To put it simply, it depends! Lots of factors come in to play when deciding what storage system best suits your operation.

Pallet Rack

  1. Cost
  2. Size of the facility
  3. Clear height of the facility’s ceiling
  4. What type of product is being stored
  5. What size pallets are used
  6. What is the product turn around
  7. What type of fork lift truck is being used

Over the next few weeks we are going to dig a little deeper in to the components of pallet rack and the different types. Knowing this information can help you determine what solution will work best in your facility. To start us off…components.

Pallet Rack 101:

Roll Formed and Structural

Roll formed pallet rack is the most common construction of racking.  It is usually manufactured in the “teardrop” style; teardrop referring to the teardrop shaped holes on the column of the uprights.  It is cold rolled and typically has a rivet connection.  There are few circumstances when roll formed has a bolted connection. This type of pallet rack also tends to be less expensive because it is made up of less steel than structural. Roll formed uses mounting clips that can easily be adjusted to different heights according to load size, which is beneficial for warehouses that store a wide variety of product sizes.

Structural pallet rack is hot rolled.  Its components are almost always bolted together which is how one can easily spot structural versus roll formed pallet rack. The horizontal load beams connect to the uprights with bolts which increases the rack’s weight bearing capacity.  Structural pallet rack is made of thicker steel c-channels, making it the more expensive but durable pallet rack option.  It is most commonly used in warehouses where inventory has a quick turnover because durability is a huge factor when accommodating busy forklift traffic.


  • Vertical bracing columns
  • Depth determined by product size
  • Height determined by clear height in building and forklift capabilities
  • Column size determined by capacity needed
  • Capacity of uprights determined by spacing of beams – spacing beams far apart can create bends in the uprights, closer together makes it stronger
  • Gauge determined by capacity needed


  • Horizontal load supports
  • Length determined by product size
  • Height determined by capacity needed
  • Gauge determined by capacity needed – lower gauge means thicker steel and higher capacity
  • Deflection in beams is how much the beam is designed to bend – deflection is normal!

Row Spacers

  • Flue space connector
  • Layout determines length of row spacer
  • Length determined by flue space dimensions
  • Type determined by upright to be connected to
  • Some row spacers are not interchangeable so be aware when selling used equipment

Pallet Supports

  • Load supports connecting front and back beams
  • Length determined by depth of upright
  • Style and gauge determined by capacity needed

Wire Decking

Wire decking is used in pallet rack and other types of storage rack. Made from steel wire, wire decking gives you the flexibility to store a variety of pallet sizes.  It provides a solid surface while also maintaining an open surface which improves fire safety by enhancing the performance of your overhead sprinkler system. Wire decking is easy to install and is maintenance free.

If you have additional questions, give us a call at 866.474.2001 or contact your sales representative!

3 replies
  1. Tiffany Locke
    Tiffany Locke says:

    Thanks for explaining how pallet racks work and the different components, such as connecting the horizontal load beams to the uprights with bolts in order to increase the weight-bearing capacity. Having the right parts would probably be important to ensure you can set it up properly and use it for your warehouse. In order to do this, you’d probably want to consider what pieces you need and their different aspects, such as the size, to make sure you get a pallet rack you can use.

  2. Julia Cruz
    Julia Cruz says:

    This article is worth a read. A lot of factors should be considered while choosing a pallet racking system for the warehouse. Apart from this, it is also essential to ask professionals to provide proper guidance to select the suitable pallet racking system for the warehouse. After the installation of pallet racking system, regular maintenance should also be provided to prevent the accident which could endanger the safety of workers of the warehouse.

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.