down to the base once you have reached the top. 

If there are any high-stress areas on the load, such as corners or edges, add extra layers of stretch wrap to provide additional support and protection.

Fifth Step: Once wrapped, tear the film and secure the wrap at the base of the pallet

When you are confident that your pallet is safely wrapped and won’t move while being transported, it’s time to finalise and fasten your pallet wrap. Tear the wrap and attach the end to the base of the pallet or tuck it under one of the sides.

Sixth Step: Test that the load is stable and secure

Once your pallet wrap is securely fastened, you are prepared for the following action. Make sure your load will remain stationary throughout transit. It’s much simpler than you might imagine to check the stability of a load; all you need to do is give the packages at the top of your stack a moderate push. You’ve successfully wrapped your pallet if they remain in place!

How much pallet wrap is needed to secure a pallet?

The height and weight of the load will determine how much stretch wrap you require. 

Pillows, bubble wrap, and other light items such as empty cardboard boxes don’t require much wrapping to keep them in place.

On the other side, items at the top often smash items at the bottom, such as boxes of meat. You might need to use a lot more stretch wrap if you want to lower the possibility of the weight collapsing due to excessive tilting. Be sure to use enough wrap, especially at the top, which will prevent tall loads from toppling over due to the higher centre of gravity.

Some Do’s and Don’ts to consider

  • When wrapping pallets by hand, ensure that gloves are used to prevent friction burns. “Hand savers” are another useful tool for this.
  • To make a pallet’s base more stable, place hefty loads at the bottom. The risk of the load falling over while being transported increases when they are placed at a higher height since this shifts the weight’s centre of gravity.
  • Instead of bending, crouch while hand-wrapping a pallet to prevent vertigo.
  • Your task will go more smoothly if you use a stretch wrap dispenser, and you’ll also prevent friction burns on your hands. 

If you’re unclear about which pallet wrap is best for you to optimise your operation, contact our team for a free consultation on how we can improve your pallet wrapping efficiency.

A message to our customers, partners and prospects

Since the start of the pandemic, Polythene UK have continued to ensure the safety of our staff, along with providing the best products and services, as we have done for the last 13 years.

We are fully operational. The safety of our staff, customers and wider public has always been our number one priority, and this continues to be the case by operating strictly under the governments guidelines.

Whilst we have a number of staff members working from home, to reduce the number of people within our office, you can still reach our team on 01993 220727*. Our warehouse is fully operational too, with strict social distancing measures in place.

There is no impact to our typical response and delivery times.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your continued support and custom, we hope you are all well and safe.