Understanding the Wooden Pallet Types Found in Factories

close up picture of a wooden pallet

If you have been to a production facility, you have probably seen pallets in use either for the finished products or the raw materials. From afar, they look like they are the same – simple wooden structures whose centers are hollow and will commonly be stained. However, getting a closer look, one might see that pallets are different.

Pallet skates are made of different materials. Some use plywood, recycled wood, or even plastic. The common types you will likely see in a production facility or a warehouse include:

Block pallets

Block pallets have four-way access. This means that you can use a forklift to lift items from any of the sides. Often, these pallets are made using plywood, but there are some plastic ones. Block pallets generally have a minimum of four cylindrical posts and a maximum of 12. These posts stabilize the deck boards making them able to hold heavy items. You can find block pallets without a bottom board, although many of them tend to have bottom boards in different configurations. Designs for these pallets are both parallel and perpendicular, varying the handling efficiency of the pallets.

Stringer pallets

These pallets tend to be two way. True to the name, they have boards that run between the bottom and top deck boards and provide load support. This pallet allows forks to enter only from two sides that are often on opposite widths. However, there are four-way stringers which offer access from all the sides. They will have block designs and notched stringers. Notched stringers allow only the forklift to have access from all the sides but offer a two-side access to jacks. Block designs, on the other hand, allow for all side access with a forklift and a pallet jack.

Double-face pallets

Wood pallet in factory warehouseYou will find these pallets in two styles. The double face style is made with decks on the bottom and the top surfaces. It is typically the stronger of the two types and provides for even load distribution. The pallet will either be reversible or non-reversible. If it is reversible, if flipped, it will still be usable from moving items. The opposite is exact for the non-reversible that typically has one side with densely packed pieces for packing and storing.

Double wing pallets

Here, the design of the pallet has “wings.” These parts extend from stringers and stringer boards into the outside. The design allows the pallets to be stable.

Solid deck pallets

The top of these pallets will have a large wooden sheet without any spaces. The pallets are loved for the way they look to customers. They are easy to transport and clean and allow for carrying smaller items that would slip with other pallets.

When looking to purchase pallets, you want to inquire about the quality of the material used in their manufacture. Some manufacturers buy broken pallets and turn them into newer models. You want to know what you are getting before you invest your money.