Pallet Racking Information

Pallet racking systems are essential to the new modern warehouse and retail centres and many other facilities. The pallet racking systems provide efficient storing and moving of goods. This can vary largely depending on the space available. The pallet racking systems, space utilisation is key to achieve the best results and solutions. This is also known as maximum storage density.

A pallet racking system have a lot of structural components for it to work. The pallets rest upon a horizontal strut also known as a beam. This means that beams mount onto the upright frame column, then place clips or bolt into the upright and beam, known as pallet support. You also get diagonal and horizontal braces welded into the frame giving it that extra strength, stability and rigidity. This is the basis of a pallet racking system.


What wire decks do in pallet racking is they act as a support platform that distributes the load more evenly. In a typical warehouse the pallet racking system, wire decking makes it easy to identify the content and the holes in the mesh prevent from any nasty dirt or debris to get to the content. The good thing about wire mesh decking is that it comes in a variety of types and dimensions. However on a pallet racking system footplates support the racking at the column bases. This means that the footplates are bolted into the concrete floor, the bolts are made from thick steel, they act like an anchor to keep the racks stable. We also put in if needed something called a shim which is installed under the uprights, this keeps the racking level when placed onto uneven flooring.

Pallet racking uprights

The uprights are normally arranged back-to-back rows in a common pallet racking system, however sometimes we use row space. These are mounted between the columns, the purpose of this row spacers are to keep the rows straight. They also have the purpose to strengthen the pallet racking and also increase its stability. Wall ties also add further support when the uprights are arranged along a wall they serve the same purpose to add strength and stability.  Column protectors are put around the base of the upright to minimize damage where fork trucks might be bumping into the upright, this is put into place because if you hit the base of an upright you may have damaged it enough for it all to collapse making your pallet racking system really weak, by using these column protectors this stops that risk from happening and is highly advised if fork trucks or any heavy machinery is going to be nearby.

Types of pallet racking

There are different types of pallet racking systems it really depends upon what your needs are. The most common type of pallet racking is the wide aisle racking, this is used for storing palletised loads. Having the wide aisle allows really easy access but it may also take up 40% of your floor space. The good thing about wide aisle pallet racking is that you don’t need any specialised handling equipment and supports each pallet. Each pallet is really easy to get to so this means that you will have a fast throughput and efficient loading and unloading system.

Narrow aisle pallet racking system

Narrow aisle pallet racking system is great if the space you have is at a premium and you require a dense storage solution system. Normally a reduction in aisle width is around 1.8 meters which means the floor space is much better utilised, which makes it an increase of 45% more than the average standard aisle.

Drive in pallet racking system

A Drive in Pallet Racking System is a very high and effective way to store pallets in your warehouse. The good part of a Drive in Pallet Racking System is that it does not require any aisles, this system needs a much smaller footprint than the other conventional wide aisle pallet racking system. However the not so good side of the drive in pallet racking system is that it’s very selective. However if you’re a company that despatches or receives in bulk then this Pallet Racking System is the perfect system for you.

Push back pallet racking system

A push back pallet racking system uses special racking beams and fabricated sub frames that run from the front to the back of each bay, which all have wheels that run in the tracks. You will see that the rear beam is slightly higher than the front beam, this means that the sub frame comes to rest at the face of the bay. When a fork truck comes to put the first pallet in the bay, it will rest upon the sub frame.  When you put a second pallet in, it will push the first pallet back. This basically mean that when the front pallet is removed, the others roll slowly and really safely forward. The good part of push back racking is that it enables areas of rack backing onto a wall to be fully utilised. It also combines the benefits of drive-in racking with the pallet live storage. The push back pallet racking system means pallets can be available up to five deep from one face and this makes it really ideal for order picking operations.

