Pallet Rack Components: Anatomy of a Warehouse Storage System

Posted on May 31, 2022
Damotech - Rack Safety
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Your pallet racks play a crucial role in the productivity of your warehouses and distribution centers. When used safely, they optimize storage space and allow for fast and easy retrieval of stored items.

The size and complexity of storage systems vary significantly from one warehouse to another. Despite the variations between structures, one fact remains: pallet racking systems are made up of many components that, when put together, contribute to their stability and functionalities.

When your pallet racks are damaged, it can be challenging to address the situation if you don't know the exact term for the affected component. Online searches for replacement or repair solutions could become more complex.

This article outlines the various components of a storage system to help you proactively repair or replace damaged parts in your pallet racking systems.

Upright, upright columns and pallet rack braces

A pallet rack consists of uprights, which are themselves made up of various components:

Pallet rack columns, horizontal brace, diagonal brace

  • Upright columns: These are the two vertical components to which the braces are welded. The beams of the pallet racking are also attached to them to create the appropriate space for the loading of the pallets.

  • Horizontal and diagonal braces: These components connect the uprights together. Configured to contribute to the stability of the pallet rack system, the braces vary in number, depending on the height of the ladder.

Given their pivotal role in the stability of a rack, braces that have become deformed due to damage should be closely monitored. In addition to expert audits of your storage systems, several resources can help you proactively identify and manage the damage.

The overall structure you get by combining the two columns (front and rear) and the braces is called an upright. The depth of an upright can vary depending on the type of storage system.

Baseplates and anchors

Pallet rack baseplate and anchors

  • Baseplates are welded to the base of a racking column or repair unit to distribute the weight of the racking on the ground and allow it to be securely anchored with anchor bolts.

  • Anchors (or anchor bolts) are used to secure the pallet rack system to the building floor to maintain its position. Standards require that the racking system be anchored to the floor with at least one anchor per baseplate.

    This configuration allows the racking system to withstand better forces, such as earthquakes, wind, or accidental impacts on the lower ends of the columns.

5 Strategies to Improve Rack Safety Recorded Webinar

Beams, beam clips, and safety bars

Pallet rack beams, beam clips, and safety bars

  • Beams are the horizontal structural components of the pallet racking system. They support the weight of stored loads (often palletized) and transfer it to the columns to which they are connected. To ensure the integrity of your pallet racking system, it is essential to monitor the pallet rack beam deflection or sagging when heavy loads are placed on them.

  • The beams are attached to the columns with beam clips.

  • Safety bars are supported by the front and rear beams of pallet racks, which are intended to support misplaced pallets temporarily. Although optional, they are recommended to help prevent falling pallets. They can help prevent accidents that can seriously injure employees and damage merchandise or storage systems.

Pallet rack load capacity plaque

  • A bay refers to the space between two vertical columns in a pallet rack system.

Anatomy of a pallet rack-image6-1

  • Typically placed at the end of an aisle, the load capacity plaque is a method of signage intended to indicate the rated load capacity of the rack and the maximum weight it can hold.

    It should include the maximum beam capacity, the maximum bay capacity, and the rack manufacturer's information. Moreover, a reference to drawing(s) or other approved documents that establish the maximum permissible load for a given rack bay can be included on the plaque. It should be placed where operators can read it. If all the information contained in the load plaque is standard for a bay, the aisle, or a section of the rack, one plaque is sufficient for that area.

  • The cell is the compartment or space between two columns, on the same beam level, which usually accommodates two pallet positions.

Pallet rack cell

Knowing the components of your pallets for better maintenance

Given the fast pace of operations, damage to storage systems is inevitable in all warehouses. The safety of your employees, merchandise, materials, and the building depends on paying close attention to your pallet racking systems because when their integrity is affected, the risk of collapse increases.

The best way to prevent accidents is to know the various components of your racking system. You will then be able to repair or replace the damaged parts more efficiently.

Want an inspection report on the health of your pallet racks? Get a pricing quote from our experts.

5 Strategies to Improve Rack Safety Recorded Webinar

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Welcome to the world of Damotech, the first and largest rack safety solutions specialist in North America. With its lines of rack protection and repair products, Damotech strives to put an end to the endless cycle of upright replacement by focusing on warehouse safety and the permanent elimination of recurring rack damage. Through our engineering services, we will help create a safer working environment for you and your employees, bringing you true peace of mind while saving you money in the process.


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