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What You Always Wanted to Know About Pallets!
Your Own References — At Your Fingertips

By Ed Brindley Jr.
Date Posted: 9/2/2003

Go into any real good reference library and you will soon conclude that somebody has written a book on just about every topic known to man, some so obscure one would wonder why anybody, including a library, would want to have a copy. Having said that, look for a book on pallets or the pallet industry. When I was first introduced to the world of pallets in 1977, one of the things that immediately struck me was the total lack of information in print about the industry and its products.

            It didn’t take this former college professor long to realize that the pallet industry held potential as a fertile research field. However, as I dug deeper into pallets, the need to publish valuable daily resource materials overtook the need for in-depth research and writing reference materials. There is a difference between publishing reference materials like books and publishing industry resources like the Pallet Enterprise, Pallet Profile Weekly, and now the Recycle Record. As a result, Industrial Reporting, Inc. (IRI) became what its name implies, a reporting publisher. But I never lost that dream of providing more research and reference materials for my pallet industry friends.

            John Eichler published the first book on pallets in the mid-70’s. While it was a noble effort at the time, the need for up-to-date, modern material has grown more acute each year. Therefore, I was very pleased when I learned early this year that two new books on pallets and the pallet industry were evolving. It is my pleasure that IRI will be responsible for sales and distribution of these two new books to the pallet community.

Pallet Head – A Manual for
Pallet Recycling

            Clarence Leising’s new book, Pallet Head – A Manual for Pallet Recycling, is the first book that IRI has published. Clarence is well known to many pallet recyclers. After a career that goes back to the early days of recycling, Clarence has become a noted speaker on the subject of pallet recycling and how it is done. It is rare that a pallet plant foreman blossoms into a capable speaker. After several years of speaking to pallet audiences in the U.S. and Canada, a lifetime of managing pallet repair shops, and years of advising countless people in the recycling community, Clarence has put some of his experiences and knowledge in print to share with interested readers.

            We are publishing Clarence’s initial book in a manual form to make it affordable and convenient to take onto the plant floor and open for easy reference. Pallet Head is priced at a level that many recyclers might want two copies, one for the office and another for the plant floor. This book is written for those who practice pallet recycling by a man who knows pallet recycling. People often ask such questions as how many pallets can a one-man table repair in a typical shift? It is precisely these kinds of questions that Clarence addresses. He tells you what to do, how to do it, and what to expect from your efforts. Pallet Head covers the nuts and bolts operational issues that can make the difference between just surviving and being a profitable recycler. You can’t afford not to read this book.

            We will have copies available in the IRI booth at the NWPCA’s Pallet Summit in Memphis this October; Clarence will be available to sign your copy at the Eagle Metals’ booth.

Pallets – A North American Perspective

            Over 25 years after Eichler’s initial pallet book, Rick LeBlanc and Stewart Richardson are publishing Pallets – A North American Perspective. During this long delay the entire world of pallet recycling and pallet management have unfolded in front of our eyes. Everything about pallets and the industry has changed dramatically. Many in our industry have desired an accurate book that can be used as a reference with customers, those who use pallets.

            I can think of no better duo to author such a book than Rick and Stewart. Stewart has years of experience in the lumber and pallet brokerage businesses, pallet design and marketing, and unit load tracking. He led the Canadian Pallet Council through its big growth years as it signed on support from major grocery retailers. Rick has been a columnist writing on pallet user issues for the Pallet Enterprise since 1992. For years, Rick has worked in warehouse operations management for Safeway and a major third party logistics company.

            It was an honor for me to write an introduction to this new valuable book, and it is a privilege for IRI to be its designated distributor to the pallet industry. If you want to present a professional image to your customers, read this book to find out how to go from just selling pallets to transport packaging solutions.

            Three major topics are covered in detail: the use and history of pallets, options for designing the right pallet for a particular application, and the rapidly growing topic of pallet management. All three of these can be used to help pallet users solve their unit load handling and shipping challenges.

            You might consider buying a copy for a good customer as a Christmas present. I cannot think of a better way to show professionalism than a gift that will always make them think of you.

            We anticipate that Stewart will be in the IRI booth at the NWPCA’s Pallet Summit this October to autograph copies and discuss this new book. You can order your copy by calling our office at (800) 805-0263 or come by our booth in Memphis.

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