With the cost of waste disposal increasing and traffic safety always a concern, concrete block producers have been looking for a quick, effective way to restrain palletized loads during transit. One increasingly popular method of on-the-truck load restraint is the use of aluminum sideboards in conjunction with nylon web straps.

Emtek Products, of City of Industry, Calif., manufactures Amplimesh, a system designed exclusively for a block or brick pallet. It is made with two pieces of expanded aluminum mesh plates that join along an aluminum angle member. The result is an L-shaped fabricated sideboard.

The driver pulls down a nylon web strap across the outer surfaces of the pallets to secure the load. When tightened, the web strap places pressure against the sideboard, which retains the pallet's cube shape. The sideboard's square-shaped corner also helps prevent chipping that can occur with chains or even web straps.

The producer can order them in a height to match the pallet.

The sideboards are relatively light. Drivers can easily stack and secure them flat on the truck bed for the return trip, and, unlike wood slats, the sideboards don't expose drivers to splinters.

Another advantage of the aluminum sideboards is that they retain their bright luster and look good after several years of use. Because the sideboards can be reused over and over, producers find them very economical.