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Choosing the Best Size, Height, and Load Rating for Your Pallet Racking: A Practical Guide

13 Oct, 2023
Choosing the right pallet racking for your warehouse is crucial for maximising efficiency and storage capacity. Our step-by-step guide covers the essentials in selecting the best size, height, and load rating, ensuring a perfect fit for your operational needs and space.

Pallet racking comes in different heights, depths, beam lengths and load ratings. It can then be configured to suit your product, operational needs and your available storage space. 

Selecting the right size, height, and load rating for your pallet racking system is essential to maximise your warehouse’s storage capacity and efficiency. Whether you are setting up a new warehouse or revamping an existing one, making informed decisions about your storage solutions is crucial. In this blog post, we will guide you through the key factors to consider when choosing the best size, height, and load rating for your pallet racking system.

1. Assess Your Warehouse Space

Before diving into specific size and height considerations, start by thoroughly assessing your warehouse space. Take accurate measurements of the floor area and the available vertical space. Consider any obstacles such as support columns, doorways and fire safety equipment. By understanding your warehouse dimensions, you can determine the optimal size and height for your pallet racking system. For assistance with this process in Sydney, you can Book a site consultation with Total Racking Systems leveraging their 40 years of experience and knowledge.

2. Pallet Size and Product Dimensions

The size of the pallets you use and the dimensions of your products will influence the pallet racking requirements. Measure the width, depth, and height of your typical pallets, including the load they will carry. Additionally, consider the dimensions of the products you intend to store on the pallets. This information will help you choose pallet racking with appropriately sized beams and frames to accommodate your inventory.

3. Racking Frame Height & Frame Depths

Pallet Racking Frames come in various heights and bear the full load of the racking system, playing a critical role in its strength, safety and performance. 

To optimise space and costs, choose a frame height of at least 1.5 metres or the height of your tallest pallet plus 500 mm clearance from the ceiling. 

Total Racking Systems can design frames tailored to your warehouse, allowing for maximum vertical height while accommodating your product dimensions. Standard Australian pallets are 1165mm x 1165mm x 150mm, and pallet racking frames are typically 840mm deep, sufficient to store these pallets. However, if you plan to store international pallets with different sizes, a deeper frame may be required, and Total Racking Systems can design and supply racking to suit international pallet standards.

4. Racking Beam Lengths

Beams in a pallet racking system support the pallets and are spaced to allow them to “lock” into place securely. 

The beam lengths for your racking depends on the following factors:

  1. How tightly the pallets are packed
  2. Pallet width
  3. Warehouse length available

Australian Standard Pallet Size

If you use only Australian standard pallets and pack them tightly, without overhang on either side, a 2590mm beam could be suitable. However, if the pallets have a slight overhang, a 2740mm beam should be used. 

Longer beam can be used to store 2 pallets on a beam, reducing the number of frames required and saving costs. 

For odd-length loads, a combination of different beam lengths may be necessary, and Total Racking Systems can design a racking system that caters for your different products and available space while ensuring smooth inventory flow. 

Smaller beam lengths are also available to maximise pallet positions for single pallet positions with heavier loads.

5. Weight and Load Capacity

Load rating is a critical factor in selecting the right pallet racking system. Ensure that the racking’s load capacity is sufficient to handle the weight of your products and pallets, considering both static and dynamic loads, as well as future inventory growth. 

At Total Racking Systems we provide loading certification generated from our in-house proprietary software tool, guaranteeing load capacity and strength for every racking configuration. These are recorded on safe load signs and attached to our racking installations. Always adhere to the specified load limit to maintain the safety and integrity of the system.

6. Ceiling Height and Fire Safety

Determine the height of your pallet racking based on your warehouse’s ceiling height and fire safety regulations. Leave adequate clearance between the top of the highest rack and the ceiling to comply with fire safety codes and allow proper sprinkler system coverage. Striking a balance between maximising vertical space and ensuring safety compliance is crucial.

7. Accessibility and Aisle Width

Consider the type of forklifts or handling equipment used in your warehouse. Ensure the aisle width between pallet racks is wide enough to accommodate the equipment and allow for safe and efficient movement. Choose from single-aisle, double-aisle, or narrow-aisle configurations based on your specific needs and warehouse layout.

8. Consider Future Expansion

Anticipate future growth and expansion when selecting the size, height, and load rating for your pallet racking system. Opt for modular racking designs, like the ones supplied by Total Racking Systems, that can be easily extended or reconfigured to adapt to your evolving business needs. This scalability will save you time and money in the long run, avoiding the need to replace the entire system when you require more storage space.

9. Seek Expert Guidance

Choosing the best size, height, and load rating for your pallet racking system can be complex, especially if you are new to warehouse operations. Don’t hesitate to seek guidance from storage solution experts like Total Racking Systems. Their analysis of your warehouse layout, product specifications, and growth projections will recommend the most suitable pallet racking system for your business.

Selecting the right size, height, and load rating for your Colby pallet racking system is crucial for optimising your warehouse’s storage capacity and efficiency. By carefully assessing your warehouse space, considering pallet and product dimensions, evaluating weight and load capacity, and factoring in future expansion, you can make an informed decision that supports your business’s growth and ensures a safe and well-organised warehouse environment. Consulting with experts like Total Racking Systems ensures you have the best storage solution for your unique requirements.

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