Glossary of Terms

Pallet terminology can be very complex for anyone new to the industry. We have created this glossary of terms so that you may be able to have a brief introduction and understanding of the terms we use to produce or describe our products. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions about these terms or any other matter.

Annular Nail - Pallet nail with annular (circular ring) threads rolled onto the shank.

Banding Notch - See strap slot

Bin - Four-sided superstructure to be mounted on a pallet base, with or without a cover; also known as a box or container bin pallet.

Block - Rectangular, square or cylindrical deck spaceer, oftenidentified by its location within the pallet as corner block, end block, edge block, inner block, center or middle block.

Block Pallet - A type of pallet with blocks between the pallet decks or beneath the top deck.

Butted Deckboard - An inner deckboard placed tightly against an adjacent lead deckboard during pallet assembly.

Bottom Deck - Assembly of deckboards comprising the lower, load bearing surface of the pallet.

CAD - Computer-aided-design software that allows the design of the "right" pallet at the best values; see Pallet Design System (PDS)

Captive Pallet - a pallet intended for use within the confines of a single facility, system or ownership; not intended to be exchanged.

Chamfered Deckboards - Deckboards with edges of one or two faces beveled, either along the full or specified length of board or between the stringers or blocks, allowing easier entry of pallet jack wheels.

Closed Distribution System - Shipping system restricted to moving goods between specified plants and facilities.

Collar - Collapsible wooden container or bin which transforms a pallet into a box.

Cost-Pass Through - A cost-share system where the partial cost of a pallet is passed-through from the purchaser to the receiver of the pallet.

Cost-Per-Trip - Average cost of pallet use for a single one-way trip.

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 componant of a pallet deck, oriented perpendicular to the stringer or stringerboard.

Deckboard Spacing - Distance between adjacent deckboards.

Deckboard Span - Distance between deckboard supports (stringers, stringerboards or blocks).

Deflection - The amount of deformation or bending in a pallet or pallet componant under load.

Dimensions - See pallet dimensions.

Double-Face Pallet - A pallet with top and bottom decks.

Double-Wing Pallet - A pallet with top and bottom deckboards extending beyond the edges of the stringers or stringerboards.

Drive Screw Nail - Helically (continuous spiral) threaded pallet nail.

Economic Life - Output from PDS program which identifies the number of trips the pallet will make, provided it is properly repaired, which maximizes a return on investment.

Exchange Pallet - A pallet intended for use among a designated group of shippers and receivers where ownership of the pallet is transferred with the ownership of the unit load; common pool pallet.

Expendable Pallet - A pallet intended for a series of handlings during a single trip from shipper to receiver; it is then disposed; see shipping pallet.

Fastener - A mechanical device for joining pallet componants such as nails, staples, bolts or screws.

Fastener Shear Index - Relative measure of shear resistance of the pallet fastener.

Flush Pallet - A pallet with deckboards flush with stringers, stringerboards or blocks along the sides of the pallet.

Fork Entry - Opening between decks, beneath the top deck or beneath the stringer notch to admit forks.

Four-Way Block Pallet - A pallet with openings at both pallet ends and along pallet sides sufficient to admit hand-pallet jacks; full four-way entry pallet.

Hand (wheel) Jack Opening - Space provided in the bottom deck to allow pallet jack wheels to bear on the floor.

Handling - A single pickup, movement and set-down of a loaded or empty pallet.


Hardened-Steel-Nail - Heat-treated and tempered steel pallet nail with a MIBANT angle between 8 and 28 degrees.


Hardwood – Wood from broad-leaved species of trees (not necessarily hard or dense).


Helical Nail – Helically (continuous spiral) threaded pallet nail, see also drive screw nail.


Inner Deckboard – Any deckboard located between the end deckboards.


Joint – Intersection and connection of components, often identified by location within the pallet as the end joint, center joint and corner joint.


Length – Refers to the stringer or stringerboard (in block pallets) length; also refers to the first dimension given to describe a pallet, i.e. 48” x 40”, where 48” is the pallet stringer/stringerboard length.


Life to First Repair – Output from PDS program, which is equivalent to the number of trips the pallet will last before needing repair.


Line Load – The weight of a unit load concentrated along a narrow area across the full length or width of the pallet.


Load Bearing Surface – Actual area of material in contact with and supporting a unit load.


MIBANT Angle – The bend in a fastener shank when subjected to a MIBANT test.


MIBANT test (Morgan Impact Bend Angle Nail Tester) – Standard impact nail tester used in the pallet and lumber industry as an indication of impact bond resistance of nails or staples.


Nail – Fastener made from endless wire by cutting a point and forming a head at the shank end opposite the point.


