From a distance, pallets might all look the same: stacks and stacks of wooden structures with hollow centres and the occasional brown stain. Up close, you’ll notice that no two pallets are alike.
Pallets are created with a variety of different materials, including recycled wood, plywood, and plastic. Here are some common types of pallets you might find in a warehouse, or at the back of your local grocery store.
These pallets are known for their four-way entry, meaning they can be accessed by forklifts on all four sides. Block pallets can be made of wood, plastic, or plywood, and are generally comprised of four to 12 cylindrical wooden posts to stabilize the top deck boards.
Block pallets are available with or without bottom boards, and can come in a variety of configurations. This design uses both perpendicular and parallel stringers to increase handling efficiency.
Two-way stringer pallets: This pallet gets its name from the stringers—the boards running between the top and bottom deck boards—used to support the pallet’s load. The two-way pallet allows fork entry from only two sides.
Four-way stringer pallets: This type of pallet is exactly the same as its two-way counterpart, but allows access on four sides. There are two types of four-way stringer pallets: those with notched stringers and those with block designs. Notched stringer pallets allow four-way entry only with forklifts, and two-way entry with pallet jacks. Block design pallets allow four-way entry from both pallet jacks and forklifts.
Pallets exist in two general styles: single-face and double-face. Double-face pallets are comprised of decks on both top and bottom surfaces. The bottom deck increases the strength of the pallet, and helps evenly distribute the weight of the load.
Double-face pallets come in two types: reversible and non-reversible. Reversible pallets can be flipped and have items stacked on either side. Non-reversible pallets generally have one surface with more densely packed planks for storing and packing.
Double Wing Pallet
This pallet’s design consists of top and bottom deck boards extending beyond the stringers or stringer boards. This design gives the illusion of “wings” along the side of pallets.
Solid Deck Pallet
The surface of solid deck pallets consist of one large sheet of wood with no spaces. These pallets are considered aesthetically appealing to many customers, and are easy to clean and transport. They also make transporting or storing smaller items easy—with other types of pallets, these might slip through the cracks.