Shipping antique computers

Todd Goodman tsg at
Sun Jan 18 14:33:56 CST 2015

* Marc Verdiell <marc.verdiell at> [150118 12:24]:
> Actually I need to learn more about this. What do they exactly do when they "palletize" things? Does that include wrapping/protecting the item and lifting/anchoring it on the pallet? How small and how large an item can they deal with? How much does the service cost? How do you "unpalletize it" at the other end? Do you need a forklift or a hydraulic pallet moving thingy on the receiving end?
> Marc

I've palletized and shipped computer stuff as well as pinball machines
as well as received both on pallets.

Usually the shipper does the palletizing (unless they pay a pack and
ship type place to do it for them.)  You put the item or items on the
pallet and usually band them to the pallet (there are all different
kinds of bands you can use.  Plastic bands with an S-clasp are easy to
use but there are metal bands you crimp a clasp onto too as well as all
kinds of others I'm sure.)  I usually shrink wrap the items too.  Often
with cardboard around them.  Sometimes crate them with a plywood box
around the whole pallet.  None of these will stop a forklift fork from
going through but help with scuffs from pallets getting moved around.

I've received pallets with just shrinkwrap holding items on the pallet.
They've made it to me but the items tend to shift when moved around a

All the shipping I've done is based on the cubic size of the pallet with
items on top.  I believe if you go over the "standard"-ish sized pallets
most probably have an additional charge (I've received some pallet
shipments that required longer forks for the forklift than standard.)

On the receiving end they can send a lift gate truck for a charge.  Most
freight companies want to know if it's coming and going to a residential
or business address.   By business address they usually mean a place
that has a forklift or loading dock to unload.  Residential usually
means they'll send it on a lift gate truck and usually will call to
arrange a delivery date and time (if it's a business delivery and they show
up during business hours to deliver and no one is there there's usually
a "redelivery" charge.)

Amost all the freight companies I've dealt with will not go down a
residential driveway (mine is 1/2 mile long so they definitely won't go
down it.)  Most send a tractor trailer to deliver.  I meet them at the
road with either a tractor with forks or my pickup truck (if they have a
liftgate.)  I've rented telehandlers (rough terrain telescoping boom
forklifts) before too (wish I could get myself one of those!)

The driver will have a pallet jack (a wheeled tool with two forks to go
into/under the pallet and hydraulics that can lift it off the ground an
inch or so to move the palleted items around.

All freight companies I've dealt with will either get the pallets to the
edge of the back of the truck (for business delivery) or onto the
liftgate and onto the ground.  Then it's up to the receiver to take it
from there.

To unpalletize it yourself it depends what it is.  If it's really heavy
then I'd move it close to it's location and then use a hoist or lift to
get it off.  Obviously if it's smaller items (maybe multiple boxes of
items on the pallet) then it can just be pulled off one at a time.

As other people have said palletizing stuff is *really* convenient for
moving it around and isn't too hard to do.  Around here there are many
places that offer free pallets or for little money (though around here
some people burn wood pallets so there's some competition to get them.)
Most "chain" stores around here return their pallets so won't give them
away but plumbing and heating, computer recyclers, and other places will
often give them away.

Places like (among many others) sell banding and shrinkwrap
supplies that will last a lifetime if you're only shipping occasionally.

Just my experience with it.


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