Understanding the Basics of Pallet Racking Part-time Job

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Understanding the Basics of Pallet Racking

Shelving for your warehouse can seem unnecessarily complicated for a very straightforward task. From the immense amount of different names for the same, products to the handful of available styles, it can feel like a whirlwind trying to make an informed decision on the subject. At ToyotaLift Northeast, we want to clear things up so you can be sure your company has the proper racking system based on your operation’s needs. Our goal is to break-down only the important elements of pallet racking, alleviating confusion when it comes time to narrow down your specific needs.


Pallet racking seemingly has an endless list of other names. We often hear it referred to as bulk storage racks, storage shelving, teardrop racks, warehouse shelving racks, warehouse racking systems, warehouse mezzanines, warehouse racks, rivet shelving racks, and industrial shelves.


What is Pallet Racking?

Pallet racking is simply a storage system that stores pallets of material in rows on metal shelves. The systems feature multiple levels of shelving that are accessible by forklifts. These systems are used to increase storage density by using vertical space. Think of the benefit of building skyscrapers in a city with limited space as the concept is the same.

The Basic Components of Pallet Racking

Due to its long list of available styles and sizes, pallet racking is an extremely flexible storage option. Pallet racking systems have two main parts, which are upright frames and cross beams.

The upright frames are vertical columns that run from the floor to the top shelf of the system. The upright frame will have a series of holes, allowing the ability to change the shelf size based on needs. The height of a frame should be the height of a loaded pallet + height of a beam + 4 inches for clearance. This number then gets multiplied by the number of levels you need.

The cross beams connect into the upright frame on both ends, creating a shelf for pallets and material to be stored on. It takes two cross beams to make a shelf.


Styles of Pallet Racking

The most popular rack style is teardrop pallet racking. This style utilizes a tear-shaped hole where the crossbeam’s connectors are inserted. The unique shape allows the horizontal beams to be locked to the vertical upright frames for simple slide-in assembly. The teardrop shape allows for the use of boltless beams, making assembly fast and easy as bolts, clips, and fasteners are not needed.

There are two forms of pallet racks made, rolled formed and structural style. The rolled form is made by cutting and rolling cold sheet metal, while structural is made using hot sheet metal. Structural is the stronger and more durable system of the two, but it is more expensive.

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