Q: I would like to use a pallet base with a crate cap. What is the best way to do this?

A: Crate Pro uses written industry standards to create rules which govern the construction of crates and pallets. These rules are very different for crates and pallets and "under the hood" extremely complex. The crate portion and the pallet portion are like two different programs. One difference that may seem minor but is actually significant, is that crate dimensions are called out by length x width x height and the greatest dimension is the length (this is due to written standards indicating specific components make the crate stronger when applied in a certain orientation to these dimensions). Pallets are the opposite with the length being the shorter dimension, hence "40x80" is common. This difference, which by the standards may seem trivial until you try to combine these opposing rules.

However, this is actually easy to accomplish within Crate Pro:

1)   Design your pallet as desired.

Design your crate using the correct dimensions to fit on or over the pallet. (Select a lumber base when designing your crate so there is less to remove). 

  • hint 1: In each design you may find it beneficial to use a description that refers to the other design. Especially if you use various cap styles with pallets
  • hint2: Add notes in the designs in the Sawyer and Assembler fields as needed so staff is clear what cap goes with what base. The design number of the other component can be included if you have multiple cap/pallet combinations. (see image 4 PDF). Notes appear at the bottom of the cut sheets.

1) Select your crate style for the cap. Use a Base-Out style (100 or 300 series) if you want the cap to sit on top of the pallet. Note that some base-out styles will include a drop-end or drop-side. Any style that has panels extending below the base has a slightly different step as explained below. 



3) After designing your crate go to the Lower Assembly tab and click on the red X to remove the lower assembly material.

lower assembly


4) In the Base tab click on the red X to remove the base material.

IMPORTANT: If you selected a style that the Side and End panels sit fully on the base, the deletion of the base material usually will not affect other panel dimensions, however, if you selected a crate style that has any panel that drops down past the base or relies on the base dimension, then removing the material outright will negatively affect the remaining panels. Many style calculations are dependent on the dimensions of other components.

Base Material

If after removing the base material and locking your design you find a remaining panel dimension is incorrect, please do the following.

  • In the base panel tab select a "place holder" material in place of the base material instead of deleting it. 
  • When you select the drop down in the design to chose a different material you may have noticed some materials have an under-bar before the item ID at the bottom of the list. These materials in the Inventory module are marked as Placeholders (another check box located below the Active check box). 
  • When you select a material with the under-bar, Crate Pro 6 will account for the material dimensions so that other components that rely on those dimensions are not affected by its absence, however costs and labor time will not be added to the crate for those materials and the material will not appear on the cut sheets. 

hint: Placeholder materials are commonly used when removing a panel, such as an End panel, and replacing it with a ramp or door or other component. This ensures the other panels which may calculate their dimension based on that absent panel calculate as though the material was still there.


5)  Now that your crate and pallet are designed you simply need to add them to a Project.  

hint: You may wish to  change the line item description in the project from your company preferences by typing in the field.  You can print both sets of cut sheets from the Print/Email tab