For over 30 years the leading pallet and sawmill magazine in America.
Bronco’s Systems Tackle the Challenge of Building Large and Oversized Pallets
Bronco Systems has recently focused heavily on its systems for building over-sized pallets. Many pallet users and pallet manufacturers find this kind of machine to be valuable.
Date Posted: 4/1/2012
In its early days, Bronco’s nailing and stacking systems were used primarily by smaller pallet manufacturers and pallet recyclers. As the company and its pallet systems became better known, a wider variety of companies, from small to large, found value in Bronco pallet assembly systems. They are flexible and can be changed over easily from one pallet to another.
Over the years, Bronco has made specialty nailing systems, ranging from building corrugated pallets to block pallets and large, oversized pallets.
One of the markets that Bronco Systems has found particularly appropriate for its nailing concept is oversized pallets from eight feet to ten and even twelve feet long. While many pallet companies may not build pallets that long, some do. And more pallet users than one might be aware of use oversized pallets like this to ship specialty products. Many pallet using companies build their own over-sized pallets. These large pallets can be awkward and bulky to ship; so it is fairly common for a company to build its large pallets on site instead of having them made and delivered by an outside pallet vendor.
Bronco builds over-sized pallet nailing systems and sells them to both the pallet industry and pallet using customers. These users often built their own pallets on site to avoid excessive handling. Many of them historically built their large pallets on the floor. So, a system that allows the customer to build them much faster and more efficiently and avoids unnecessary bulky handling by using a slanted nailing table and a specially designed pallet stacker is an attractive option.
Clarence Leising, who has worked closely with his friend Morris Self and Bronco over the years, said, “I have seen users who have built only eight or ten huge pallets a day with two people become super fast and increase their productivity over ten-fold. Building large pallets on the floor is very time consuming. In addition, it can be a killer on people physically. It can be a nightmare to build and move over-sized pallets. Customers can spend quite a bit of time moving fork tines.”
Pallet users obviously do not wish to spend excessive amounts on heavy lumber, so many of them build large pallets when possible out of thinner lumber. These thinner, long pieces of lumber are very flexible and present a materials handling challenge. Standard pallet stackers use a pallet’s stiffness in designing the stacker and handling the pallets. Bronco’s custom-built stackers are designed to use different engineering principles and compensate for the larger sizes and increased flexibility.
Pallet users are looking for ways to make things better and faster and keep their green footprints down. Bronco offers them nailing systems that are not a huge corporate investment that allow them to utilize people already in their factories. Many of them are building over-sized pallets in-house already. Bronco customers include manufacturers of products sold in box stores, such as door companies, and panel products.
For over 15 years, Bronco has made systems to build over-sized pallets. More recently, Bronco has focused heavily on systems to build pallets from eight feet to ten feet or twelve feet long. In addition to pallet users, more pallet manufacturers are building these large wide pallets. Most of these systems are custom designed, but they are typically modeled after other systems Bronco has built. While Bronco still makes systems for building more typical pallet sizes, a majority of its recent business has focused on this specialty over-sized market. Most large pallet systems are customized; just about every customer has different parameters to deal with.
History and Development of Bronco Pallet Systems
M.L. Self, founder of Bronco Systems, a manufacturer of pallet nailing and repairing systems, developed his first Bronco nailing system to use for manufacturing pallets in his own pallet company, located in
Like so many young pallet companies, M.L. was initially struggling to make a go of his pallet business. His first nailing system doubled his production, so he built three more machines. His nail distributor kept suggesting that he market his system to other smaller pallet companies that were struggling to efficiently produce enough pallets. So, M.L. brought some other
Bronco Pallet Systems still makes a machine that is very similar to the original one with a few improvements to the original design. However, since the earlier days, M.L. and his son Morris have made many alterations to the original design as they expanded their product line. It has not been long since M.L. passed away; Morris has continued the family business along with its recent expansion into oversized pallet nailing systems.
In addition to advertising its systems in the Pallet Enterprise, Bronco Pallet Systems, Inc. has had an aggressive international sales effort literally around the world. Like many machinery manufacturers in our industry, Morris has found that many pallet companies in other countries are about 10-20 years behind the
In today’s global climate, Morris shares that about half of Bronco’s sales are now outside of the
Bronco’s three-in-one assembly system is standard in the sense that it has made many of them to fit a variety of customers’ requirements. The term three-in-one derived from the fact that it can be adjusted to build two fairly standard sized pallets at a time, either the same or different sizes, or one larger pallet.
Standard features of Bronco nailing systems include their flexibility. You can nail either new lumber or recycled lumber or combinations on virtually any Bronco system. Since most nailing is being done with hand pneumatic tools, you can run inferior quality lumber. Recycled lumber is typically not an issue because lumber feeding and the jigging can be flexible.
A Bronco system typically uses hand pneumatic tools that are balanced and suspended from above. It supplies tool balancers with every machine; it is up to the customer whether or not he uses them. Balancers make the tool virtually weightless. An operator doesn’t have to put it down and pick it back up. For pallet repair needs, a plater, a nailer, and a screw gun can all hang at the same Bronco table.
Bronco nailing systems can use large mounted coils of collated nails if a customer prefers. Some Bronco systems can use tools mounted on a gantry.
Bronco has one patent and a few more pending. The major Bronco patent is a method patent that involves the way a pallet is transferred from any angled table to a pallet stacker. Broncos’ angled nailing table is one of the keys to its successful nailing applications.
Clarence Leising said, “One of the biggest benefits a Bronco angled nailing table provides is its rapid setup time. The most efficient way to setup a Bronco nailing table is to place a model pallet in the machine. In my pallet company I had a well built square model of every pallet hanging on the wall. These models were color coded to make it easier for an operator to guarantee he grabbed the right pallet. We discovered that you can setup a machine in ten minutes if you jig around a model pallet. You can make 20 size changes a week on a Bronco; it’s not a big deal.”
One of the significant changes made in Bronco systems over the years is the use of PLCs (programmable logic controllers) to automate machinery for control from sensors.
While Bronco is focusing on over-sized pallets more today, it still makes systems for a wide variety of pallet manufacturing, pallet repairing, and pallet sorting needs. Probably a fourth of its sales are in recycling related applications with such items as repair tables, destackers, stackers, and lead board removers. It no longer manufacturers dismantlers but will provide full service to its customers through relationships with other machinery providers.
For more information about Bronco’s nailing and pallet systems, call Morris at 800/458-5462 or internationally call 270/674-6091.