Pallets are rigid platforms created for use in manufacturing and shipping goods. Also known as shipping pallets, packing pallets, or skids, they are typically horizontal, but portable, and able to be used in packing, building, handling, housing, and moving bulk products as a single unit. A block pallet is a specific pallet that is created with blocks between or beneath pallet deck boards.
Also called a Manoj pallet, or four-way pallet, a block pallet usually consists of four to twelve blocks supporting wooden deck boards. They can range in length, as different sizes are required for different products. The lengths of the stringer boards used to make a block pallet are what determine its full length.
Block pallet width is determined by the length of the pallet perpendicular to the stringer board length used. Block pallets can be created with partial or full, four-way entries. This ensures that a pallet-jack can have access to it from any side, making it much easier to transport.
The bottom deck of a block pallet can also vary significantly. Some bottom decks may have no bottom boards at all. Others may contain bottom boards that run parallel to its full base or deck boards. These boards help stabilize the skid's movement during transport by a front loader, forklift, pallet jack or other device.
A custom block pallet is typically stronger than an ordinary stringer pallet. By using both perpendicular and parallel stringer boards, they are recognized as creating a more optimal method of handling shipments. Four-way skids are often created from oak timber, which provides additional strength. Improving the strength of a pallet can also be done through use of quality nails and select timber.
During use, goods are typically strapped, shrink wrapped, or stretch wrapped to the pallet prior to shipping. Then skids are weighed to ensure that delivery trucks are not overloaded with too much weight. After ensuring that the heaviness of the load does not exceed the truck's capacity, a skid can be loaded into the truck for transport and delivery.
After use in shipping, a discarded block pallet can be used for a variety of projects and activities. The boards can be used for firewood, though potential chemical spills on the wood can make it unsafe to burn. Old skids can also be used in craft projects, fences, racket ball sports, animal cages, furniture, paintball game barricades, skateboarding ramps, tree houses, and other wood projects. Block pallets can also simply be recycled.