Pallets vs. Skids - What is Best for You?

Authored by Pat McAssey
January 9, 2019

In order to help you determine what would be best for you either a pallet or a skid, you first would need to know what the differences between the two are. Let's start off by going over the skid.


A skid offers a different style of support than a pallet would. A skid is similar to a pallet in that has a deck and stringers but differs in that it only has a top deck instead of both top and bottom. A skid is also a mobile platform like a pallet but varies due to its lower profile. A skid is a great option for storing machines off of the ground and allow you to still be able to move it with your lift truck.

this is a skid take notice of the deck boards on top of the stringers and no boards on the bottom.


When looking at a pallet you will notice that is two decks, one on top and another on the bottom. Due to the nature of having two decks this increases support and makes for a stronger option over a skid. A wooden pallet normally has three to four stringers. A stringer is a board the runs the full depth of the pallet and sits between the two decks. On the top level of the pallet you will see deck boards covering the area of the stringers. This creates the area for your product to rest on. Underneath on the bottom side of the pallet you will you will see less deck boards than on the top, but these deck boards on the bottom of the pallet are there for structural support vs creating a platform for your product to rested on. Having this bottom deck allows for added stability which is especially helpful for storing product that will move around pallet racking or be shipped.

this is a 2-Way pallet notice how the stringers sit on top of decks boards and have another set of deck boards on top, compared to the skid which has only one deck on top. Also notice how the pallet allows for a lift truck to enter from 2 sides

Now that we know the difference between the pallet and the skid lets look at the different type of pallets available. There are 2 main style of pallets available which are 2-Way Pallets and 4-Way Pallets.

2-Way Pallet

With a 2-Way Pallet the idea is to lift it from the deck boards with your pallet jack that comes through two sides of the pallet.

4-Way Pallet

A 4-Way pallets are design to be lifted by the more sturdy stringers. Being that they are built from stringers they are stronger than the 2-Way Pallet. They are able to be lifted by the electric pallet jack from all 4 sides making it the strongest and most efficient option.

This is a 4-Way Pallet notice how a lift truck can enter from any of the 4 sides and is a stronger structure compared to the 2-Way Pallet.

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