The Basics of Revamping and Configuring your Pallet Racking System

The Basics of Revamping and Configuring Your Pallet Racking System

By:  Larry Rausch – Vice President of Sales and Marketing

This post is intended to provide a high-level overview of the basics of revamping and configuring your pallet racking system. There are many more steps if you want to gain a better understanding of varying rack types and configurations. The key considerations include beam and uprights, the product size and the quantities of each that are needed.

Below we have outlined three simple steps to help you understand how to get going when setting up your pallet racking system.

We know that industrial strength racking rarely wears out, but sometimes warehouses and distribution centers change configurations and rearrange their layouts.  Other issues requiring a new layout is if the company gets a new product in and they need to make room for it.

Whatever reason, you will have to rearrange the pallet racking in your warehouse.  Like a giant Erector set, when you modify it, you are going to need more parts that match the set or it won’t work.  Yet you have noticed that some of the pallet racking you already have is no longer made, and the used stuff in that style is harder to find each and every day.

Below we have outlined three simple steps to help you understand how to get going when setting up or revamping your pallet racking system to accommodate growth or increased efficiency.

Understand The Beam and Upright Sizes

Determining the width of your shelving is very important in the planning process. In doing this,  you will have to determine how wide your shelves need to be. For example, if you have a typical pallet, you have 80″ of load on your shelf (based on two pallets per shelf) and with 4″ on each side of each pallet, you will need at minimum a 96″ beam.

Following width, you need to determine the necessary beam capacity. As stated above, once you have the rack width established, you will need to select the correct capacity beams for your load. Each shelf level will require two beams.

Choosing the uprights is as simple as figuring out how many shelf levels you want to have and using your pallet height to determine the needed upright height. Also keep in mind both load and total shelf capacities when choosing the correct upright. Upright depths will be strictly based on the depth of your pallets. You must keep the entire pallet load balanced on the front and rear rack beams.

Clearly Know The Size Of The Product

Start by measuring the width, depth and height of your pallets (typical pallets are 40″ wide x 48″ deep). You will also want to keep a little room between pallets to give yourself leeway when loading and unloading the rack. Keep note of this measurement as the rest of the steps will rely on these figures.

Determining the heaviest load weight is critical. Also important is the weight of the heaviest load you will be storing. Keep in mind, you must also include the weight of the pallet.

Step 3: How Much Do I Need?

Now you can determine the total number of beams and uprights you’ll need for your planned storage system. Remember, you can use one upright as a connecter for multiple bays of rack. Two racks in a row can share a center upright as long as the total shelf and upright capacities are within range.


Based on growth or adding new products, from time to time you may need to revamp or add more pallet racking systems.  The three keys are understanding the size of the products to be shelved, the size of the beams and uprights and how much of each you will need.

We hope this post provided you helpful information as it relates to revamping or adding new pallet racking systems. To speak with one of our technical experts, please call 1-216-229-9300. And thank you for reading our post.

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