Pallet Resources

This pallet resources section contains information on different pallet types, glossary of pallet terms, pallet facts and rumors, and a list of various pallet associations and organizations. IFCO manufactures and recycles pallets in a wide variety of specifications. Download the renderings of common pallets sizes below, or send us your specifications in the contact us form to the right.

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IFCO 42 x 42 Pallets
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IFCO 48 x 36 Pallets
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IFCO 48 x 42 Pallets
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IFCO 44 x 44 Pallets
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IFCO 48 x 40 (GMA) Pallets
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IFCO 48 x 48 Pallets

Glossary

A B C D E F H I J L M N O P Q R S T U W
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 spacer, often identified 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.

A B C D E F H I J L M N O P Q R S T U W
CAD computer-aided-design software that allows the design of the "right" pallet at the best value; 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.
Chamfer a bevel on the top edges of the bottom deckboard to facilitate the passage of wheels and/or forks of pallet trucks.
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.

A B C D E F H I J L M N O P Q R S T U W
Deck the top or bottom surface of a pallet. This may or may not be continuous.
Deck mat assembly of deckboards and stringerboards, forming the deck of a block pallet.
Deckboard boards used to construct the deck.
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 component under load.
Dimensions see pallet dimensions.
Double-face pallet a pallet with top and bottom deckboards extending beyond the edges of the stringers or stringerboards.
Double-wing pallet a pallet top with top and bottom deckboards extending beyond the edges of the stringers or stringerboards.
Drive screw nail helically (continuous spiral) threaded pallet nail.

A B C D E F H I J L M N O P Q R S T U W
Economic life output from program which identifies the number of trips the pallet will make, provided it is properly repaired, which maximizes a return on investment.
Entry space permitting the entry of the lifting device in a particular direction.
Exchange pallet a pallet intended for use among a designated group of shippers and receivers where ownership of the pallet is transferable with the ownership of the unit load.
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.

A B C D E F H I J L M N O P Q R S T U W
Fastener a mechanical device for joining pallet components such as nails, staples, bolts or screws.
Fastener shear index relative measure of shear resistance of the pallet fastener.
Flush pallet pallets with deckboards flush with the stringers, stringer-boards 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.
Free entry entry through which the wheels of a pallet truck can pass without leaving the ground.
Free span the distance between supports in a warehouse rack.

A B C D E F H I J L M N O P Q R S T U W
Hand (wheel) jack opening space provided in the bottom deck to allow pallet jack wheels to bear on the floor.
Handling a single pick-up, 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.

A B C D E F H I J L M N O P Q R S T U W
Inner deckboard any deckboard located between the end deckboards.

A B C D E F H I J L M N O P Q R S T U W
Joint intersection and connection of components, often identified by location within the pallet as the end joint, center joint and corner joint.

A B C D E F H I J L M N O P Q R S T U W
Lead boards members which form the outside edges of the decks under which the lifting device enters.
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.

A B C D E F H I J L M N O P Q R S T U W
MIBANT angle the bend angle 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 bend resistance of nails or staples.

A B C D E F H I J L M N O P Q R S T U W
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 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).

A B C D E F H I J L M N O P Q R S T U W
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 stringer or stringerboard; wing; lip.

A B C D E F H I J L M N O P Q R S T U W
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.

A B C D E F H I J L M N O P Q R S T U W
Quality consistent performance of a uniform product meeting the customer's needs for economy and function.

A B C D E F H I J L M N O P Q R S T U W
Racked across deckboards output from 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 deckboards.
Racked across stringers output from 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 stringer boards.
Repair to remake in order to use again.
Recycling a pallet, container or reel that has been used, 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 for more than one trip (such as an IFCO wood pallet).
Reversible pallet a pallet with identical top and bottom decks.

A B C D E F H I J L M N O P Q R S T U W
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 deckboards extending beyond the edges of the stringers or stringer-boards 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 steel 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 top deckboard to allow tie-down of a unit load to the pallet deck with strapping/banding, also called the banding notch strapping - thin flat bands used to secure load to pallet.
Stringer those members to which the decks are fastened. They run the full length of the pallet.
Stringer board on a block pallet, the intermediary members between the blocks and the deck.

A B C D E F H I J L M N O P Q R S T U W
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 as it makes one "trip" under use.
Two-way entry pallet a pallet with unnotched solid stringers allowing entry only from the ends.

