Atlantic Pallet Exchange 

GMA pallet Grades


General Pallet Info

Our Pallet Specifications

Most 48" x 40" pallets are manufactured as Grocery Manufacturer's Association, or GMA, style pallets.

The original GMA specification is now obsolete, but it still has some generally accepted parameters that often include:

  • Stringers are 1 1/8"  - 1 3/8" x 3 1/2" x 48".
  • Stringers have two notches in the side to allow for forklift entry. This makes it a 4-way pallet.
  • Top and bottom deck boards are 1/2" - 5/8" thick.
  • Top of pallet has a 5 1/2" x 40" board on each end, and five 3 1/2" x 40" boards in the center.
  • Bottom of pallet has a 5 1/2" x 40" board on each end, and three 3 1/2" x 40" boards positioned between the notches.
  • Alternate acceptable construction for GMA pallet is six 5 1/2" x 40" board on top, and four 5 1/2" x 40" boards on the bottom.

Reconditioned GMA-Type Pallet Definitions (Standard 48X40 Pallet)

All of our reconditioned pallets have undergone thorough deck board and stringer repairs. APE reconditions all pallets according to the nationally accepted repair standards of the National Wood Pallet and Container Association (NWPCA) of which we are a member.

#1 Grade Pallet (also referred to as a “Grade A” pallet)

This pallet has original stringers in good condition. It has no reinforcing wooden repair blocks on the stringers. Deck board pattern is 7 top boards and 5 on bottom. We have three sub-grades of the #1 pallet:

#1A – Premium Pallet

This pallet has GMA board configuration. It has no visible signs of repair. Bright wood color. Minimal damage to wood. Often indistinguishable from a new pallet. It is ideally suited for delivery to food and grocery customers. Sometimes referred to as a Sam’s Grade Pallet or a “food-grade” pallet. Up until several years ago, premium pallets were generally understood to have all hardwood materials. With the reduced supply of new pallets entering the available pallet pool in recent years due to the economic recession, it is extremely difficult to find enough completely hardwood premium pallets to satisfy the increasing demand for such pallets. Regardless of claims made, most loads of premium pallets will contain some pine materials.

#1B - Melon Grade Pallet

This pallet has GMA board pattern. Minimum board thickness of ½”. 6” lead boards on top and bottom. May have pine deck boards. Stringers can be hardwood or pine. There will be NO metal plates on the stringers. Pallet may have some discoloration and some minor chips/splits as compared to a #1A grade. A variation of the #1B pallet is to have 6” lead boards only on the bottom. This is important in some material handling conveyor systems.

#1R - Regular Grade

The most common type of #1 pallet, this pallet may or may not have a GMA board configuration. It may have 4” or 6" lead boards. Deck boards are a minimum of 3 ½” wide and are a minimum of 3/8” thick. Stringers can be hardwood or pine. Stringers may be repaired with metal plates and, in some cases, corrugated metal fasteners or staples. May have pine deckboards.

#2 GMA Pallet (also referred to as a “Grade B” pallet)

On a #2 grade pallet, some portion of an original stringer is either cracked or missing and a reinforcing piece of wood, called a repair block or patch, has been added to the original stinger. In addition, APE uses only “full-arm” blocks, meaning that each block is a minimum of 18” long and includes a notch. This makes for a solid structural repair that spans the notch on the original stringer. Some companies may attempt to use 6” pieces of wood instead.

#2 A Single Block Pallet

Our best selling #2 grade pallet. It has a maximum of only one repair patch (aka, blocks) per forklift cavity. This pallet can have one repair block nailed to an original stringer. Deck boards are a minimum of 3 ½” wide and 5/16” thick. Deck board pattern is 7 top boards and 5 on bottom.




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