Factors Affecting the Friction Coefficients between Wooden and Plastic Pallets and the Wooden Floor of a Van-Type Semi-trailer

Strauss, M., Carnahan, J., Inendino, L., Jayswal, R., Senalik, A., and Southcombe, E.
SAE Paper 2002-01-3104, Detroit, MI, 2002. SAE 2002 Transactions – Journal of Commercial Vehicles
View on SAE.org


This paper investigates the coefficients of static and kinetic friction between the hardwood flooring of a used van-type semi-trailer and the bottom surfaces of pallets fabricated from: high-density polyethylene (HDPE), linear low-density polyethylene (LLDPE), oak, or hickory. Tests to determine static and kinetic coefficients of friction (COF) were performed with the pallets moving longitudinally or transversely across the cargo trailer floor, and with varying loads.

Using a general linear model to analyze the data collected, the best estimates of the COF (static, kinetic) for each pallet were found to be: HDPE (0.31, 0.20), LLDPE (0.29, 0.24), hickory (0.32, 0.21), oak (0.35, 0.25). The analysis also showed that pallet load had a small but statistically significant effect on the friction coefficients.