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Salvaging wood from pallets can be a great way to get your hands on free wood for woodworking or firewood. But pallets are large and can be hard to transport from point A to point B without a pickup truck with a bed or a utility trailer.
A standard size American pallet with measurements of 48-inch by 40-inch will fit in the backdoor of your car if the width of your backdoor is at least 46-inches and is at least 38-inches deep. If your car is too small for a standard size pallet you can break down the pallet into smaller pieces, transport the pallet on the roof or rent a utility trailer.
Some cars will easily fit a pallet or two, but how large are pallets exactly, will they fit in your car, and what are your options if your car is too small to fit a pallet. Let’s do the maths and do some experiments so you will know if you can transport that pallet home.
Will A Pallet Fit Into YOUR Car
Since there are so many different types of cars with different types of storage, it will be impossible for me to give you a direct yes or no answer if the part will fit your car or not.
But I will help you to figure it out before you have to go out and try it yourself.
The best thing I can do for you is to do some experiments, I will try to fit the pallet into two different cars. I will supplement you with pictures and measurements along the way, so you can compare it to your own car.
Before the experiment, let’s get to know the two standard sizes of pallets.
The Size of Pallets
Pallets come in all different shapes and sizes But in this article, we are going to talk about the two different standard sizes of pallets. The standard American pallet, and the EPAL pallet.
The standard American pallet has a length of 48-inches (1200mm) and a width of 40-inches (1000mm) and weighs around 65 lbs (30kg). This is heavier and larger than the EPAL.
The standard EPAL pallet has a length of 48-inches (1200mm) and a width of 32-inches (800mm) and weighs around 55 lbs (25kg).
In these tests, I will be using the EPAL, which is the smaller pallet of the ones pictured above.
Pallet Test Fit 1: Volvo V70 (2001)
The first car is a Volvo V70 made in 2001 This is a car with a large trunk and seats that can be folded down to increase the room in the backseat.
The width of the backdoor is 45 inches ( 115CM ), the height of the backdoor is 31 inches ( 78CM ), and the depth of the trunk with seats folded down is 75 inches.
With the seats folded down like this, I would easily be able to fit 4 – 5 pallets into this car.
But remember, this is an EPAL. The smaller one of the two normal types.
But when I raised the back seats were in their normal position, the depth of the trunk was reduced to 42 inches ( 107CM ). And when the trunk is smaller in length than the pallet, you will have a harder time fitting the pallet inside the trunk and it will greatly reduce the number of pallets you can fit.
To transport larger amounts of pallets in the trunk of your car, you have to be able to put them in while laying flat on the surface.
But I did not stop by only trying to fit the pallet inside the trunk. I also wanted to see if I could fit it from the side door. This may be a good option if you own a car with a small trunk.
To my surprise, I could actually fit a pallet in my car by putting it through the side door.
The height of the side door is 38.5 inches (98CM), the width of the side door is 30 inches (75CM), and the depth/width of the car is about 55 inches (140CM)
Now, pallets can be dirty. So before putting a pallet inside your car, especially on top of the seats, you should bring something to cover the fabric like a tarp or blanket.
Test Fit 2: Skoda
Skoda Test Is Coming Soon
Other Option For Transporting Pallets
Use A Utility Trailer Or A Flatbed Trailer
Using a utility trailer or a flatbed trailer is a great option for transporting pallets. They can carry way more pallets than a car could fit inside it, and they come in different sizes depending on your needs.
Since you most likely are looking for pallets as a cheap source of wood, I suppose you don’t want to use a lot of money to rent a trailer. Your best option is to find a friend that has one and borrow his/hers.
Also, make sure you have a trailer hitch on your car so you can connect the trailer to the car. Not all cars do.
Break down the pallet
You can also break down the pallet into smaller pieces before loading it into your car. This removes a lot of the air between the wood planks. And now you do not have to worry about the size of the pallet and you can fill your car as much as possible.
If you have a battery-powered reciprocating saw, you can use that to break down the pallet quickly on sight.
You can also use methods that do not require any power tools to break down the pallet.
Just look at this dude here, breaking down the pallet quickly without any power tools:
Tie The Pallet To The Roof
Your last option for transporting the pallet is to secure the pallet to the roof. If you have a roof rack that can carry them.
Just make sure the pallets are secured properly and accoring to the laws of your city or state. There will obiously be a limit to how high you can build your tower of pallets. But one or two pallets should be fine most of the time.