Pallets vs. Skids: Similarities and Differences

The image below shows the difference in structure and look between a pallet and a skid. Image borrowed from Freightera.com

In the transportation and storage world, there are terms that seem to be interchangeable in definition and use to some people, but that really is not the case. One example includes the differences and similarities between pallets and skids.

At Hope Timber Pallets, we build, repair, and remanufacture wooden pallets. According to Merriam-Webster.com, pallets are defined as a portable platform for handling, storing, or moving materials and packages in warehouses, factories, or vehicles.

Skids, while similar to pallets, are laid out differently and are defined as one of a group of objects (such as planks or logs) used to support or elevate a structure or object.


What are the differences between pallets and skids?

According to MachineTransport.com, pallets have a deck on the bottom and a skid does not have this bottom decking. Here is more detailed better breakdown, according to Freightera and MachineTransport.

Pallet components include:

  • Top and bottom deck boards
  • Two-way or four-way entry for forks or pallet trucks
  • Stringer boards
  • Top and bottom lead boards
  • Blocks
  • Chamfers

Common features of pallets include:

  • Typical sizes are 48 in. x 40 in., along with dozens of custom sizes
  • Offer more stability over skids
  • Remain in higher demand
  • Harder to drag due to more friction on the bottom
  • More convenient for racking
  • Utilized for moving product around frequently
  • Easily hauled by a forklift

Skid components include:

  • No bottom decking
  • Top deck boards
  • Stringers

 Common features of skids include:

  • Easier to drag because of less friction
  • Usually utilized for more permanent structures as a foundation
  • A cheaper version of a pallet
  • Take up less space when nesting

In general, by looking at the pictures, you will notice that the placement of the boards are much closer together and create more surface area for the product or equipment.

When should you use pallets versus skids?

It is best to utilize pallets when you are transporting multiple smaller items to stack on to a single pallet.

Skids are best used for heavier pieces of machinery, especially if you anticipate having to move it at some point — but not everyday movement.

Example image of when to use a pallet. Image borrowed from Slate.com
Example image of when to use a skid. Image borrowed from Citizenshipper.com








At the end of the day, the products are similar. However, it depends on what your company is wanting to do with the product. Figure out how often you are planning to move the product and what the shipping itself is going to entail.

If you are not sure, contact Hope Timber Pallet. We can help with whatever kind of pallet you may need and even let you know if there is something else we recommend using. Hope Timber Pallet services companies in and around central Ohio.

In addition, if you have wooden pallets, skids, or crates that you don’t need, we can also take care of the and recycle them for you. We offer a variety of services to help with whatever you may need.

If you are interested in more about how you can find pallets or find out more about paving the way for a different future for utilizing a no-waste solution with wood, please contact us Hope Timber Pallet or call us at (740) 344-1788.


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2 thoughts on “Pallets vs. Skids: Similarities and Differences”

  1. Oh my God! Thank you very much for informing me that pallets are usually firmer and easier to stabilize. This reminds me of my uncle who wants to rearrange the equipment in his small warehouse. I’ll ask him to consider this option so he’ll make the right purchase later.

  2. Thomas Clarence

    It was informative when you mentioned that it is a good idea to use pallets when transporting smaller items. Would it be a good idea to use a pallet made out of hardwood? I would imagine that a hardwood pallet would be more durable.

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