If you are an environmentally minded or budget conscious food vendor who uses timber crates for your food deliveries, you want your crates to last as long as possible. Ideally, you want crates that can be purchased once and used multiple times. Luckily, you can increase the lifespan of your crates with the following tips:
1. Buy quality
Always start with a quality product and buy crates that have a solid reputation. If possible, check out their quality before agreeing to a purchase.
2. Protect the crates
Don't leave the timber crates out in the elements. If you have to drop off shipments outside, look for a covered area, and if you pick up your timber crates from your clients so you can reuse them, tell them to leave the crates in a covered area such as a porch or to store them inside until your driver arrives.
3. Line your crates when transporting fruits and vegetables
Remember to protect your timber crates from what you plan to ship as well. If you are loading it with fruits and vegetables, consider putting a waterproof liner in the crates to protect them from rotten or wet fruit.
4. Reinforce loose crates
As soon as you notice your crates have become loose, grab your stapler and reattach any loose bits. If you allow a single section to wobble, it pulls unevenly on the other sections, and that can make them loose or unstable as well.
You can also reinforce loose bits with a piece of metal that extends over two unconnected pieces of wood and helps to keep them secured together.
5. Repair broken slats as soon as possible
Just as you should secure loose pieces, you also need to repair broken slats. If a slat of the timber crate breaks, tear the pieces off and replace it as soon as possible. You can typically buy the pieces you need at any lumber supply store or a hardware store.
Alternatively, you can even cut plywood to size and staple it into place.
6. Seal the timber
Ultimately, your timber crates don't need to last forever, and when you are done using them, disposing of them is carbon neutral as the wood can easily decompose when it is no longer in use. However, if you buy high quality timber crates that you want to use for years, consider sealing them.
A layer of seal, either applied by hand or with a brush, can protect your timber crates from time and the elements, helping it to last for years.