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Pallets vs. Skids

Pallets and Skids are two important tools in the freight and warehouse storage industries. They are also important for a multitude of other businesses in need of pallets or skids for transport and storage. As a company it’s important to understand the differences between the two and how each has its own drawbacks and advantages. 

People often use the words “pallet” and “skid” interchangeably; however, they have differences. At Custom Built Plastic Pallets®, we refer to skids as “Storage Skids,” because they are primarily used for the permanent foundation of stacks of storage.

Once you understand the differences you can make informed decisions about how to use, or not use each one. We offer some helpful information below to make this process much easier.

Did you know the word “pallet” means ‘a straw mattress or crude, makeshift bed?’

What Is The Difference Betweeen Pallets and Skids

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

Quite simply, a pallet has a top and bottom deck boards, while a skid has only a top deck and no bottom deck boards.

Video Transcript

Have you ever wondered what the difference is between a pallet and a skid? I did. I mean people say skid when they mean pallet or they say pallet when they mean skid. What is the difference or are they the same? So I did a little research. Here’s what I found out. The difference between a pallet and a skid is really simple. The pallet has bottom deck boards and the skid has no bottom deck boards. You want to use a skid if you are going to store heavy stuff in a warehouse for a long period of time or wherever you might be storing stuff. However if you’re going to want to move that heavy stuff you’re going to want to use a pallet. We at custom built pallets can build either one of them for you. We can build you a skid or we can use a pallet. You just tell us what you need, and if you don’t know what you need give us a call at 920-467-2477 or check us out online. You can find us at

What is a Pallet?

A pallet has both a top and bottom deck boards that provide more stability than skids. Standard Sized  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 or storing goods in pallet racks.

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 benefits of plastic pallets by visiting our “Plastic vs Wood Pallets’ page.

What is a Skid Pallet?

A skid is another term for 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.

Sizing for Standard PALLETs And Skids

Our custom pallets are created to your exact specifications. When measuring for an instant quote 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).

Benefits of Pallets over Skids

Warehouse foremen 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.

Two-Way Pallets

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

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.

Skid Pallets

Skids are often used as a permanent foundation for heavy machinery and heavy equipment as they have the advantage of being mobile. Skids are the oldest type of pallet. During World War II, skids were used for hauling large amounts of supplies. The lack of bottom deck boards allowed less friction so  could be pulled through the sand.

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