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Tutorial Guide to Structural Cantilever and Lumber Racks


Eric Moen at SJF Material Handling shows you all you need to know about structural cantilever rack and lumber storage.

Tutorial Guide – New Style vs. Old Style Teardrop Pallet Racks

 In this short tutorial, Material Handling veteran Jason Dieter shares some insider insights about the different styles of beams that work with the many versions of teardrop style pallet rack. Jason not only demonstrates the difference between old style and new style racks, but also reveals some of the hybrids found in the marketplace as well.

A View of the rack from up top

Old Style VS. New Style Teardrop Pallet Rack


Video Tutorial – Pallet Rack “Quik-Ship” – Pallet Rack Uprights

In this short video tutorial, Eric Moen gives a quick tour of the uprights available in the rack warehouse while reviewing the many sizes & capacities currently available for fast 48-hour shipping  via SJF’s “Quik-Ship” program.

Pallet Rack Uprights

Video Tutorial – Pallet Rack “Quik-Ship”

In this short video tutorial, Eric Moen covers some of the many sizes and capacities of pallet rack uprights available via SJF’s 48-hour quick-ship program.

Video Guide to Pallet Rack Quik Ship – Pallet Rack Beams

Tutorial Guide to Pallet Rack Quik Ship – Pallet Rack Beams – Sizes & Capacities

In this short  video tutorial, Eric Moen gives a quick tour while reviewing the many sizes & capacities of beams available for quick 48-hour ship  via SJF’s “Quik-Ship” program.

Guide > Wire Decking

Wire Mesh Decking Guide

Wire Mesh Decking

Wire Deck

What is wire decking?

Wire decking is a product that works in with pallet racks to provide support, safety and other benefits to warehouse racks. Wire decks are easy to install (they simply  drop  into place), and allow high visibility through all levels of pallet racking. In addition to providing protection from falling inventory, wire decking can improve air circulation and prevent dust build-up. Wire decks can also help increase overhead sprinkler effectiveness, and many local fire codes require them instead of particle board or plywood.

Wire Deck Options & Terminology

Support Channels

On the underside of each wire deck, support channels are welded to the bottom of the mesh surface. These channels give wire deck rigidity and load bearing capacity. Typically, wire decking uses three or four support channels and supports up to 2500 pounds. Step channels provide more strength than flanged channels, however each has their own advantages.

Wire Mesh Pattern

Most wire decks made in the past 20 years feature a 2″ x 4″, 2.5″ x 4″ or 2.5″ x 4.5″ grid pattern. Sometimes you may see higher density grids, but these are usually made for applications that required hand stacking or storing small materials.


The term waterfall is used to refer to the end(s) of deck that “hang” below the deck’s surface. Waterfalls provide additional protection to wire decks by making them more resistant to coming off of the pallet rack unexpectedly. The accepted industry standard for waterfall height is 1.5 inches. A shorter waterfall may be warranted where labels or bar codes are needed on the rack’s beam face. Waterfalls can also be turned up to provide a back stop on a pallet shelf. Front and rear waterfalls can even be mixed so that one is up and the opposite is down.

Flush Decks

Flush wire decks are useful for hand-stacking and order picking. The flush deck doesn’t have edges that could catch an  employee’s hands. With flush decks, the deck depth measurement refers to the outside dimensions of the rack beams. If your racking is 42″ deep (42″ from outside to outside of each beam level) you will still need a 42″ deep deck however the deck’s depth will only be 38.25″ deep – or approximately the depth of the inside of the steps of the beams.

Properly Loading Wire Decks

Please Note – Unless storing small or very light weight items on the pallet racking, wire deck is NOT meant to support loads directly. In other words, DO NOT point load wire decking. Pallets must be fully supported by the front and rear support beams.