National Wooden Pallet and Container Association – A national association with the goal of promoting the design, manufacture, distribution, recycling and sale of pallets, containers and reels.


Non-Reversible Pallet – A pallet with bottom deckboard configuration different from the top deck.


Notch – Cutout in lower portion of the stringer to allow entry for the fork tine, usually 9” in length, 1-1/2” in depth.


Notched Stringer – A stringer with two notches spaced for fork-tine entry, (partial four-way entry).


Opening Height – The vertical distance measured between decks, from the floor to the underside of the top deck, or from the floor to the top of the stringer notch.


Overall height – The vertical distance measured from the floor to the top side of the top deck.


Overhang – The distance the deck extends from the outer edge of the stronger or stringerboard; wing; lip; distance the unit load extends beyond the deck.


Pallet – A portable, horizontal, rigid platform used as a base for assembling, storing, stacking, handling and transporting goods as a unit load, often equipped with a superstructure.


Pallet Design System (PDS) - Reliability – based computer –aided design (CAD) program, for determining the safe load carrying capacity, performance life and economy of wooden pallets.


Pallet Dimensions - When specifying pallet size, the stringer or stringerboard (block pallet) length is always expressed first; for example, a 48” x 40” pallet has a 48” stringer or stringerboard and 40” deckboards.


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.


Panel Deck Pallet – Pallet constructed with composite or structural panel top deck.


Partial Four-Way Stringer Pallet – A pallet with notched stringers.


Post Pallet – A pallet fitted with posts or blocks between the decks or beneath the top deck; see block pallet.


Quality – Consistent performance of a uniform product meeting the customer’s needs for economy and function.


Racked Across Deckboards – Output from the PDS program describing the maximum load carrying capacity and deflection of a pallet where the rack frame supports the pallet, only at the ends of the deckboard.


Racked Across Stringers – Output from the PDS program describing the maximum load carrying capacity and deflection of a pallet where the rack frame supports the pallet only at the ends of the stringers or stringerboards.


Repair – To remake in order to use again.


Recycling – A pallet, container or reel that has been used, discarded, salvaged, repaired and which passes through a cycle again.


Rental Pallet – A pallet owned by a third party, different from the actual pallet user.


Returnable/Reusable Pallet – A pallet designed to be used more than one trip.


Reversible Pallet – A pallet with identical top and bottom decks.


Shipping Pallet – Pallet designed to be used for a single one-way trip from shipper to receiver; it is then disposed; see expendable pallet.


Shook – Cut-to-size pallet parts to be assembled into pallets.


Shook Grade – The classification of the quality of pallet parts relative to performance characteristics based on size and distribution of defects, independent of wood species.


Single-Wing Pallet – A pallet with the top deckboards extending beyond the edges of the stringers or stringerboards with the bottom deckboards flush (if present).


Skid – A pallet having no bottom deck.


Slave Pallet – Pallet, platform or single, thick panel used as a support base for a palletized load in rack-storage facilities or production systems.


Soft Nail – Pallet nail with a MIBANT angle equal to or greater than 47 degrees.


Softwood – Wood from coniferous or needle-bearing species of trees (not necessarily soft or low density).


Solid Deck Pallet – A pallet constructed with no spacing between deckboards.


Span – The distance between stringer or block supports.


Stevedore Pallet – A pallet designed for use on seaport shipping docks, normally of heavy-duty, double- wing construction.


Stiff-Stock Steel Nail  – Pallet nail made of medium-high carbon steal without heat treatment and tempering with MIBANT angle between 29 and 46 degrees.


Strap Slot – Recess or cutout on the upper edge of the stringer or the bottom of the deckboard to allow tie-down of a unit load to the pallet deck with strapping/banding, also called banding notch.


Strapping – Thin flat bands used to secure load to pallet.


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.


Take-it-or-leave-it Pallet – A pallet fitted with fixed cleats on the top deckboards to permit fork truck tines to pass beneath the unit load and remove it from the pallet.


Top Cap – Panel to be placed on top of a unit load to allow for tight strapping without damaging the unit load.


Top-Deck of the Pallet – The assembly of deckboards comprising the upper load-carrying surface of the pallet.


Trip – Consists of four to six handlings of a pallet.


Two-Way Entry Pallet – A pallet with unnotched solid stringers allowing entry only from the ends.


Unit Load – assembly of goods on a pallet for handling, moving, storing and stacking as a single entity.


Warehouse pallet – a double-face multiple trip returnable pallet intended for general warehouse use.


Wing – overhang of a deckboard end from outside edge of a stringer or stringerboard.

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Diamond Forest Resources
150 Acorn Industry Road
Morehead, KY 40351

Phone: 606 783-1568 606 783-1568


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