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Thursday, July 14, 2011

Finding the Right Pallet Rack System for Your Business

Any distribution center, a core component of a business, requires comprehensive planning to ensure supply chain management is effective and return on investment is high. If implemented correctly, pallet rack systems aid in efficiently storing materials and make a constructive impact on the logistics of your business.

Answering three simple questions and understanding the core components of a pallet rack is the key to successfully choosing the right pallet rack system for your business.

What are the needs of your business?

Figure out the activity and storage requirements of your business before investing in a pallet rack system. Most businesses fall into one of these four scenarios:

  • Low Activity / Low Storage Requirements

  • Low Activity / High Storage Requirements

  • High Activity / Low Storage Requirements

  • High Activity / High Storage Requirements

  • Identifying which scenario your business correctly fits in ensures that you pick a pallet rack system with the correct capacity for your business.

    What are the dimensions of your warehouse?
    Consider the dimensions of your warehouse or office space before deciding which pallet rack to purchase. The number of pallet racks and the size of the pallets will be determined based on your needs and the dimensions of your warehouse. Also be certain that you make room for the turning radius of your forklift when you plan your aisles.

    What type of lift truck will you be using?
    The length of the pallet rack beam depends on the type of lift truck that you are using. When using a counter balanced pallet truck consider the maximum width of the pallet or load (whichever is larger) and the number of loads between upright frames before picking the length of the pallet rack beam. If you decide to use an outrigger or straddle pallet truck consider the maximum width of outriggers or load and the number of loads across while deciding on a pallet rack beam.

    Other important factors to consider when choosing a pallet rack are the pallet rack beam capacity, the depth of the pallet rack frame, the length of the pallet rack row spacers, and the frame upright height. Following these steps below will help you understand how to determine these vital measurements.

    Determining pallet rack beam capacity
    Pallet rack beams provide crucial support and keep the pallets from bowing. You can figure out the required pallet rack beam capacity by taking the number of pallets multiplied by load weight. The beam capacity tells you the type of pallet rack beam that you need to purchase. For one level pallet racks, decrease beam capacity by 15% to account for the reduced end fixity, and use only heavier beams, which have four hook end connectors.

    Calculating the suggested depth of the pallet rack frame
    The pallet rack frame is another crucial element in any pallet rack system. The pallet rack frame depth should be 6” less than the pallet stringer dimension. The frame depth must be in 3” increments. You may also calculate the depth of the pallet rack by adding 2 to 5 inches to the width of the product it will be holding.

    Finding the correct length of the pallet rack row spacers
    Pallet rack row spacers are used to connect pallet racks back to back. They increase stability and safety by maintaining consistent spacing between pallet rack rows. Finding the correct length is the key to successfully utilizing these row spacers. The suggested pallet rack row spacer length is double the amount of pallet or load overhang plus 6” of clearance.

    Deciding the frame upright height
    Calculate the frame upright height by starting at floor level and adding the height of pallet and load to the height of the beam. Don’t forget to add the necessary distance of clearance between top of load and bottom of beam. The thickness of the support beam must also be added. Multiply the total number by the number of shelf levels to get the frame height.

    Height of pallet and load + height of beam + ceiling clearance + thickness of support beam = TOTAL
    TOTAL x the number of shelves = frame upright height

    If you have questions about your pallet rack system needs or would like a quote on one of our pallet racks please call 1-800-622-2692 to speak with one of our experts.


    1. I was really happy to notice this web page.I wished to thank you for that fantastic piece. I definitely enjoying each and every little bit of it and I bookmarked you to check out new things you post.
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    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    3. Your post is informative, and helpful to me. I have space issue in my warehouse, and then, I bought pallet racks from First Access Equipment Inc. These guys came to my place, examined the warehouse and space, and suggested which racking system will be the best for me. I bought 4 racks from them, and hired them for installation as well.

    4. This was very informative! I am selecting from Custom Mezzanines Platform Designing for my warehouse. Thanks for sharing, Keep exploring.