A B C D E F H I J L M N O P Q R S T U W
Unit load assembly of goods on a pallet for handling, moving, storing and stacking as a single entity.

A B C D E F H I J L M N O P Q R S T U W
Warehouse pallet a double-face multiple trip returnable pallet intended for general warehouse use.
Wing part of the deck or decks which projects beyond the bearers.

Many misconceptions exist about the environmental sustainability of different pallets and pallet programs. The debate centers on two major variables: raw material used to construct the pallet and the way the pallet program operates. In order to make an intelligent decision regarding your pallet program, you need facts.

RUMOR: There are only three types of pallet platforms: pooled plastic, pooled wood, and one-way wood pallets.
FACT: Our 48x40 reusable wood stringer pallets do not fall into any of the three categories above, and are the most commonly used pallet platform in the world.

RUMOR: Plastic pallets are better for the environment than wood.
FACT: The production of a reusable wood pallet requires just one-eighth of the raw material as a comparable plastic pallet. Plastic pallets consume more energy, release more emissions into our air and water, and contribute more waste than reusable wood pallets.

RUMOR: Wood pallets require the destruction of trees and are therefore bad for the environment.
FACT: Trees are rarely cut down to make pallets; they are cut down for more valuable items such as building materials and furniture. New pallets are built from the unattractive lumber that is left over from this process. It would likely be discarded if not made into pallets. Recycled pallets are built from existing pallets.

RUMOR: Wood pallets end up in landfills.
FACT: We do not dispose of our reusable, recycled wood pallets - it is contrary to our business model. Instead, we retrieve them from retailers and repair them to make them usable again. If a pallet can no longer be repaired, it is turned into useful, marketable products such as landscape mulch, animal bedding, and wood stove pellets. Less than 3% of the nearly 700 million pallets manufactured and repaired each year end up in landfills, according to a study by Virginia Polytechnic Institute and the USDA Forestry Service.

RUMOR: Pooled pallets are "reusable". Wood pallets that are not pooled are called single-use, one-way pallets.
FACT: Not only are 48x40 stringer pallets reusable, they are reusable by anyone - not just a pallet pooler. Single-use pallets do exist, but they comprise a small percentage of the wood pallets used today. The majority of wood pallets are actually multi-use or reusable pallets. After use, they are retrieved, repaired, and redeployed again and again.

RUMOR: All 48x40 wood pallets are the same size and weight.
FACT: Pooled block pallets take up 10-15% more space in a trailer and weigh approximately twice as much as recycled wood pallets. A block pallet's increased size and weight increases the number of trailer loads needed, consumes more fuel, increases your carbon footprint, and drives up supply chain costs.

RUMOR: Pooled pallet and reusable pallet programs require the same amount of transportation.
FACT: Our reusable pallets are retrieved at the end of the supply chain and redeployed locally to manufacturers. Pooled pallets must be transported (repositioned) from the end of the supply chain to one of a few depots around the country, then shipped back out to manufacturers elsewhere.

RUMOR: Life-cycle analysis (LCA) studies have shown pooled wood pallets to be environmentally superior to all other types of wood pallets.
FACT: The LCA studies completed to date evaluate only pooled plastic, pooled wood, one-way wood pallets, and pallet exchange programs, failing to include reusable pallet systems like ours, which are the primary pallet model used globally. The findings of these studies prove only that pooled pallet systems are better for the environment than one-way or single-use pallets.

Associations & Organizations

Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP)
cscmp.org

Florida Fruit and Vegetable Association (FFVA)
ffva.com

Food Marketing Institute (FMI)
fmi.org

Fresh Produce and Floral Council (FPFC)
fpfc.org

Houston Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Association (HFFVA)
hffva.org

Material Handling Association of America (MHIA)
mhia.org

National Frozen and Refrigerated Foods Association (NFRA)
nfraweb.com

National Onion Association (NOA)
onions-usa.org

National Wooden Pallet and Container Association (NWPCA)
nwpca.org

Organic Trade Association (OTA)
ota.com

Produce Marketing Association (PMA)
pma.com

Retail Industry Leadership Association (RILA)
retail-leaders.org

Reusable Packaging Association
choosereusables.org

Texas Produce Association (TPA)
texasproduceassociation.com

United Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Association (UFFVA)
unitedfresh.org

Warehousing Educational Research Council (WERC)
werc.org

Western Growers Association (WGA)
wga.com

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