Pallet Racking Systems

Pallet Racking Systems

Pallet rack systems can be employed in many small- and large-scale applications, including e-commerce, retail deposits, office buildings, and even homes. Their most common use, however, is in warehouses, where they can increase efficiency and maximize the value of otherwise limited space.

If you own a warehouse, then you are likely already familiar with the importance of an effective storage system. Indeed, the effects, whether positive or negative, of the way you organize your inventory can ripple across the activity of both the warehouse and the entire business. Quite often, a good pallet racking system will make the difference between proper-functioning and chaotic warehouses, as well as between a business that runs smoothly and one that does not.

In fact, investing in a warehouse racking system might be your best bet to ensure that your space is as organized and as efficient as it can be. But what exactly is a pallet rack and how can you choose the best type for your warehouse? More details below.

Pallet Racks: Which Type Do You Need?

Pallet rack systems can be classified according to several features, but some of the most popular options include:

There are advantages and drawbacks to each of the above racking systems, which means it is essential for you to choose the best type for the specific storage needs of your warehouse. In what follows, we describe the basic components and mechanisms of pallet racking.

For more details regarding different pallet rack systems and how suitable they are for your storage space, explore our dedicated pages or contact us directly.

Pallet Racking Systems: The Basic Components

Pallet racks shelving is the most common form of storage used in warehouses to this day. The history of these racking systems began somewhere in the early 20th century, but in spite of the fact that pallets are not necessarily new technology, they remain the most effective way to deposit inventory on a large scale.

A pallet racking system is a fairly simple construction with two main components, the upright frame and the beams, as well as several necessary accessories.

The Upright Frame

The upright frame of a pallet rack consists of a number of vertical frames that stand upright and several connecting beams that are positioned horizontally with the specific purpose to store various loads. The upright frame, also known as a set of upright columns or simply as uprights, can come in different heights and depths, as well as in various designs to suit larger vs smaller or heavier vs lighter inventory items.

In terms of the materials used to produce uprights, some possibilities include:

Structural steel
Structural steel

which results from the processing of raw iron into a set shape and which is used for extremely heavy loading , but also pricier.

Roll formed material
Roll formed material

which is the most commonly used material and more affordable; obtained by rolling steel coil sheets into a structural shape.

A hybrid of the two
A hybrid of the two

which is common for cantilever racks and uses structural steel for “high impact” areas like the column and base, but roll formed steel for the beam and bracing.

The Upright Frame

The two upright posts that form the upright frame are connected by diagonal bracing and horizontal bracing, which are usually secured using nuts and bolts. The customer may request that the upright frame is manufactured with bracing welding directly on the upright post, which can help reduce the cost of installation.

However, this also increases the shipping cost significantly because a welding frame requires much more space than a disassembled frame. As such, welding frames are preferred in areas where labor cost is much higher than shipping costs.

The Upright Frame
The Upright Frame

At regular intervals, each upright is equipped with slots or holes for the insertion of loading beams. Once they are correctly positioned, load beams offer support on a horizontal plane and create the bay or storage areas where items can be deposited using pallets.

Loading beams can be of three different types, each with its specific loading capacity:

Step Beam
Step Beam

Step beams are roll formed horizontal beams with a step at the top inside edge. The steps are used to support steel or wire decking and are not designed for pallets to be loaded directly on the beams. Step beams are, as such, ideal for light- and medium-duty cargo.

Box Beam
Box Beam

Box beams are typically made of Tow C profile steel and shaped with the help of a beam forming machine. For heavy-duty applications, spot welding is used at the joint of two C profile steel sheets for additional beam support. Box beams can support up to 3000kg - 4000kg per level.

Structural Beam
Structural Beam

Structural beams are made from structural C profile steel and are used for extremely heavy loads. They can support up to 5000kg in weight per level.

All beams are mounted onto the upright frame using rivets and hooks. They are also fixed with the help of safety pins or safety spring clips to prevent the beam from falling off the frame.

Footplates, Decking, and Protectors

At the base of upright columns, all pallet racks will feature footplates, which might also be referred to as baseplates or footpads. These accessories come in dimensions that are slightly larger than the rest of the post so as to help anchor the system to the floor, as well as increase overall stability.

Decking is an optional accessory used to support pallets or other items placed on the beams of each individual bay. Solid steel or wire mesh decking can be ordered to suit each specific racking system.

