Know your pallet – a guide to pallet vocabulary
Posted 26th February, 2021
If you are a seasoned shipper of palletized goods, the chances are you work with pallets on a daily basis, know exactly how to load one perfectly and can spot a defective pallet from the corner of your eye at the other end of the warehouse – but if you were put to the test, could you name each part of a pallet? Well, as experts on palletized shipping, we couldn’t resist putting together this handy guide to the vocabulary of pallets.
The components of a pallet
Deck – the term deck refers to the boards that make up the top or bottom of a pallet as a whole.
Deckboard – deckboards are the long boards from either the top or bottom of the pallet and serve to support and spread the weight of the load evenly across the pallet. They are the most sought after part among those manufacturing items out of reclaimed pallet wood.
Lead board – the lead board is the name given to the deckboards at the front and back edge of the top deck. They are usually slightly wider than the inner boards.
Batten – battens are reinforcement boards that are sometimes fitted to add structural integrity to the deck.
Stringer board – stringer boards are the three horizontal boards secured in between the deck and blocks.
Block – the blocks are the solid cubes between the bottom deckboards and the stringer boards and are what gives the pallet most of its height and stability.
Pallet stamp – there may be one or more sets of markings called pallet stamps that show where the pallet is from, any treatments and sometimes the pallet type, e.g. EUR for a Euro pallet.
Understanding pallet dimensions
Length – the length of the pallet deck measurement in the direction of stringer boards (i.e. the shorter side on most pallets).
Width – the measurement of the pallet deck at a right angle to the length (usually the longer side).
Overall Height – this is the total height of the pallet including the boards.
Opening Height – this is the size of the gap between the deckboard and the lead board.
Standard wooden pallet sizes
Although there is no universally accepted ‘standard’ pallet size, In the UK, there are two sizes of pallet which are considered standard, the UK pallet and the Euro Pallet.
UK Pallet (Grade 1 / Grade A)- 1000mm x 1200mm, standard weight limit 1 tonne.
Euro Pallet – a Euro pallet is 1200mm x 800mm x 144mm and usually has a standard weight limit of 1.5 tonnes.
Other useful terms
Free Entry Pallet – a pallet that has spaces along its sides through which forklift truck arms can pass.
Four-Way Pallet – this is a pallet that can be safely picked up from any of its four sides.
Box Pallet – a box pallet has solid or close boarded sides which extend above the top deck and may also have gates or a lid.
Nestable Pallet – a nestable pallet is designed to be stacked with other pallets when it is empty.
Unit Load – this is the total weight of all goods assembled on a pallet, measured as one unit.
Safe Working Load – this indicates how much weight a pallet can safely hold and depends on the type of pallet, e.g. standard, light-weight, etc.
Heat Treatment – an effective form of pest control for wooden pallets that is a requirement for shipping in certain regions.
ISPM15 – an international standard for heat treatment as specified in requirements for pallets travelling between certain countries.
For all your palletised shipping needs, don’t hesitate to speak to the experts at Station Couriers. Call now on 01686 621190.