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Unlocking the Essentials: Six Key Facts About Pallet Racks

21 Aug, 2023
Unlock the essentials of pallet racking with our guide, highlighting six critical facts. From choosing the right distributor to understanding Australian standards, we provide valuable insights to ensure your pallet racking meets both your operational needs and compliance requirements

If you manage a company that requires organised inventory storage space, you may have found yourself searching Google for a quick, simple pallet-racking solution that you can install and forget about.

However, if you’re situated in Sydney, you’ll quickly realise that this seemingly straightforward task can be more complex than anticipated. Finding the right pallet rack solution that meets your specific storage needs and complies with Australian standards and local building codes can be challenging, but not impossible.

At Total Racking Systems, we specialise in providing our clients with the perfect storage solutions that fit their budget and adhere to local building code requirements. As a distributor of Colby Racking, we walk our clients through six essential steps to ensure they get precisely the solution that’s right for them:

Step 1: Choose a Pallet Racks Distributor, Not a Manufacturer

When seeking a pallet rack solution, it’s important to work with a trusted distributor like Total Racking Systems. Our storage experts have in-depth knowledge of Colby Racking products, offering solutions tailored to your needs. We ask you the right questions, so we gain an understanding of your:

  • accessibility requirements,
  • product shelf life
  • local building codes,
  • seismic considerations.

Our storage experts collaborate to tackle your storage challenges effectively, resulting in a well-suited and durable pallet rack solution.

Step 2: Installing New Pallet Racks or Adding to Existing Racks?

The next step in obtaining the right pallet racking solution is to determine whether you need to install new racks or expand on your existing ones.

New rack installations

For new installations, we’ll need information about the storage space’s dimensions and conditions, including soil reports and sprinkler systems.

Add to existing racks

If you’re looking to add to existing pallet racking, providing details and pictures of your current setup, especially where the upright meets the beam, will help us find a suitable match.

What are You Storing?

Understanding what you need to store is essential in choosing the right storage solution.

If you pick products by hand, shelving might be the best option for you.

On the other hand, if you use forklifts, pallet racking is the way to go.

Determining the number of pallets or boxes you need to store and whether they are uniformly sized or differ in dimensions will further refine the selection process.

What are the Weights and Sizes of Your Pallets?

Knowing the weights and sizes of your pallets is critical to designing a safe and efficient pallet racking system. By providing this information, as shown below, our storage experts can recommend suitable beam heights and capacities to accommodate your inventory.

pallet load depth, width, height

Know the Australian Standards for Pallet Racks in Sydney

When installing pallet racks, adhering to Australian Standards AS4084-2023 is compulsory. At Total Racking Systems, we ensure that the pallet racking solutions we offer comply with all relevant local standards.

AS4084 has been split into 2 parts. Australian Standards are now AS4084.1:2023 and 4084,2:2023. Previously, there was only 1 part formally known as AS4084-2012. The new standards AS4084.1:2023 Steel Storage Racking Design and AS4084,2:2023 Steel Storage Racking Operation and Maintenance are both available for purchase from SAI Global.

AS 4084.1:2023

The AS4084.1:2023 provides designers of steel storage racking with specifications for hot-rolled and cold-formed steel structural members used for action-carrying purposes.

AS 4084.2:2023

The AS4084.2:2023 provides for the safe operation, inspection and maintenance of steel storage racking. Storage racking invariably coexists with material handling equipment. This Standard aims to minimise the risks associated with the unsafe use of steel storage racking

Some of the things that have changed include:

  • 12 month inspections of all selective pallet racking are now mandatory.
  • Racking inspection can only be carried out by external parties, who are competent people
  • Records of all racking inspections and racking repairs need to be maintained by the owner of the racking
  • A range of new damage types have been identified including seismic loads, that now need to be assessed and recorded.

Know the Lingo:

Pallet Rack Terminology

Familiarising yourself with pallet rack terminology can expedite the selection process. Key terms to be aware of include:


The beam is a horizontal structural component that connects and supports the storage of pallets. Beams are typically made of steel and are installed between the uprights or frames of the pallet racking system.

The primary function of beams is to provide a platform for pallets to be stored and accessed. They create levels or tiers within the racking system on which pallets can be placed. Depending on the design and configuration of the pallet racking, multiple beams can be installed at different heights to accommodate various pallet sizes and load capacities.

Beams are commonly adjustable, allowing for easy customisation and adaptation to different storage needs. This adjustability allows users to modify the height and spacing between levels to optimize the storage capacity for their specific inventory.

When selecting beams for a pallet racking system, it is important to consider the weight capacity required to safely store the intended load. Beams are designed to support a specific weight capacity per pair, which should not be exceeded to maintain the safety and integrity of the racking system.

Overall, beams serve as the main horizontal support structure in pallet racking, enabling efficient and organised storage of goods in warehouses, distribution centres, and other storage facilities.

Beam Locking Device or Beam Connector:

A beam locking device or beam connector is a component used to secure the horizontal beams to the uprights. These connectors play a crucial role in ensuring the stability and safety of the racking system.

The beam locking device typically consists of a locking pin or clip that slots into holes on the uprights and beams. This locking mechanism helps to prevent accidental dislodgement or movement of the beams, especially when heavy loads are being stored or retrieved.

By securely connecting the beams to the uprights, the beam locking devices help distribute the weight evenly across the entire racking system. This ensures that the system can handle the load capacity specified for the design.

Upright or Frame:

An upright or frame refers to the vertical structural component of the system. It is typically made of steel and provides support for horizontal beams, shelves, and pallets.

Uprights are placed at regular intervals along the length of the rack, forming the main vertical structure. They are designed to withstand the weight of the load and ensure the stability and durability of the pallet racking system. Understanding the height and depth of the uprights will aid in designing the ideal pallet racking system.


Investing in the right pallet racking solution is crucial for any business that requires organised inventory storage space.

By following these 6 key steps and partnering with Total Racking Systems, specialising in Colby Racking, you can guarantee a pallet racking system that fits your individual requirements, is compliant with Australian standards and local regulations, and facilitates the expansion of your business.

Don’t hesitate to contact our storage experts to get started on finding the perfect pallet-racking solution for your Sydney business today.

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