What is Pallet Racking? The Basics...

Pallet Racking Basics Guide

Pallet Racks

At its most basic, pallet racking can be priced out in three easy steps. There are of course, many more steps involved if you want to understand much of the subtler rack types and configurations, but if you're only configuring a simple pallet rack system, this three step process will get you up and running. If you'd like to learn more, please read the Advanced Pallet Rack Guide.

How to Configure Pallet Racking Systems

Pallet racking may seem difficult to size and configure, but we've laid out 3 simple steps to get you started and on the road to setting up your own pallet racking system.

Measuring a Pallet

Step 1: Size the Product

Measure the pallets: Start by measuring the width, depth and height of your pallets (typical pallets are 40" wide x 48" deep). You'll also want to keep a little room between pallets to give yourself leeway when loading and unloading the rack. Keep note of this measurement as the rest of the steps will rely on these figures.

Determine the heaviest load weight: Also important is the weight of the heaviest load you will be storing. Keep in mind, you must also include the weight of the pallet.

Step 2: Select Beam and Upright Sizes

Beam and Upright Sizes

Determine shelf width: Now you will determine (based on the previous measurements) how wide your shelves need to be. For example, if you have a typical pallet, you have 80" of load on your shelf (based on two pallets per shelf) and with 4" on each side of each pallet, you'll need at minimum a 96" beam.

Determine necessary beam capacity: Once you have the rack width established, you'll need to select the correct capacity beams for your load. Each shelf level will require two beams.

Determine upright height and depth: Choosing the uprights is as simple as figuring out how many shelf levels you want to have and using your pallet height to determine the needed upright height. Also keep in mind both load and total shelf capacities when choosing the correct upright. Upright depths will be strictly based on the depth of your pallets. You must keep the entire pallet load balanced on the front and rear rack beams.

Step 3: Add It Up

Determine quantities: Now you can determine the total number of beams and uprights you'll need for your planned storage system. Remember, you can use one upright as a connecter for multiple bays of rack. Two racks in a row can share a center upright as long as total shelf and upright capacities are within range.

Below you can see profile views of three separate pallet rack layout styles. At left is a single row of free standing pallet rack. Center is two rows of pallet rack setup back to back and tied together in the center. At right is a single row of pallet rack placed against a wall and tied to the wall using wall supports.

Sample Pallet Rack Layouts

Features & Benefits of Pallet Racking

  • Standard color is green uprights & orange beams, but other colors are available by special order
  • Beams and uprights are constructed of prime, US made high-strength steel
  • Beam load ratings based on uniformly distributed load per pair of beams.
  • Uprights have 1 ½" wide bottom horizontal brace placed 8" from the floor to help resist impact damage
  • Precision manufacturing procedures ensure uniformity of appearance

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Pallet Racking Systems Shipping Locations - We Ship NATIONWIDE

Pallet Racks Stocking Locations

SJF Material Handling Inc. ships warehouse racking systems from multiple locations:

  • California
  • Georgia
  • Illinois
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • North Carolina
  • Pennsylvania
  • South Carolina
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • West Virginia
  • Ontario, Canada