Protectors are optional for most pallet racks, but they can make a handy addition to increase work safety and prevent forklift damage. They are essentially protective plates designed to be anchored against the floor so as to absorb the better part of strikes coming from trucks or forklifts. Since the latter are the most common cause of deterioration in racking systems, protectors are often worth the additional cost. Frame protectors are made to avoid damage to the upright frame coming from the width direction, while post protectors or column protectors are designed to protect the upright posts.

Footplates, Decking, and Protectors

Shims (or level plates) are used when the warehouse floor is uneven. The level plates are positioned under footplates in order to ensure the two upright frames are at the same level. The most common thickness for shims includes 1mm, 2mm, and 3mm.

Row spacers are used to tie the back to back rows together and increase the overall stability of the entire racking system. These accessories can be particularly useful in areas that experience earthquakes frequently.

The wall tie is similar to row spacers in the sense that it provides additional stability, but it used to connect the post next to wall to the warehouse wall for a stronger system overall.

In the case of certain pallet racking systems, such as drive-in pallet racking and narrow aisle pallet racking, floor guiding rails are a necessary component to help guide the forklift driver while they drive in an aisle. This prevents the accidental impact between the racking system and the forklift.

Pallet Rack Component List
Pallets

The pallet is the basic unit of any assembly, handling, storage, and transportation system for products and materials. It consists of a horizontal surface with a bottom deck that allows for specialized vehicles such as forklifts to lift and move it when needed.

A variety of materials can be used in the construction of pallets, including wood, metal, plastic, and even paper. Wood is by far the most common of these because it offers an ideal balance of weight, support capabilities, lifespan, and cost. The material is also easy to recycle and reuse, while some types of wood, such as timber, for instance, are ideal for customization.

Different types of pallets can be used in most pallet racks shelving. In addition to size, some customizable options include:

A choice between stringer or block pallets

Two-way, four-way, or partial four-way entry pallets, which refers to whether the pallets can be accessed by forklifts from two or four sides,

Single or double face pallets, which refers to whether the pallets have one or two decks (for top and bottom) and whether they are reversible.

Forklift Trucks and Trained Personnel

Neither forklift trucks, nor warehouse employees are part of a pallet racking system proper, but they are both nevertheless indispensable for its implementation and use. A forklift truck is a small vehicle that can be used to access higher bays of a pallet storage rack in order to remove or add pallets. Such a vehicle can rely on the operator’s muscle power (in the case of hand pallet trucks, for example) or on an onboard power system of various strengths, sometimes coupled with a counterbalance for heavy-duty loads.

In any case, although automated vehicles are making their way into warehouses, forklifts are still mainly operated by employees, which is why the latter must be properly trained in order to avoid both personal injuries and equipment damage. It’s also a good idea to take the time to instruct your personnel in what concerns the new inventory and storage systems you introduce with the implementation of pallet racking. Naturally, all of this will draw additional financial costs, which should be factored into the total cost of your chosen pallet racks.

Pallet Rack Systems: Advantages

A complete pallet racking system can certainly come as a pricy initial investment, but once it is implemented properly, the advantages far outweigh the cost. Consider, for instance, the following inherent benefits:

01

You currently own a limited warehouse space that you intend to expand for additional storage. Acquiring a new warehouse or extending your existing one can be much more costly than building vertically and occupying more of the already available space. Pallet rack systems work to your advantage because they are ultimately less costly than horizontal expansion. Depending on the height of your warehouse, they can double or even triple your current storage space.

02

When your entire inventory is stored on the floor, the space can easily get messy and employees can have an increasingly difficult time finding and moving the right goods. Warehouse pallet racking can help you pick items off the floor, get everything organized in neat aisles and cross-aisles, and delineate sufficient space for employees to have easy access to each pallet.

03

When your entire inventory is stored on the floor, the space can easily get messy and employees can have an increasingly difficult time finding and moving the right goods. Warehouse pallet racking can help you pick items off the floor, get everything organized in neat aisles and cross-aisles, and delineate sufficient space for employees to have easy access to each pallet.

Pallet Rack Systems from Kingmorack

At Kingmorack, we cater for a great number of businesses and individuals worldwide, so we are well aware of the importance of effective warehouse pallet racking. As such, we offer our customers the possibility to choose from all the above-mentioned racking systems and more. In addition, we customize each order according to the specific characteristics of our clients’ storage spaces in order to achieve optimal solutions.

If you own a warehouse or any type of storage space and wish to optimize your organization and access, contact Kingmorack today and give us the details of your project. With our experience and your vision, we will build the ideal pallet racking system for your needs.

Discuss your order

For more information, quotes, sample and orders, contact Kingmorack today.