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Pallet Rack – The Basics for Efficient Warehouse Planning

Warehouse management systems rely heavily on the use of pallet rack to handle material storage on pallets, or skids as they are sometimes referred. When it comes to efficient warehouse planning, its helpful to be familiar with the components that make up a pallet racking structure. Since selective pallet racks remain the most common and trustworthy systems, and apply to most warehouse setups, let’s review the components that build these racking systems in particular..

First off, its helpful to define the two main configurations of selective pallet racks. The two main configurations are either roll formed or structural. Roll formed systems carry the advantage of easily adjusting the shelves because they are built with a teardrop style fitting for clips to hold the unit together. Warehouses that store a variety of package sizes can benefit mostly from this configuration.

Structural pallet racks on the other hand are similar, but they are bolted together to provide a stronger weight capacity. These systems can also be integrated with the structure of the building itself, so that the columns also assist in stabilizing the roof of the storage facility.

Whether structural or roll formed rack materials are used, selective racking systems are comprised of the following components to complete the whole unit.

Load Beams are an integral part of the rack structure, and help determine the overall weight capacity. For the highest capacity, structural beams are recommend because of their hot formed structural C shapes and clip design. Box beams or step beams have a better application when used with wore decks by either providing an inset step, or having four flat sides like a box.

Upright frames are available in different sizes depending on the overall design and purpose of the system. Similar to load beams, structural frames support higher weight capacities than roll formed uprights.

Wire deck primarily serves as a safety apparatus to the rack, and prevents packages or boxes from falling through to other levels or the floor. Various levels of thickness and overall mesh dimensions are available depending on the particular needs and purpose of the rack.

Footplates sit at the base of the columns or upright frames and anchors the pallet rack system down to provide further stability. Also called footpads or baseplates can be designed with greater thickness for some applications, and have a seismic rating.

Column protectors are a self explanatory item that helps protect the uprights of the rack system from damage in the course of day to day warehouse operations. Protectors are generally made with durable materials such as docile iron cast, or polyethylene.

Diagonal and horizontal braces serve to support the system, and can be welded or bolted to upright frames or columns.

Pallet supports serve as the base between the load beams as roll formed channels.

Timber deck acts as a solid floor to a pallet rack level, and can either be close boarded or slatted to act as a permanent base.

Shims can be used when uneven floors in the facility must be negotiated. They can be fitted under the columns to provide a level rack.

Row spacers can be used to provide more support to the pallet racks, and are typically used when columns are sitting back to back in rows.

Wall ties are a further support measure used on columns sitting against walls in the facility.

Guard rails help to protect upright columns of the structure and provide an additional safety feature of steps or a platform is needed to access the rack.

Every warehouse has its own logistical nuances when designing and implementing rack. Efficient planning involves expert input and support from those with solid industry knowledge. That’s what we’re here for.

For more details and information on buying new and used pallet rack in Phoenix, Arizona, or nationwide, please contact one of our dedicated professionals for a consultation. We look forward to helping you design or provide direction in your warehouse planning needs.


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