Pyramid vs. Roll Cradle
Bolts of paper or fabric, plastic or metallic film, tubes, logs, and pipes – these are all materials that are used across the globe in a variety of industries such as construction, energy, textiles and more. They are large, heavy, and have one feature that sets them apart from other raw materials such as bricks or metal sheeting. If there is nothing there to stop them, they will roll. This makes them harder to stack, store, and transport. There are various methods for stacking and transporting cylindrical products including pyramid stacking, but the method of choice for most logistics professionals is the use of roll cradles. Roll cradles allow for higher stacking and are sturdier than pyramid stacking.
Figure 1: Pyramid Stacking
Figure 2: Roll Cradle Stacking using Roll Stop™
Choosing a supplier for your roll cradles may seem like an unimportant and arbitrary task, but all roll cradles are not made the same. Variations in materials and specifications can end up costing time, money, damaged products, and injured employees.
What to Consider When Purchasing Roll Cradles
There are three factors that every buyer should consider when choosing the best roll cradles for storing and transporting cylindrical products and materials.
First and foremost, in the mind of every buyer should be the health and safety of their co-workers and their customers. According to the Insurance Journal nearly 10% of workplace injuries are caused by falling objects. Across industries it is the 3rd most common cause of workplace injuries and costs over US$5.2 billion in direct costs to employers every year. To avoid accidents from falling or rolling products, it is critical that the roll cradle be durable and made of materials that won’t buckle or disintegrate over time. Roll cradles made of wood fibers or pulp are like paper and will begin to break down over time or when wet. This can cause the stacked cylinders to become unstable especially during transport and in rainy or humid weather, putting logistics and warehouse workers in danger. On the other hand, plastic roll cradles such as Tru-Form Plastics’ Roll Stop™ cradles can withstand up to 2400 lbs. and are not affected by weather or time. In addition, the Roll Stop uses a unique interlocking system to keep layers from sliding during packaging and stacking, making it the clear choice for safety-minded buyers.
Like employee safety, the safe, intact delivery of product is also important to companies everywhere. Damage to products during shipping or storage can occur when pulp-based roll cradles begin to break down over time causing damage to cylindrical products because they begin to rub together or because they are damaged in a fall if the pulp roll cradle breaks down completely. While pulp packaging is great for transporting eggs that will be consumed in a matter of days, it fails to instill confidence that it can hold heavy pipes or rolls of metal film that may be stored for long periods of time. Plastic cradles such as rPET (recycled polyethylene terephthalate) durable enough to be reliably used to transport heavy, industrial rolled products throughout a distribution network from manufacturers to distributors across the country and around the world and finally to end customers.
Buyers often give points to pulp-based roll cradles for being environmentally friendly, and it is true that those materials can be easily broken down and recycled just like many other paper products. That being said, they are not as durable and are typically only used once before being discarded. Roll cradles made from 100% recycled polyethylene terephthalate can be used over and over again and when not in use, they can be stacked and stored to be pulled out again when needed. The Roll Stop’s unique nesting design allows for minimal storage space and less floor space than other materials such as foam.
Those are the top three, but there are many other factors that influence how you store and transport cylindrical materials including total cost of ownership, purchasing relationships, and specific product needs. These must be weighed against the clear priorities of safety, product quality, and environmental responsibility. At Tru-Form Plastics, we take all of these considerations seriously and are dedicated to supplying our customers with a superior product. Since 1959, we have been supplying high quality extruded plastic products from our 100% US-based manufacturing facility. With its innovative design and durable, weatherproof construction, the Roll Stop is the best solution for stacking large cylindrical products. We invite you to reach out to us today to talk with us about your roll cradle needs.