Crate Information

The crate rules say

“The crate must ‘sit’ on two 4” x 4" lumber, …"

Does this mean 4x4’s (which are really 3.5x3.5) or like 4x4’s with half inch plywood on it to make the bottom actually sit 4" off the ground.


I think the most important thing is that it can be moved by a forklift. Our crate sits on a plastic pallet (to save weight) and there are no issues.

The dimensional lumber is fine. Pallets and skids in commercial use use regular dimensional lumber. For the same reason, to allow a forklift to lift them.

So, we’re constructing our crate using a commercial wooden shipping pallet as the base. Although not exactly in the rules ("…crate must sit on two 4" x 4" lumber spaced 28" apart…"), will this pass FedEx muster?

Lumber doesn’t come in “real 4X4” demension any longer. Commercially bought 4X4’s are what is used. Fork lifts can get under them and move them as needed. Good luck. By the way, Ricky Q., is your plastic pallet commercially built? or custom built?

Commercially built by Orbis Corporation, they manufacture plastic everything for a lot of different industries. And they happen to be based in our hometown.

2 years later our crate has not missed a beat.

There are different kinds of shipping pallets.

Some have 4x4 (or greater) skids with appropriate 28+ inch spacing between them.

Others do not - most commonly you see pallets that are made of thinner slats, top and bottom, with 3 or more rails running front to back.

While a fork truck can get into the spaces between the rails, other types of lifts cannot. At the competition venues I have been, they use hand carts to move the crates around. These carts have a long tongue that goes into the open edge of the pallet between the skids, and then is lifted hydraulically. These carts cannot handle the center rail in a slat construction pallet.

I remember hearing something about new rules regarding the top and bottom faces of the crate. The rules said that the top and bottom of the crate MUST be constructed of 3/4’’ plywood. I do not know if this is a rumor, or true. If anybody can tell me if they heard the same rule, I’d really appreciate that.

Many many many examples are in the gallery here:

False. Q&A allows a metal crate, which would include top and bottom–but you still need the 4x4s underneath. See Section 4.