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A guide to configuring pallet rack systems.

A guide to configuring pallet rack systems.


The pallet racking system may seem difficult to configure, but here are some simple steps to fit your load weights, available space and operational needs. Here are pallet racking guidelines to set up and configure your pallet racks.

Determine Beam Factors:

1. You’ll need to determine the load depth, width and height of your largest load. For the height, add the height of the load and pallet together to get the total.
2. Determine the weight of the heaviest load you will be storing. You must also include the weight of your pallet in total weight.
3. To determine the beam width (assumes based on 2 pallets per beam): Multiply the load width x2 and add 12″. For example: If load width is 40″. 2 x 40″ = 80″+12″=92″ beam length. If needed, round up to the next highest beam length.
4. Once you have the rack width check the correct beam capacity to make sure that the specified beams will carry the planned load. Each shelf requires two beams and beam capacities are calculated per pair, not per beam therefore do not exceed beam capacity.

Determine upright height and depth:

1. To determine the front to rear depth of your uprights, subtract 6″ from your pallet depth.
2. Selecting the uprights can be as simple as figuring out how many shelf levels you want to have. Use your pallet height to determine the required upright height. You must keep in mind both load and total shelf capacities when selecting the correct upright.
3. Upright depths are strictly based on the depth of your pallets. You must keep the entire pallet load balanced on the front and back rack beams.
4. If you are using a pallet for the ground level, then your height may also increase slightly.


Different types of pallet racking configuration.

Why do you need configuration? The right warehouse rack configurations can keep your company running smoothly and profitable. There are various types of racking available with each having its own benefits, accessibility and storage capabilities. Here are different types of configurations:

  • Pallet Flow Racking: Pallet flow racking is designed for First-In-First-Out (FIFO) setups, ideal for high-velocity throughput operations that require help managing their SKUs. Featuring an inclined rack on which pallets glide due to installed rollers, pallets of products can easily flow from receiving to unloading in a controlled manner. This type of racking needs specialized racking materials and careful pallet racking configuration because of the slope and unique rollers.
  • Selective Racking: Selective racking offers a generous amount of accessibility when in comparison to other pallet rack configurators supporting the first in, first out (FIFO) model. Selective racking allows only one-unit-deep pallet loads to be stored side-by-side making all pallets accessible from the aisle.
  • Drive-in Racking: Drive-In pallet racking is ideal for storing seasonal goods or chilled products while maximizing storage space. A drive-in rack system creates efficiencies by eliminating aisle loading and unloading times yet allowing greater access in comparison to block-stacking.
  • Carton Flow Racking: Carton flow racking utilizes shelves equipped with rollers or wheels which allows products and materials to flow from the rear of the rack to the front. Both carton flow racking and pallet flow racking are ideal when a first-in/first-out system is required.
  • Mobile Racking: Mobile racking can be the ideal option if you want to save space and increase storage capacity. This style of rack is suitable when there is slow moving inventory and limited footprint for racking providing technical superiority and total flexibility.

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