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Wood Pallet Terms & Types Glossary

Pallet Parts, Types & Terms Glossary

Pallet Types & Styles

Pallets come in a variety of types and styles. Wood is the most popular and commonly used material for pallets; however, pallets are also made from plastics and other materials.
Block Pallet
Block Pallet
Double-Face Pallet
Double-Face Pallet
Double-Wing Pallet
Double-Wing Pallet
Flush Pallet
Flush Pallet
4-Way Stringer Pallet
Four-Way Stringer Pallet
Non-Reversible Pallet
Non-Reversible Pallet
Reversible Wood Pallet
Reversible Pallet
Single-Face Pallet
Single-Face Pallet
Single-Wing Pallet
Single-Wing Pallet
Skid Pallet
Skid Pallet
Solid Deck Pallet
Solid Deck Pallet
2-Way Stringer Pallet
Two-Way Stringer Pallet

Pallet Parts & Terms Glossary

Industry Pallet Standards & Specifications
Annular Nail - Pallet nail with annular (circular ring) threads rolled onto the shank
Banding Notch - See Strap Slot.
Bin - Four-sided superstructure to be mounted on a pallet base, with or without a cover; also known as a box or container bin pallet
Block - Rectangular, square or cylindrical deck spacer, often identified by its location within the pallet as corner block, end block, edge block, inner block, center or middle blocked.

