Top Industrial Shelving FAQ’s

Industrial shelving and racking are uniquely different and it’s important to understand the differences between them via the Top Industrial Shelving FAQ’s. Consider the height, depth and length needed, depending on the pallets you plan to store and the available retrieval equipment. Properly installing and using pallet rack systems requires due care and diligence.

What’s the difference between shelving and racking?

Racking is usually wider and deeper than shelving, and you typically stack racked items higher than shelved ones. Shelving systems hold material collected manually, including small boxes, books and accessories. Additionally, some shelving provides under-counter surfaces to display or organize items. Racking systems typically contain many heavier items, such as pallets, heavy boxes and crates, that require forklifts and other assistive machinery. Therefore, racking materials must withstand frequent access by machinery and heavy loads. Think of the shelves you see in a grocery store. Customers and employees can access items without assistive machines.

What is pallet racking?

Pallet rack makes it easy to store materials on pallets. All pallet racking supports palletized materials in rows at different levels. Forklifts typically retrieve palletized items. Pallet rack maximizes capacity by using available vertical space. You can use these systems to improve organization and throughput.

What is cantilever racking?

Cantilever racking is used to store products of unusual length. This includes long pipes and rods. Long arms stick out from a metal framework to support awkward, bulky items. No front column is needed which provides easy access to products.  

What is the most common type of pallet rack?

Teardrop pallet rack is the most widely used around the world. “Teardrop” describes the holes in the racking frame. The shape has a circular top for easy clearance and a U near the bottom. The rivet on the end connectors seats in the bottom of the upside-down teardrop.  Included safety locks ensure the beams won’t disengage when bumped or tapped.  

What size is a pallet rack?

Pallet rack units are typically called bays.  Each bay of pallet rack can be 36”, 42” or 48” deep and 96”, 108”, 120” and 144” wide.  Upright heights range from 8’ high to 16’ high.

What’s a standard pallet size?

Pallet sizes vary widely. In the U.S, 40” x 48” is considered standard.

How do you determine the right rack size?

Allow a minimum of 3″ clearance between pallet(s) and uprights. For example, two 48″ wide pallets would require 108″ long load beams. Two beams are needed for each shelf.  Height is typically determined by your forklift capabilities, pallet height and/or ceiling height.  Depth is determined by your pallet depth.  Pallets should rest directly on the beams. 

What is “pallet position”?

Pallet position represents the space needed to hold one pallet. Typically, you need minimum 3″ between pallets, so this increases the calculation for pallet position capacity.

What’s the best way to calculate the pallet rack capacity?

Determine the heaviest pallet you will store.  For example, 2,500 lbs. Multiply this by the number of positions per level. For a 96″ beam, you have a maximum capacity of two pallet positions on each level. Capacities of a 96” beam range from 3,500 lbs to 7,000 lbs per pair based on evenly distributed loads.

Do you need to anchor pallet racks?

The ANSI/RMI standards state that all rack uprights should be anchored with at least one anchor per upright column. Depending on the anchor type, two to four anchors can be installed.  An engineer can determine exactly what is needed for anchoring based on your slab information, height and loads.  Each city/county also has their own set of guidelines.

What are some benefits of ActionWP pallet rack?

Action’s pallet rack is interchangeable with most other teardrop-style pallet rack systems.  Beams are adjustable every 2” which gives great flexibility.  No bottom beam or shelf is required; items can be placed directly on the floor.  Pallet rack can be used as a single free-standing unit or connect with other units with a shared upright. 

How is pallet racking put together?

Watch this Action Wholesale Products video on how to assemble pallet racks.

How much weight does Wire Mesh Decking hold?

Wire Mesh Decking is an option to create shelving out of your pallet rack.  Each level of wire mesh decking is made of two or more smaller panels.  Each wire mesh deck panel has a capacity of 2,500 lbs.