How to Measure Pallet Racking and Basic Terms

Seems simple enough – "tell me about your pallet racking?" But over and over we find ourselves explaining in detail how to identify the racking that someone Is looking for... 

First a quick glossary of terms: 

Pallet Racking – System that is designed to set and extract palleted product.Most commonly used with fork lifts or stock picking cranes

Roll Formed Racking – Pallet Racking that starts as sheet steel, then is rolled to a shape and welded or bolted together

Structural Racking – Pallet Racking that manipulated milled steel product (primarily "C" channel and angle) welded.Beams are often bolted to uprights.

Upright - Vertical member that act as "ends" – Beams attach to Uprights

Beams – Attach to uprights and pallets normally set on a pair of beams (front and back). Occasionally referred to as "horizontals"

Beam Length – Distance between two upright columns

Beam Face – Height of beam – Normally from 2.75" – 6"

Upright Width or Face – Literal width of upright – most common is 3" or 4"

Upright Depth – outside to outside / front to back of upright

Of course, there are many variations than the simplified list above, but this is a good foundation.

Second:  How do you measure a beam and upright ? 

The most common struggle is in determining beam length. The overall length of the beam, including the attachment clip to upright is longer than what is described as the beam's length. It is natural to just measure the out to out dimension of a beam. But this is a mistake – a beam's length is the distance between the uprights when installed. This distance is most commonly and even increment of 4' 8', 9', 10', 11' or 12'. There are variations due to odd sized pallets or better stated, a very consistent, known pallet size that a system can be designed specifically for.

The downsize to odd increment beam lengths is availability. When approximately 95% of the market is standard lengths the 5% left will have to wait and pay more to get additional smaller quantities of product.

Uprights - not as confusing.  Overall dimensions - Measure from front to back and overall height.  That's it ! 

For more information check out   or call 770-458-4346

Pallet Rack Aisle Spacing
Pallet Rack Permitting

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