How To Choose The Right Frames and Beams

pallet rack bay

What kind of pallet rack frames and beams do I need? It’s a question we receive a lot here at Pallet Rack Now. Fortunately, we have answers on how to choose pallet rack. If you have existing racking, and you are looking to add to it, you probably already know the answer to the question. However, if you are just starting to lay out your space, the answers to these questions are essential in figuring out the right solution for your application. 

How to Choose Pallet Rack Frames

1. What are your space restrictions?

The first step to selecting the correct frames is knowing your space measurements. Ceiling height is the first place to start. For smaller layouts – sheds or personal garages – frames ranging from 8-to-12 feet tall are the most common sizes we see utilized. Because the frames dictate how high you can store your product, this is the first piece of information to know.

2. Are you utilizing pallets?

We call it pallet rack for a reason. More often than not, your products are arranged and stored on pallets, which are then stored on pallet racking. It’s not uncommon, however, that we see people forgoing pallets. The standard GMA pallet is 40” wide by 48” deep. If you are using standard pallets, racking manufacturers suggest 42” deep frames. This allows for 3” of overhang on the front and rear of the system. This helps forklift operators rest the pallets on both beams. 

3. What weight capacity do you need?

Frame capacity can be tricky. We list weight capacity on all of our frames assuming 48” beam spacing. But what if you need to utilize spacing that’s different from the assumed 48 inches? We wrote about this specific topic, which you can see here

How to Choose Pallet Rack Beams

1. How many pallets are you putting on a pallet rack shelf level?

For standard pallet racking set-ups, 8-foot beams are great for a two-pallet per level setup. If you are looking to put three pallets per shelf level, 12-foot beams are what you will need. It’s also best to measure the distance between your two frames to get the correct beam length. 

2. What weight capacity do you need for your beams (part two)?

This question needs to be asked of your beams too. The longer the beam, the likelihood of sagging increases if you don’t have even weight distribution. Evenly distributed loads are required and if capacities aren’t met, the system can fail. The taller the beam face, the higher the capacity the beam will support. We do stock specific lengths with various beam face sizes to support a variety of capacities. We also dedicated a whole post to this topic as well, which you can read here

Need additional help on how to choose pallet rack? We have a team of pallet rack experts with decades of experience on hand to answer your questions. If you know what you need, visit our online store. All orders ship within 48 hours of placement and will get to you lightning-fast. 

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