Wire Deck Styles

Standard/Step Waterfall Wire Decks

Standard Step Waterfall Style Wire Deck Standard Step Waterfall Style Wire Deck - Front Standard Step Waterfall Style Wire Deck - Rear
Standard Step/Waterfall Wire Deck Step/Waterfall Wire Deck – Front Step/Waterfall Wire Deck – Rear
“Standard” or step style wire decks with a waterfall are made to sit in the steps of pallet rack beams. The support channels of this decking rest on the steps and the waterfall part wraps around the top of the beam.

Inverted Flange Wire Decks

Inverted Flange Style Wire Deck Inverted Flange Style Wire Deck - Front Inverted Flange Style Wire Deck - Rear
Inverted Flange Wire Deck Inverted Flange Wire Deck – Front Inverted Flange Wire Deck – Rear

Inverted flange wire decking is a very commonly stocked style. It’s useful because the flange at the end of the support channels allows these wire decks to fit on step or box style pallet rack beams. Another advantage of the inverted channels is that debris cannot accumulate inside of the support channel.

Flush Flat Wire Decks

Flush Flat Wire Deck Flush Flat Wire Deck - Front Flush Flat Wire Deck - Rear
Flush Flat Wire Deck Flush Flat Wire Deck – Front Flush Flat Wire Deck – Rear

Flush Flat wire decking is exactly what it sounds like. The surface of the decks rest flush with the tops of the rack beams. Flush flat decks have no waterfall and are well suited for your storage facility if nice clean look is needed.

Flush Waterfall Wire Decks

Flush Waterfall Style Wire Deck Flush Waterfall Style Wire Deck - Front Flush Waterfall Style Wire Deck - Rear
Flush Waterfall Wire Deck Flush Waterfall Wire Deck – Front Flush Waterfall Wire Deck – Rear
The only difference between the flush waterfall and flush flat style wire decking is that a flush waterfall deck has waterfalls that don’t hang over the top of the beams.  These waterfalls are unique in that they sit on the steps of the beams. Reasons to purchase this style are things like safer hand loading (no edges to catch) and higher edge capacity (decreases bowing.)

Guide > Dock Boards & Dock Plates

Dock Board & Dock Plate Guide

Dock boards and dock plates are a portable, non-permanent solution to loading semi truck trailers at a loading dock. These dock ramps bridge a gap from the dock to the truck, overcoming both the gap distance, but also the height differential between the truck and the dock. Typically, dock boards are of heavier-duty construction than dock plates and allow for utilizing a forklift to load and unload a trailer.

Dock Plates

Aluminum Dock Plate

Aluminum Dock Plate – Note the Lack of Guide Rails

The surface of dockplates is typically safe and skid-resistant.  A ten degree bend in the plate allows edges to be flush at dock and truck for smooth material transfer. Beveled edges reduce wear and excessive equipment jarring. Locking legs secure the plate for safe loading and unloading. This unit also comes complete with carrying handles attached to the locking legs for easier portability.

Also notice that the dock plate does not have guide rails on the sides.  This is typical of dock plates as they are not usually handling vehicular traffic such as forklifts.  Also notice, however that to prevent run-off, the edges of the dockplate are distinguished by different shades as well as the lack of diamond plating.

Aluminum Dock Plates
Steel Dock Plates

Dock plate capacities range from 1,800 pounds to 5,500 pounds.

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Guide > Cantilever Rack Basics

Cantilever Rack Basics

Single Sided Cantilever Rack

Single Sided Cantilever Rack

Cantilever Rack (also called lumber rack or pipe rack) is a very unique solution to a very real storage problem.  Often, manufacturers find themselves with long, bulky items they need to safely store, but no real way to keep them out of the way.  This is an ideal solution for cantilever rack.

Cantilever racks make quick work of storing long and bulky items like lumber, plumbing pipes, bar stock or other long raw materials.  These racks utilize a center column with arms providing the actual shelf levels for storing items.

Cantilever racking can be purchased in either single sided or double sided configurations, the only difference being the number of sides available for storage.  Single sided units can only utilize one side while double sided units can store material on both sides.

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