NWPCA Release PDS 6.3; Unit Loads of Sheet Goods


NWPCA Releases Pallet Design System™ 6.3


PDS 6.3 introduces the design and analysis of unit loads of sheet goods. This is the first in a series of expansions that will allow custom pallets to be designed and analyzed to transport large and/or heavy products and equipment.

Improvements and new features included in PDS 6.3 are:

  • Longer pallets can now be designed and analyzed up to 30 feet. (stringers and deckboards must still be continuous pieces of lumber)
  • 4-way stringer pallets be analyzed for forklifting from the side with no need for a forklift notch, provided the bottom deckboards are tall enough for fork tine clearance.
  • The stiffness and strength of long products can be included in the analysis in all support conditions.
  • Fortunately, long products almost always have sufficient stiffness and strength to support some of their own weight. This is analogous to the load bridging seen in unit loads of boxes.

PDS 6.3 now includes the capability of taking the strength and stiffness of long products into account when analyzing the pallet. PDS can determine the bending and compression stress in the products as well as the radius of curvature to ensure that the products are adequately supported to prevent damage. This can help reassure the pallet end-user that the unit load will safely survive handling. The pallet design itself can be optimized to ensure that only the necessary materials are used in just the right places to obtain the most economical pallet.

PDS 6.3 also includes increased limits for the maximum pallet length and width, and the ability to have a partial 4-way stringer pallet with no notches cut in the stringer if the bottom deck is tall enough to permit fork tine entry.


Brad Gething, PhD
NWPCA Vice President of Science & Technology
Phone: 703.519.6104 Ext. 215


The Pallet Design System™ software provides fully engineered and safe pallet designs, delivered in a professional manner. Nearly 450 major pallet manufacturers in more than 30 countries around the world use PDS to create 3-D designs that are comprehensive, detailed and efficient. In addition to predicting safe load capacity and deflection under load, PDS provides detailed specifications in 2-D and 3-D drawings for virtually any wood pallet design. PDS is a proprietary software of the National Wooden Pallet & Container Association. For more information on PDS, visit www.palletdesignsystem.com.