I have been trying to figure out why 4-way pallets are 47" deep. That either leaves very big landing boards, or a lot of room between the front and back hives. I'm having trouble seeing the benefit to either one of those. Can someone explain this to me?
Not all are 47". The landing board is sometimes only 1". The landing board is not always flush to the end of the 2"x4" stringer so when pallets of bees are stacked on the truck entrance to entrance there is a space for air circulation and entrance seperation. When you have empty spaces in the bee yard and it is time to move the bees you need room to reach behind/between to pick up the hive(single, 1 1/2, double) and consolidate for full pallets.
I run 8 frame deeps and when I used pallets, I made them 45" x 28" to hold 4 hives.
I was taught to build them this way as you could fit pallets 3x3 on the 1ton 12' flat bed, do them 2 story and that is 72 hives. I myself never did but used to help a friend who did it this way. All I've done is build and use the pallets.
I've never dropped anything down between the boxes, but it is a bit tight to get between fronts/backs to lift boxes off, but it was doable.
You can make them what ever size you want....some make 6 way pallet so bees arent facing loader when loading(less problem for forklift driver). I purchased some used pallets cheap that had no space between the hives....we dont want to discuss how hard it was to removes supers/brood boxes. Now I know why he sold them as I didnt notice that problem with them stacked up and nothing on them. Also when loading them they wouldnt touch in center of truck unless you picked them up on end of forks or sat them down on truck backed up some and backed back up them picked them up again moving to where the stacks touched in the center. If they dont touch you dont have a tight load which may cause problems with shifting and a BIG mess! Now mix in these pallets with 57-48 inch ones and You can imagine the problems getting a load straight and tight! A nightmare! 46-48 inches seem to be the norm.
I'll have to get my tape out tomorrow and measure some, but I think mine are 43 inches long, not 47. I wouldn't want 47 inch pallets. They'd be more apt to touch inm the middle of the load and that could be a problem during loading/unloading times.
For long haul on semi I don't load the hives so they touch in the center. 2"x6" are used on the top of the load for down pressure. I like the 47" on my 1 ton for short haul and I want the pallets to touch in the center. Throw a rope over one side of the pallet( front or back) on each row of pallets, tie off and away I go.
i would have said they are that size so that you can get 2 out of a sheet of plywood, and 8' 2x4's cut down. the ones i inherited are 48"s but they have never seen a forklift. they just keep the hives off the ground.
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