## Wednesday, June 16, 2010

### Pallet Pieces & Pirouette

We have a third blog today on wooden pallets. Don't worry, eventually I will run out of math questions about pallets. But not yet. Today we'll investigate the standard Grocery Manufacturer's Association wood pallet we use here at Excel Math.

Here's a new pallet.  Its top side is facing us. You can see it is rectangular (48 inches x 40 inches). It consists of an array of deck boards and stringers.

Notice in the photo below that the stringers (middle pieces) have notches in them. This means you can approach and lift the pallets from all 4 directions.

Manuel brings us used pallets similar to this one. He often has to repair them, because pieces of wood get broken, nails come out, etc. This situation causes me to ask a few questions that we can easily answer with a bit of elementary Excel Math.

Q1. How many pieces of wood are there in a pallet?
A1. 7 deck boards on top, 3 stringers in the middle, and 3 deck boards on the bottom.

Q2. How many different kinds of pieces does Manuel need to have to repair our pallets?
A2. It looks like the top 7 deck boards and one bottom deck board are the same. That's one piece. The three stringers are the same. That's a second piece. The outer two bottom deck boards are the same. That's a third piece.  With 3 different pieces of wood Manuel could repair any of our standard pallets.

Here's a bonus for you - the Excel Math Pallet Pirouette!