Lateral collapse of wood stringer-type pallets is defined as an overturning of stringers due to in-plane lateral impact loads or vibration. This failure results in increased handling costs, potential product and equipment damage, and possible human injury. This paper describes a means of evaluating the potential for lateral collapse of a wood pallet design. A minimum horizontal force required to cause overturning of stringers is calculated from input data on pallet size and shape, unit load weight, and the moment-resistance characteristics of the joints. A relative measure of lateral collapse potential is determined and compared to acceptance criteria developed from a field survey of failures.
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