From A to Z – A Helpful Guide of Pallet Terms

In the spirit of ‘Back to School,’ now is the perfect time to refresh your understanding of pallet terminology. If...

pallet definition in a dictionary

In the spirit of ‘Back to School,’ now is the perfect time to refresh your understanding of pallet terminology. If you work with pallets everyday, you probably know the majority of these words. Others may stump you. Either way, it’s always a good time to learn.

Your Guide to Pallet Terms

Let’s dive in and take a look at some helpful terms you need to know when procuring pallets or managing your supply. Don’t worry…there’s no test at the end. But, there is an option for extra credit.

  • ASTM:  The American Society for Testing and Materials, or ASTM, develops and maintains international wood shipping standards including IPPC.
  • Block Pallet: A pallet with blocks between the pallet decks or beneath the top deck.
  • 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.
  • Drive-Screw Nail: Continuously helically threaded or fluted pallet nail.
  • Exchange Pallet: A multiple-use pallet intended for a designated group of shippers and receivers where possession of the pallet is transferred with the ownership of the unit load; also known as a pool pallet.
  • Fastener: A device for connecting pallet components such as nails, staples, screws, bolts, lag bolts, adhesives, and welds.
  • Fork Entry: Opening between decks, beneath the top deck or beneath the stringer notch to admit forks.
  • Flush Pallet: A pallet with deck boards flush with the stringers, stringer boards, or blocks along ends and sides of pallet.
  • Four-Way Pallet : A pallet with openings at both opposite pallet ends and sides sufficient to admit hand-pallet jacks; a full, four-way entry pallet.
  • Grocery Industry Four-Way Pallet (GMA): A generic reference to the pallets used in grocery manufacturing, distribution, and retailing. Oftentimes referred to as a “GMA pallet” because it is specified by the Grocery Manufacturers’ Association.
  • Hardwood: Wood from broad-leaved species of trees (not necessarily hard or dense).
  • IPPC: The International Plant Protection Convention, or IPPC, addresses the need to prevent and control the introduction and spread of pests and plant products.  IPPC specifies the materials and/or treatments for pallets traveling internationally so that the pallets are incapable of being a carrier of invasive species of insects and plant diseases.
  • Multiple-Use Pallet: A pallet designed for repeated uses under different unit load conditions.
  • Non-Reversible Pallet: A pallet with bottom deckboard configuration different from top deck.
  • Notched Stringer: A stringer with 2 or more notches spaced for fork-tine entry (partial 4–way entry).
  • 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 Design System: Reliability-based computer-aided design (CAD) program, for determining the safe load carrying capacity, performance, life and economy of wooden pallets.
  • 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.
  • Recycled Pallet: A pallet that has been used, discarded, salvaged, repaired, or rebuilt in order to pass through another cycle or cycles of use.
  • Remanufactured Pallet: A pallet built from either all reclaimed (used) lumber or built from a combination of new and reclaimed lumber.
  • Skid: A pallet without bottom deck boards or deck.
  • Softwood: Wood from coniferous or needle bearing species of trees (not necessarily soft in texture or of low density).
  • Span: The distance between stringer or block supports
  • 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
  • Two-Way Entry Pallet: A pallet with un-notched solid stringers allowing entry only from the ends
  • 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

Now that you know more of the language, you’ve got to use it or—as the old adage goes—you’ll lose it. Practice by calling the experts at Rose Pallet. We’re always available to discuss your pallet and shipping needs or help you design the perfect one for your organization (but, we’ll give you the credit).

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