Those outside of the pallet and packaging industry sometimes live under the misconception that pallets are all the same, but this could not be further from the truth. Pallets come in different shapes, sizes, styles and even colors. They can be made of a wide variety of materials and can even include unique features to suit the particular load they are intended to carry. In the wide world of pallets, the possibilities go as far as your imagination.
Today we will define a few of the different types of pallets you may encounter and what the differences are between them.
- Stringer pallet - a double-deck pallet with stringer spaces between decks. A stringer is a continuous, longitudinal, solid, built-up or notched beam component of the pallet which supports and spaces the deck boards. They are often identified by their location on the pallet such as outer, interior or center stringer.
- Block pallet - a pallet with blocks between the top and bottom deck boards. A block is a rectangular, square, multi-sided or cylindrical deck spacer usually referred to by its location within the pallet such as corner block, end block, edge block, inner block and center or middle block.
- Wing pallet - a pallet with top deck boards, bottom deck boards or top and bottom deck boards extending beyond the outer edges of stringers or stringer boards. The wings increase unit load area, add pallet load-bearing capacity, reduce deck board end-splitting by fasteners and facilitate lifting with bar slings hanging from a crane.
- Recycled pallet - a pallet that has been made reusable by repairing, sorting or rebuilding a pallet using reclaimed components or parts from damaged pallets. Block, stringer and wing pallets can all be recycled.
- Notched stringer pallet - a pallet with all stringers provided with two or more notches. A notch is a filleted cutout in the lower portion of a stringer to allow entry for forklift tines.
Our job is not just to offer the best pallet for the job, but to help you understand why. That's where our packaging lab comes in. The lab is a place to test pallets and packaging equipment with your merchandise to determine that perfect balance between cost-savings and protective thriftiness. So next time you need to talk with a pallet expert, be sure to ask if you don't understand!
Did you enjoy this mini-pallet lesson, or do you have bigger and bolder questions that need answered? Let us know in the comments, and we'll do our best to address your questions as they come!
Note: These terms and their definitions were provided by the Approved American National Standard on Pallets, Slip Sheets and Other Bases for Unit Loads.