Premier Pallets is an Atlanta, Georgia and Tampa, Florida pallet operation that is a major distributor of pallets throughout the U.S. Many confuse pallets with “skids” and perhaps some clarification begs a discussion.
A “skid” was the protégé of what is now known as the pallet which are seen made of wood and other materials but designed to carry cargo and goods that are forklifted to various locations. The pallet, unlike a skid, is a flat “transport structure” designed for fork lifting, front loading, or other “jacking device”. Skids, alternatively, are a flat surface that has no bottom deck boards. These in the past before forklifts came on the scene, were used to slide like sleds for moving heavy items.
Pallets are made from all different materials. Although most are made from wood, they can also be from plastic, metal, and even paper. The different materials all have their distinct advantages or disadvantages. Their functionality enables the “containerization” of transport of weights up approximately 2,200 pounds of cargo at any point in time.
The pallet industry has always looked for an international standard size and configuration, however, different standards for doorways and fitting into containers has been the main challenge. Stacked goods and packaging have been the lion’s share of use for pallets. In addition to use with forklifts has been the hand pumped pallet jacks for versatility in the movement of goods on a flat concrete surface floor.
Pallet pooling has become popular as costs have become more important and different types of pallet construction and uses for international transport more common.
Pallets are measured in two different dimensions. There is the stringer length and then the deckboard length. The square shape enables pallets to avoid tipping. There are also two way pallets and four way pallets. A two way pallet is designed to be lifted by the deckboards, while a four way pallet is designed for heavier loads. These are lifted by their rigid stringers.