The pallets that most shippers use are standard size, but what exactly is a standard size pallet? Pallets come in a variety of sizes including but not limited to 40 x 48. Pallets can come in a range of sizes up to 48 x 48. The largest standard size pallet allowed by many LTL companies is 48 x 48 and the reason is simple, it has to do with the useable inside space of a tractor trailer.
Today’s standard 53 foot tractor trailers are 102” wide on the inside and 110” on the outside but the useable space inside the trailer obligates standard pallets to max out at 48 x 48 so that the pallet jack operator or the forklift driver can maneuver their way inside the trailer.
There are different ways to load a trailer but most shippers and LTL carriers prefer the side by side approach. So having standard pallets max out at 48 x 48 allows shippers to load 12 to 13 rows of standard size pallets in a 53’ van trailer.