Step By Step Guide On Measuring Pallet Racking

Supplier: Abbott Storage Systems By: Larissa
25 May, 2020

Do you know how pallet racking is measured? Maybe you need a to organise an install, reconfiguration or conduct repairs on the racking of your workshop or warehouse. But you don’t see the need for a s

Sometimes it can be a challenge to request a pallet racking quote over the phone or email. The language used between a racking supplier and yourself can vary. Thus, making it difficult to gain understanding between both parties. 

With our step by step guide we take you through the correct method to measuring out your racking. Included is the terminology to use so that you can identify the components of your racking structure.

Steps to Measuring Your Pallet Racking

  • Determine the Racking Supplier
  • Measure Your Bay Width
  • Determine the Beam Sizing
  • Calculate the Frame Sizing
  • Assess the Bay Configuration
  • Determining the Pallet Racking Configuration

Determining Your Racking Supplier

Many pallet racking brands are interchangeable. However, it is not best practice to combine different brands of racking.

In order to provide a quote to match the racking in your warehouse, you need to determine who the manufacturer is of the racking in your warehouse. There is possibly a imprint of a brand name on the beams. A Beam is the horizontal elements that support the weights placed on the racking system. Otherwise check for a supplier name listed on the load sign.

Still not sure what brand your racking is? No problem, send us a photo of the Beam connection to the frame. Then we can determine that for you.

Measuring Your Bay Width

Bay Width is what is known as the length of a beam. The measurement of a Bay Width is taken between the insides of the frames. A Frame is the structure in which beams slot into.

With a new racking fitout of a warehouse or workshop, the pallet sizes you will be storing on the racking will determine the bay width you require.

There are many standard beam sizes available for many racking suppliers. As a guide many can supply any beam sizes between 1200mm and 3900mm. Standard sizes that we stock at Abbott include:

  • 1372mm
  • 1829mm
  • 2591mm
  • 2743mm
  • 3048mm
  • 3200mm
  • 3658mm
  • 3810mm

Bay Width

Determine the Beam Sizing

The pallet racking in your warehouse can handle the weights that are set out in the Safe Working Load (SWL) signs. These are on the end of your racking aisles. It is critical to adhere to these load limits. It is also known as Universally Distributed Load (UDL). To determine the load limit required, work out the weight of what will be placed on a single Beam Level. Which is two beams adjacent to each other, that form a level to store pallets on. For example having 2 pallets of 500kg to a beam level would require a SWL of at least 1000kg.

With a new installation of racks, this information can provide us with the specifications that you require of the beams. However, with a reconfigure or repair to racking it is more difficult and it may require a site visit to correctly determine the beam duty.

For a racking supplier to determine the Beam Duty they will require the depth and height of the beam.

Beam Dimensions - Depth and Height Pallet Racking Frame

Calculate the Frame Sizing

A Single Bay a of pallet racking consists of a two upright frames with beams connecting the two frames. The construction of a pallet racking Frame is from posts, uprights and braces. Beams run parallel to the floor and they slot into the beam slots of the posts.

Different racking suppliers have alternative ways to determine the depth and height of a pallet racking frame. Many manufacturers also have varying increments to the height of the frames. 

In order to calculate the height of your frame, measure from the top of the Base Plate (which is what the frame sits on) to the highest point of the frame. To calculate the depth measure distance between the outside of the two Posts. A post is also referred to as an Upright, it is the two vertical parts of a frame.

The frame depth that you require is worked out by the pallets that you will store on the racking. Frame depths can range from 450mm to 1500mm.

A handy dimension to have on hand is the Bracing Pitch. This can impact the load capacity of the frame.

Access the Bay Configuration

The next step of the process is to determine the configuration of the pallet racking bays. By now you have worked out your beam clearances and weight requirements and the frame sizing. Entirely dependent on the load limit you require it will indicate the number of beam levels you can have within a bay. From this you can then determine the duty of the uprights.

A pallet racking Bay is what is known as two upright frames with beams between them. The most important part of a bay is the height of the first beam level from the base plate. Differing the height levels of the lowest beam has an impact on the strength of the racks. The higher the first beam level is up the frame the lower the bay capacity.

Using your pallet sizes and the materials handling equipment in your warehouse, work out the Beam Pitch for each beam level. The beam pitch is the distance between the top surface of a beam to the top surface of the beam directly above it.

Pallet Racking Measured - Bay Configuration Pallet Racking Measured - Bay Types Pallet Racking Measured - Row Configrations

Determine the Pallet Racking Configuration

The configuration of your pallet racking structure will impact on the specifications of the racking. There are dimensions and requirements that have to be adhered to. Pallet Racking can be a standalone unit or a racking structure. A Single Bay is the configuration of two frames and beams between it. 

When a single bay has additional bays joined to it the original bay becomes known as the Starter Bay. An Add-On Bay is constructed from one frame and multiple beams, the beams join to the a side of the frame from the starter bay. As many add-on bay as you wish can be added to the starter bay, providing your warehouse length can take it. 

Further to these configurations the racking structure can be either a single or double deep system. A Single Row of racking bays consists of a Starter Bay with Add-On Bays joined to it. These are mostly against a wall so access to the racking is from one side. A Double Row of racking is two Single Rows backing on to each other. The location of this is mostly in the central zone of a warehouse, where access to the racking can be from both sides.

By now you should know the basics of a pallet racking system and the components. Including Frames, Beams, Braces, Bay Widths and Racking Configurations.

Bear in mind a measure of the warehouse racking fitout is best through a design consultation session, which we offer free of charge!