When you start discussing your requirements with a wood packaging designer, it’s important to know if you’re looking for a pallet or skid because they each function differently and are better suited for different types of applications.
As we’ve already discussed, skids don’t have bottom deck boards. That means that they often lack the stability necessary for transporting palletized items. While design, fastener choice, and wood choice obviously affects stability, those missing bottom deck boards simple make skids less stable from an engineering perspective. Skids are also more difficult for forklifts to load and unload without putting torque on the skid and potentially causing a failure.
On the other hand, skids are ideal for use as a permanent foundation for heavy machinery. The skid makes these types of items mobile and keeps them off the ground (or floor). Because heavy machinery is so… well… heavy, it’s unlikely to be moved via forklift. Using a skid, rather than a pallet, means heavy equipment can be pulled into position, if necessary.
It’s pretty hard to pull or push a pallet.
Now consider pallets:
- Pallets are super stable
- Stand up to all different kinds of palletized products
- Good design can accommodate variety of weights and sizes
- Easy for a forklift to load and unload
- Easy for a pallet jack to move
- Hold up well to to being transported and stored
- More convenient for racking
Unless you’ve got some very specific requirements that work better with a skid, you will most likely be using pallets to transport and store your products. Even if you’re not sure whether you should use a pallet or skid, your wood packaging designer should steer you in the right direction.
So, in the end, does it matter if it’s a pallet or skid? If it’s your product being stored or transported, then it definitely matters. You want to make sure you have the right type of wood packaging for your application.
It also matters when you’re talking to your wood packaging designer, because it’s important to understand what they are designing for you and why they are recommending one type of packaging over another. For example, if you’re looking for a platform for the industrial-sized HVAC systems you produce, the choice between a pallet or skid is important.
Without understanding the difference between a pallet and a skid, you may end up with something that’s poorly suited to your application.