Glossary of Terms

Click on any term below to see its definition.

Annular Nail

Pallet nail with annular (circular ring) threads rolled onto the shank


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 blocks

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


Computer-aided-design software that allows the design of the “right” pallet at the best value; see Pallet Design System (PDS)

Chamfered Deckboards

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


Average cost of pallet use for a single one-way trip


One or more boards or panels comprising the top or bottom surface of the pallet


Element or component 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)


The amount of deformation or bending in a pallet or pallet component under load


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


A mechanical device for joining pallet components such as nails, staples, bolts or screws

Flush Pallet

A pallet 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 Span

The distance between supports in a warehouse rack

Hand (Wheel) Jack Opening

Space provided in the bottom deck to allow pallet jack wheels to bear on the floor


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


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

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


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

Non-Reversible Pallet

A pallet with bottom deckboard configuration different from top deck


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)

Overall Height

The vertical distance measured from the floor to the top side of the top deck


The distance the deck extends from the outer edge of the stringer or stringerboard; wing; lip; distance the unit load extends beyond the deck


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


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

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 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 stringer boards


To remake in order to use again


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 for more than one trip

Reversible Pallet

A pallet with identical top and bottom decks

Single-Wing Pallet

A pallet with the top deckboards extending beyond the edges of the stringers or stringer-boards with the bottom deckboards flush (if present)


A pallet having no bottom deck


Wood from coniferous or needle-bearing trees (not necessarily soft or low density)

Solid Deck Pallet

A pallet constructed with no spacing between deckboards


The distance between stringer or block supports


Thin flat bands used to secure load to pallet


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


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


Consists of four to six handlings of a pallet