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esigning a wooden pallet is made easier with the Pallet Design System™ (PDS) software. The pallet design for rock salt bags on the right is no exception. The option within the General Load Type Specification dialogue called the Custom Load Specification, is available for loads that are flexible, uniformly distributed with full pallet coverage, similar to a load of rock salt bags. This feature provides the PDS user the opportunity to more precisely match the physical loading conditions to what PDS predicts for pallet load and deflection. Note: Specification of a General or Custom Load is independent of the Unit Load Specification. If you specify a load consisting of bags in the Unit Load Specification dialogue, then you may wish to also specify a similar Custom Load in the structural analysis. When you enter the Custom Load Specification Dialogue, you will see several options to specify different aspects of a unit load, including the load type, stacking pattern and any load stabilizers that are being used. The different configurations of the unit load have varying effects on the stress and deflection of a pallet, which ultimately affect the predicted performance of a pallet in PDS. When you specify the Custom Load Specification, adjustments are made to the Uniformly Distributed Load analysis. These adjustments are based on extensive laboratory testing and computer modeling for the Custom Load and generally result in an increased safe load capacity and decreased deflection. A chart of the adjustment factors can be found in the Reference Documents folder of PDS in the file "CustomLoadMatrix.pdf." The easiest way to access the Reference Documents is through the start-up screen of PDS. The effect of boxes with different load stabilizers under different loading conditions is shown above. For more information on PDS and this topic, contact NWPCA Technical and PDS Manager Brad Gething at or call 703-519-6104. Follow Brad on Twitter @NWPCATech. PC 40 PalletCentral • January-February 2015 PDS … Did you know? Custom Load Specification D

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