Powered mobile

Powered mobile pallet racking system comprises conventional pallet racking fixed onto a steel framed base. Tracks that are set into the floor allow the base to move on electrically powered wheels. The good part of this system is that it allows users to move along the racking, creating access aisle. The powered mobile pallet racking system utilises up to 80% more floor space than a wide aisle system, but also retaining access to every pallet.  By using special high –speed cranes on the rails to move the pallets, this means that users can build pallet racking systems taller and a lot narrower to make the space much more efficient. The cranes, which can also be controlled by computers, move vertically and horizontally simultaneously, which creates very fast loading and unloading. The best part of this system is that it uses convoys and automated guided vehicles so that it will reduce your staff costs considerably.

Pallet racking regulations

When you have so many different types and suppliers of pallet racking systems making the right decision for your company is essential.  As well as taking into consideration the cost effectiveness and efficiency, there is also health and safety. This part is governed by the Storage Equipment Manufacturers Association (SEMA) and the British Safety Standards (BBS). For any type of pallet racking installation, there are two kinds of strengths, the first is the raw materials used to make the racking itself. There are many recommendations made by SEMA for materials specifications, this includes the hot and cold formed steel sections that will be acceptable and appropriate to the British Safety Standards. The second part is the actual installation of the pallet racking system itself.

Having a little bit of flex and bend in the racking is normal in most of the racks, but the users must be aware of the restrictions. Pallet racking systems the will support timber pallets may might not support the heavier post pallets. This is due to the beam centres. In one case a certain pair of beams could have a one tonne capacity, under another, the same looking pair could only have a 3/4 – tonne pallet capacity load. On the regular, manufactures normally state the safe loading limits for a pair of beams. However frames that are consisting of pairs of uprights braced together also have load limits. The ones that are exceeding these will endanger the stability of the pallet racking installation process.

Manufactures should and will state frame load limits, but there are three major factors to take into consideration:

• Beam spacing- this means that the further they are away from each other, the lower the loading capacity.
• The beam size and the number of beam levels to a bay that you are wanting.
• The number of bays along the length of the racking you want.

These first two factors will determine the overall stability of the racking. However there are also special design rules governing the frame loads for single bay and single beam level racks. Really the manufacture should be consulted before any beams are adjusted or removed, before any physical alterations are made to uprights or bracings. This means that the height to depth ratio is really important when assessing the pallet racking system stability. The height of a rack is for the purpose of assessing the height-to-depth ratio. The height of the topmost loaded beam is important.

When fixing the racking to the floor this becomes vital when using fork trucks in a pallet racking system. It is bound to happen and over time the racking will get bumped into and in some cases if not fixed into the floor it may topple over. How a rack is fixed down to the floor is dependant on the height and depth ratio. So the way to know what needs fixing to the floor is if it exceeds 6:1, only the perimeter uprights need fixing to the floor, however if it is over 6:1 but under 10:1  all the uprights need fixing to the floor.

If you find that the height/depth ratio of the pallet racking system exceeds 10:1 this means that each frame must be restrained by connections to other solid and safe structures, which will provide a substantial support if necessary. You need to maintain pallet racking properly for it to be safe. There tends to be a certain amount of abuse typically when there is a high turnaround and rapid movement of goods, this particularly happens in wide aisle pallet racking system that are using reach or counterbalance trucks. When loading or unloading pallets in poor conditions is far more hazardous. So if you have clean floors, skilled forklift drivers and the forklifts are well maintained, this will help considerably to keep your pallet racking systems safe.

Qualified personnel should carry out regular inspections of the pallet racking system installation. We would expect that workers would report accidents immediately, so that the repair work can take place sharply. The common hazards that will require attention are:

• The racks that are not angled properly
• Spillage of goods
• Greasy slippery floors
• Forklift truck deficiencies
• Miss location of beam connectors
• Loose fixings
• Damaged pallets
• Damage that changes the original cross-section profile of any main load bearings.
• Damage that has weakened jointed members
• Dislodgment of accessories

contact usSometimes damage can be un-repairable and certain sections of the racking will need replacing. The areas to look out for include:

Choosing the right pallet racking system installation is vital. A good and well established racking supplier will be provided with professional advice. A well-built pallet racking system will bring enormous benefits, including safe efficient running working environment. UK Racking LTD supplies a range of pallet racking.