Pallets vs. Skids

What Is The Difference?

Custom Built Plastic Pallets explains the difference between a pallet and a skid in this short 1 minute video.

People often use the words “pallet” and “skid” interchangeably; however, they have differences. At Custom Built Plastic Pallets, we refer to skids as “Storage Pads,” primarily because of how they are used. Use this page to help you decide which best fits your needs.

A pallet has both a top and bottom deck that provides more stability than skids. Wooden pallets typically consist of three or four stringers that support several deck boards, on top of which goods are placed. Pallets are typically used for items that are in transit, taking them to varying climate conditions.

When choosing a pallet that you want to last, it's important to take temperature, humidity, and stress into consideration. Wood pallets are susceptible to damage from the elements and overuse. See more about benefits of plastic pallets at Plastic vs Wood Pallets.

A skid is a single-deck loading platform which lacks a bottom deck. It is a low-profile mobile platform which simply rests on pedestals attached to the deck. Skids were used extensively before the creation of the double faced pallet in the 1930s.

Skids are often used as a permanent foundation for heavy machinery as they have the advantage of being mobile. During World War II, skids were used for hauling large amounts of supplies. The lack of a bottom deck allowed them to be pulled through the sand.

Skids used to be preferable for storage because of the lack of bottom deck, but with the introduction of the nestable pallet, that is no longer the case.

Custom pallets are created to your specifications. When measuring or ordering a pallet, the first number is the stringer length (the DEPTH of the pallet) and the second is the deck board length (the WIDTH of the pallet).

Two-way pallets are designed to be lifted by the deck boards with a forklift or pallet jack through two sides of the pallet.

Four-way pallets are designed to be lifted by their more rigid stringers and can be lifted by a forklift or pallet jack from any side. Four-way pallets are extremely durable and recommended for use in an environment with high levels of moisture, even water.

Pallet users want pallets to easily pass through buildings, to stack and fit in racks, to be accessible to forklifts and pallet jacks, and to function in automated warehouses.

Although there are differences between pallets and skids, it's likely that a heavy-duty custom sized pallet will do the job for you. If you are still unsure about what you need, call us and we will be happy to provide the information you need.