Pallet terms


Here are some pallet terms to assist in the ordering and design process:

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 blocks
Block Pallet – A type of pallet with blocks between the pallet decks or beneath the top deck
Butted Deckboard – An inner deckboard placed tightly against an adjacent lead deckboard during pallet assembly
Bottom Deck – Assembly of deckboards 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 Deckboards – Deckboards 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
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Closed distribution system – Shipping system restricted to moving goods between specified plants and facilities
Collar – Collapsible wooden container or bin which 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 deckboards and stringerboards, forming the deck of a block pallet
Deckboard – Element or component of a pallet deck, oriented perpendicular to the stringer or stringerboard
Deckboard Spacing – Distance between adjacent deckboards
Deckboard Span – Distance between deckboard supports (stringers, stringerboards or blocks)
Deflection – The amount of deformation or bending in a pallet or pallet component under load
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Double-Face Pallet – A pallet with top and bottom decks
Double-Wing Pallet – A pallet with top and bottom deckboards extending beyond the edges of the stringers or stringerboards
Drive Screw Nail – Helically (continuous spiral) threaded pallet nail
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; 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 deckboards flush with the stringers, stringer-boards or blocks along the sides of the pallet
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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
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 Deckboard – Any deckboard located between the end deckboards
Joint – Intersection and connection of components, often identified by location within the pallet as the end joint, center joint and corner joint
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Length – Refers to the stringer or stringerboard (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 stringer/stringerboard length
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
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 deckboard configuration different from top deck
Notch – Cutout in lower portion of the stringer to allow entry for the fork tine, usually 9" in length, 1 1/2" in depth
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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
Overall Height – The vertical distance measured from the floor to the top side of the top deck
Overhang – The distance the deck extends from the outer edge of the stringer or stringerboard; 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 stringerboard (block pallet) length is always expressed first; for example, a 48" x 40" pallet has a 48" stringer or stringerboard and 40" deckboards
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
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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 Deckboards – Deflection of a pallet where the rack frame supports the pallet only at the ends of the deckboards
Racked Across Stringers – Deflection of a pallet where the rack frame supports the pallet only at the ends of the stringers or stringer boards
Repair – To remake in order to use again
Recycling – A pallet, container or reel that has been used, discarded, salvaged, repaired and which passes through a cycle again
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
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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 deckboards extending beyond the edges of the stringers or stringer-boards with the bottom deckboards 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 deckboards
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 deckboard 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
Stringerboard – In block pallets, continuous, solid board member extending for the full length of the pallet perpendicular to deckboard members and placed between deckboards and blocks
Take-It-Or-Leave-It Pallet – A pallet fitted with fixed cleats on the top deckboards 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 deckboards comprising the upper load-carrying surface of the pallet
Trip – Consists of four to six handlings of a pallet
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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 deckboard end from outside edge of stringer or stringer-board