Beam Load Capacity Guide

The beam load capacity of your pallet racking is one of the most important details to determine when it comes to designing and utilizing the configuration of your warehouse storage. On one hand, if you store material that is far too light for what your beam can store, then you are overengineered and you probably paid too much for the beams in your facility. On the other hand, if you disregard the beam’s capacity limit, you are creating an unsafe work environment, putting your employees, facility, and stored materials at risk of damage and/or injury.

Key Variables for Determining Beam Load Capacity

When it comes to determining the right pallet rack for you, there are seven key variables that should be considered:

  1. Material cost
  2. Facility size
  3. Clearance height of the building
  4. Product type
  5. Pallet size
  6. Order frequency per SKU
  7. Type of forklift used

In the table below, you can find a “ballpark figure” guide to determining your beam capacity, based on the length of the beam and the thickness of the steel used to manufacture the beam. However, each beam has several variables that should be considered when it comes to determining your beam capacity.

Beams capacities can vary as much as 20% based on the manufacturer, the quality of steel used, and the specifications that were used when the beam was initially ordered. When it comes to pre-owned equipment, you should also consider the wear and tear conducted on the beam, how often the beam was damaged by forklifts, and the weight of the products that were previously stored upon the beams.

To be sure you know your exact capacity, contact one of our Storage Solutions experts. We work with all of the leading steel manufacturers in the United States and many abroad and have expertise in mixing and matching different manufacturers’ materials to reach the capacities required by your storage configuration and products stored.

The chart below is broken into two different styles of racking, which represent the overwhelming majority of beams used in warehouses, fulfillment centers, and distribution centers: structural and roll-formed.

Beam Load Capacity Guide:

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