Pallet Rack

Pallet racking is a single or multi-level storage system that is utilized to support high stacking of single items or palletized loads. Pallet rack systems are a fundamental component of any distribution, storage, or material handling operation. Pallet racks allow rapid access to stored materials. Pallet rack systems maximize facility space while simplifying inventory requirements.

Pallet racks are composed of vertical upright frames and horizontal load beams designed specifically for the loads being stored. Upright frames (also called upright columns or uprights) vary in size (height and depth) and design, depending on load requirements. The most common upright column is produced by roll forming flat coil steel. Holes or slots are punched up and down the column in standard intervals during the manufacturing process so that load beams can be mounted onto the upright columns. Upright frames can also be constructed utilizing structural C shapes for columns. Diagonal and horizontal braces are welded or bolted between two upright columns to form upright frames. Footplates, also known as footpads or baseplates, are attached to the base of columns. Footplates provide a means of anchoring the rack to the floor, and also increase the stability of the pallet rack.

Load beams are the horizontal supports in a pallet rack system. They provide the surface storage area where loads are placed on a pallet rack. There are two basic styles; step beams and structural channel beams. Load beams are secured to upright frames, with their heights being adjustable in 2” or 4” increments.

Pallet supports, wood, composite material, sheet metal or wire decking are usually placed on or between the load beams to provide a larger surface area for loads being stored.

Forklift trucks are usually an integral part of any pallet rack system as they are usually required to place and retrieve loaded pallets from the racking system. Recent innovation has allowed pallet racks to be loaded and unloaded using computer controlled cranes or shuttle systems.

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