Metal Banding and Plastic Strapping
Metal banding and plastic strapping can be very useful for consolidating lengths of steel, pipe and other solid objects into bundles and single units. However, this method of securing loads is not suitable for just any type of load. Strapping a load to a pallet should not be a quick fix solution when the goods should actually be crated or caged for maximum security.
When using metal banding in conjunction with pallets and wooden skids caution needs to be taken. First of all, ensure that the item can be suitable supported by the pallet or skid or frame. Then consider if the metal banding will be too strong, as it can actually lift or cut through wooden pallet boards, making it a poor securing device to timber.
Guidelines for Using Metal Banding and Plastic Strapping
- Use a high grade wooden pallet that will be able to withstand the tension of the metal banding.
- Make sure the timber bearer is also banded to the product, as this will make it easier to lift it with a forklift.
- Make sure the product you are strapping is hard enough to hold the tension. Soft products like some types of cardboard will not hold the tension, causing the bands to come loose and consequently the product will move.
Poorly Strapped Goods
Poor strapping practices can lead to damaged goods. The freight often looks safe and secure at the start, but in fact it’s only a matter of time before the tension takes its toll. The following demonstrates how incorrect strapping can cause damage to goods:
- Bands coming loose during transport: the cardboard packaging is too soft. While the load may appear to be secure, the bands will come loose during the transport, causing the product to move.
- Goods moving in transit: a low grade wooden pallet has been used to carry the freight. The goods have been strapped to the pallet, but the tension has pulled off the front pallet board, causing the straps to loosen. This has resulted in the goods moving in transit.
- Goods falling off the pallet in transit: plastic strapping has been used to restrain the load. Plastic strapping is NOT designed to restrain a load. It can stretch easily and sharp pallet edges can cut through the strapping. The goods should potentially have been crated for transport.
Damage to glass sheets: the metal strap has been placed directly around sheets of glass causing them to crack in transit. Metal strapping should not be in direct contact with freight items, but used in conjunction with cardboard, packing or metal angles to avoid damage to the goods.