Block Pallet Design Diagram

Block Pallet - A type of pallet with blocks between the pallet decks or beneath the top deck.
Butted Deck Board - An inner deck board placed tightly against an adjacent lead deck board during pallet assembly
Bottom Deck - Assembly of deck boards comprising the lower, load bearing surface of the pallet.
CAD - Computer-aided-design software that allows the design of the "right" pallet at the best value; see Pallet Design System (PDS).
Captive Pallet - A pallet intended for use within the confines of a single facility, system or ownership; not intended to be exchanged.
Chamfered Deck Boards - Deck boards with edges of one or two faces beveled, either along the full or specified length of board or between the stringers of blocks, allowing easier entry of pallet jack wheels.
Closed Distribution System - Shipping system restricted to moving goods between specified plants and facilities.
Collar - Collapsible wooden container or bin that transforms a pallet into a box.
Cost-Pass-Through - A cost-share system where the partial cost of a pallet is passed-through from the purchaser to the receiver of the pallet.
Cost-Per-Trip - Average cost of pallet use for a single one-way trip.
Deck - One or more boards or panels comprising the top or bottom surface of the pallet.
Deck Mat - Assembly of deck boards and stringer boards, forming the deck of a block pallet.
Deck Board - Element or component of a pallet deck, oriented perpendicular to the stringer or stringer board.
Deck board Spacing - Distance between adjacent deck boards.
Deck board Span - Distance between deck board supports (stringers, stringer boards or blocks).
Deflection - The amount of deformation or bending in a pallet or pallet component under load.
Dimensions - See Pallet Dimensions.
Double-Face Pallet - A pallet with top and bottom decks.
Double-Wing Pallet - A pallet with top and bottom deck boards extending beyond the edges of the stringers or stringer boards.
Drive Screw Nail - Helically (continuous spiral) threaded pallet nail.
Economic Life - Output from the PDS program that identifies the number of trips the pallet will make, provided it is properly repaired, which maximizes a return on investment.
EURO Pallet - a block style pallet measuring 1200 mm x 800 mm built to European Pallet Association (EPA) specifications. Only pallets built with an EPA branded logo are considered authentic EURO pallets.
Exchange Pallet - A pallet intended for use among a designated group of shippers and receivers where ownership of the pallet is transferred with the ownership of the unit load; also known as a common pool pallet.
Expendable Pallet - A pallet intended for a series of handlings during a single trip from shipper to receiver; it is then disposed; see Shipping Pallet.
Fastener - A mechanical device for joining pallet components such as nails, staples, bolts or screws.
Fastener Shear Index - Relative measure of shear resistance of the pallet fastener.
Flush Pallet - A pallet with deck boards flush with the stringers, stringer-boards or blocks along the sides of the pallet.
Fork Entry - Opening between decks, beneath the top deck or beneath the stringer notch to admit forks.
Four-way Block Pallet - A pallet with openings at both pallet ends and along pallet sides sufficient to admit hand-pallet jacks; full four-way entry pallet.
Free Span - The distance between supports in a warehouse rack.
GMA - Grocery Manufacturers of America.
Hand (Wheel) Jack Opening - Space provided in the bottom deck to allow pallet jack wheels to bear on the floor.
Handling - A single pick-up, movement and set-down of a loaded or empty pallet.
Hardened-Steel Nail - Heat-treated and tempered steel pallet nail with a MIBANT angle between 8 and 28 degrees.
Hardwood - Wood from broad-leaved species of trees (not necessarily hard or dense).
Helical Nail - Helically (continuous spiral) threaded pallet nail, see also Drive Screw Nail.
Inner Deck board - Any deck board located between the end deck boards.
Joint - Intersection and connection of components, often identified by location within the pallet as the end joint, center joint and corner joint.
Length - Refers to the stringer or stringer board (in block pallets) length; also refers to the first dimension given to describe a pallet i.e., 48" x 40", where 48" is the pallet's stringer length.
Life To First Repair - Output from the PDS program that is equivalent to the number of trips the pallet will make before needing repair.
Line Load - The weight of a unit load concentrated along a narrow area across the full length or width of the pallet.
Load Bearing Surface - Actual area of material in contact with and supporting a unit load.
MIBANT angle - The bend angle in a fastener shank when subjected to a MIBANT test.
MIBANT Test - (Morgan Impact Bend Angle Nail Tester) - Standard impact nail tester used in the pallet and lumber industry as an indication of impact bend resistance of nails or staples.
Multiple Use Pallet - a pallet designed to make multiple trips under different unit load conditions.
Nail - Fastener made from endless wire by cutting a point and forming a head at the shank end opposite the point.
National Wooden Pallet and Container Association - A national association with the goal of promoting the design, manufacture, distribution, recycling, and sale of pallets, containers, and reels.
Non-Reversible Pallet - A pallet with bottom deck board configuration different from top deck.
Notch - Cutout in the lower portion of the stringer to allow entry for the fork tine, usually 9" in length, 1 1/2" in depth.
Notched Stringer - A stringer with two notches spaced for fork-tine entry, (partial four-way entry).
Opening Height - The vertical distance measured between decks, from the floor to the underside of the top deck, or from the floor to the top of the stringer notch.
Opening Height - The vertical distance measured between decks, from the floor to the underside of the top deck, or from the floor to the top of the stringer notch.
Overhang - The distance the deck extends from the outer edge of the stringer or stringer board; wing; lip; distance the unit load extends beyond the deck.
Pallet - A portable, horizontal, rigid platform used as a base for assembling, storing, stacking, handling and transporting goods as a unit load, often equipped with a superstructure.
Pallet Design System - (PDS) - Reliability-based computer-aided design (CAD) program for determining the safe load carrying capacity, performance, life and economy of wooden pallets.
Pallet Dimensions - When specifying pallet size, the stringer or stringer board (block pallet) length is always expressed first; for example, a 48" x 40" pallet has a 48" stringer and 40" deck boards.
Pallet Jack - Hand-propelled wheeled platform, equipped with a lifting device for moving palletized unit loads.
Pallet Life - The period during which the pallet remains useful, expressed in units of time or in the number of one-way trips.
Panel Deck Pallet - Pallet constructed with composite or structural panel top deck.
Partial Four-Way Stringer Pallet - A pallet with notched stringers.
Post Pallet - A pallet fitted with posts or blocks between the decks or beneath the top deck; see block pallet.
Quality - Consistent performance of a uniform product meeting the customer's needs for economy and function.
Racked Across Deck boards - Output from PDS program describing the maximum load carrying capacity and deflection of a pallet where the rack frame supports the pallet only at the ends of the deck boards.
Racked Across Stringers - Output from the PDS program describing the maximum load carrying capacity and deflection of a pallet where the rack frame supports the pallet only at the ends of the stringers or stringer boards.
Recycled Pallet - pallet that has been repaired for reuse; also known as a refurbished pallet or reconditioned pallet.
Repair - To remake in order to use again.
Recycling - A pallet, container or reel that has been used, discarded, salvaged, repaired and which is then ready to make another trip.
Remanufactured Pallet - pallet built from either all reclaimed (used) lumber or built from a combination of new and reclaimed lumber.
Rental Pallet - A pallet owned by a third party, different from the actual pallet user.
Returnable/Reusable Pallet - A pallet designed to be used for more than one trip.
Reversible Pallet - A pallet with identical top and bottom decks.
Shipping Pallet - Pallet designed to be used for a single one-way trip from shipper to receiver; it is then disposed; see Expendable Pallet.
Shook - Cut-to-size pallet parts to be assembled into pallets.
Shook Grade - The classification of the quality of pallet parts relative to performance characteristics based on size and distribution of defects, independent of wood species.
Single-Wing Pallet - A pallet with the top deck boards extending beyond the edges of the stringers or stringer-boards with the bottom deck boards flush (if present).
Skid - A pallet having no bottom deck.
Slave Pallet - Pallet, platform or single, thick panel used as a support base for a palletized load in rack-storage facilities or production systems .
Soft Nail - Pallet nail with a MIBANT angle equal to or greater than 47 degrees.
Softwood - Wood from coniferous or needle-bearing trees (not necessarily soft or low density) .
Solid Deck Pallet - A pallet constructed with no spacing between deck boards.
Span - The distance between stringer or block supports.
Stevedore Pallet - A pallet designed for use on seaport shipping docks, normally of heavy-duty, double-wing construction.
Stiff-Stock Steel Nail - Pallet nail made of medium-high carbon steel without heat treatment and tempering with MIBANT angle between 29 and 46 degrees.
Strap Slot - Recess or cutout on the upper edge of the stringer or the bottom of the top deck board to allow tie-down of a unit load to the pallet deck with strapping/banding, also called the banding notch.
Strapping - Thin flat bands used to secure load to pallet.
Stringer - Continuous, longitudinal, solid or notched beam-component of the pallet used to support deck components, often identified by location as the outside or center stringer »Quick View.

Stringer Pallet Design Diagram

Stringer board - In block pallets, continuous, solid board member extending for the full length of the pallet perpendicular to deck board members and placed between deck boards and blocks.
Take-It-Or-Leave-It Pallet - A pallet fitted with fixed cleats on the top deck boards to permit fork truck tines to pass beneath the unit load and remove it from the pallet.
Top Cap - Panel to be placed on top of a unit load to allow for tight strapping without damaging the unit load.
Top-Deck of the Pallet - The assembly of deck boards comprising the upper load-carrying surface of the pallet.
Trip - Consists of four to six handlings of a pallet.
Two-Way Entry Pallet - A pallet with un-notched solid stringers allowing entry only from the ends.
Unit Load - Assembly of goods on a pallet for handling, moving, storing and stacking as a single entity.
Warehouse Pallet - A double-face multiple trip returnable pallet intended for general warehouse use.
Wing - Overhang of deck board end from outside edge of stringer or stringer-board.