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How to Build Pallet Racking

Our trained sales people at MHE want to make designing the right pallet rack system for your operation as painless as possible.   The information below details what you need to know for purchasing the right pallet racks the first time.   If you need help in purchasing your pallet racks please don’t hesitate to give us a call.

How To Determine The Correct Length Of Your Pallet Rack Beams

The type of forklift you are using in your operation or the overall product widths of your pallet or palletized products will determine the proper pallet rack beam length for your operation.

 
Counter Balanced Forklifts

A Counter Balanced type forklift can be one you walk behind or one the Operator sits down.  A counter balance lift , particularly the sit down type generally operates best in a minimum travel aisle width of 12 feet.

  • Consider the maximum width of your pallet or load whichever Is greater.  Always give consideration to product hangover that Extends past the width of your pallets.
  • Next you determine how many pallets you want per beam level. 2 or 3 pallets wide is a typical configuration between the upright frames.
  • The typical distance between the upright frames and your loads should be 3”
  • Between the product or pallet edges you will typically leave 4”
Standard Outrigger or Straddle Outrigger Forklifts

 Stand-up Narrow Aisle Forklifts are with outriggers      typically work best in a minimum travel aisle width of  10 foot 6 inches.

  • Consider the maximum width of the forklift outriggers or load whichever is greater. Always give consideration to product hangover that Extends past the width of your pallets.
  • Next you determine how many pallets you want per beam level. 2 or 3 pallets wide is a typical configuration between the upright frames.
  • The typical distance between the upright frames and your loads should be 3”
  • Between the product or pallet edges you will typically leave 4”
Summary:  In this example you will see a total of 10” of additional storage space for a Two (2) pallet configuration.  If you are using a 3 pallet configuration you will have 14” of additional storage space.  If for example your standard pallets are 40” wide and the product does not overhang the 40” width of the pallet, then you could chose a 90” long beam for your application.  It is important to note that in order  to give you flexibility, in a case where some of your pallets will or could have overhang, may we suggest a 96” long beam or a 144” long beam for a 3 pallet wide configuration.  These are the most common size pallet rack beams used in storage applications today.If the forklift outriggers are narrower than the product on the pallet, use the product with as your determining factor.
How To Determine The Correct Pallet Rack Beam Capacity

 Simply take the number of pallets you will be storing per beam level Multiplied by the maximum load weight of each pallet to achieve The required beam capacity “per pair” of pallet rack beams. Example:  2500Lb Pallet weight x 2 pallets=5000lbs.  You would need a beam rated at 5000lbs or More per pair of beams.

In a case where you are only going to have one beam level in your pallet Rack bay it is important to decrease the beam capacity by 15% to account for the reduced end fixity while Using only heavier beams 5 ½” face or greater which have a four hook connector late.

 

How To Determine The Correct Pallet Rack Upright Frame Depth and the appropriate Wall Tie or Row Spacer

  • Pallet Rack Upright Frame Depth:
    Your Pallet Rack Upright Frame should typically be 6” less than the overall length of your pallet stinger.
    Example: If you are using a 48” Long pallet then you would choose an Upright Depth of 42”.  This will
    Allow 3” of overhang of your pallet in the front and rear of the pallet rack bay.
  • Row Spacer & Wall Ties:
    Row Spacers are used to space back to back pallet rack bays while providing rigidity in your pallet rack System.  Wall Ties are used in some cases where you have single bays of pallet racking along a wall for example. -Typical Row spacer length is determined taking the load overhang and multiplying it by 2.
 
  • Pallet Rack Upright Frame Height:
    Start by adding your pallet height and the height of your product together. Next you will add 4” to allow your forklift lift and move the product safely from the pallet Rack system. This is called “Lift Off”.  We recommend 6” of Lift Off at the top beam Level for added safety in avoiding ceiling obstructions such as lighting and sprinklers.
    *Please check your local fire codes for specific requirements. Next you add the Face size of the particular pallet rack beam you will be using. Now you take that total number and multiply it times the number of shelf levels you Require to get the upright frame height needed.  Example:  Pallet is 5” high, Product is 40” high , recommended “Lift Off” is 4” and your beam face if 4” high. This gives you a total Of 53” to the top of your first beam level.  Multiply 53” times a 3 shelf level system and you will need an upright at a minimum of 159” or 13’3” high.  Uprights are only required to go as high as necessary to accommodate our to beam level.
  • Pallet Rack Upright Frame Capacity: 
    You first determine the total weight to be stored for all beam / shelf levels Example:  3 Levels at 5000lbs each =15,000lbs stored per pallet rack bay Requiring a minimum upright capacity of 15,000lbs. If our requirements are close to the maximum capacity me we suggest going to the larger capacity upright for added
    safety and assurance.  Upright capacities go down based on the height of your first beam location/vertical spacing.
    Consideration the vertical beam spacing must be considered when determine the correct Upright frame required for your application.  Corresponding drawing to the right obviously. If you have any questions on this will please let me know.