How To Take Down Pallet Rack Shelving

Pallet Rack Shelving

Whether you need to increase space for extra racking systems or material handling equipment or relocate your pallet racks to another warehouse or distribution center, it’s sometimes necessary to dismantle storage racks for reassembly elsewhere.

Understanding how to correctly disassemble and prepare pallet racks for transport is important when downsizing your business, relocating, or selling warehouse equipment you no longer need.

Dismantling Your Pallet Racking

How easily you can dismantle your pallet racks depends on the assembly and fabrication method used by the manufacturer. There are two popular assembly methods used in the racking industry:

Roll formed

Roll formed racking systems are composed of cold-rolled steel components that are designed to snap together easily. In this boltless form of assembly, rivets or posts on beams attach to uprights using teardrop-shaped slots, reducing lead times and installation costs. However, the disadvantage of roll formed racking compared with other varieties is that the components are not as strong or durable.

If you need a light- to medium-duty racking system for comparatively lightweight inventory items in low-traffic warehouses, roll formed racking is often sufficient. It’s also easier to dismantle.

An example of roll formed racking systems are our Tri-Bolo Pallet Rack Frames and Step Beams. One-piece step beams, seam-welded, have self-engaging connector safety locks that the company installs at the factory.


Structural racking uses hot-rolled steel components that are bolted together by the manufacturer, creating a strong, heavy-channel support system. While structural racking is generally more expensive and time-consuming to assemble, it’s also stronger and more durable.

This allows the structural rack to support heavier loads and more effectively resist forklift truck collisions. If you need to store heavy loads and need durable racking systems for environments where forklift traffic is high, structural racking is ideal.

Disassembly and Preparation

There are several actions you’ll need to take when dismantling warehouse shelving or racking systems. First, ensure your workers are sufficiently trained to safely and carefully disassemble your racking systems. If not, consider hiring a third-party service.

Remove Decking and Accessories

Decking and Accessories

The first part of the disassembly process is the removal of decking and other pallet racking accessories. These include column or post protectors designed to shield the racking system, forklift trucks, and row spacers. This may require workers to be elevated to access higher levels.

Always exercise caution and sound judgment when dismantling any part of a pallet rack, cantilever rack, or other storage system.

Remove the Beams

The beams are the horizontal members that attach the uprights together and provide the support structure for the pallets. Always consult the manufacturer’s disassembly guidelines and remove the beams one at a time.

Remove the Anchors

Anchors are fasteners that attach the baseplates of the uprights, also called the floor plates, to the concrete floor of your warehouse for increased stability. The removal of anchors can damage the concrete, leaving behind holes.

Regardless of whether you used wedge or strike anchors, the anchors may have become embedded in the floor. To remove the anchor, you’ll need to first remove the nut and the washer. Once you’ve removed the bolt nut, lay the upright on its side. You can try to either drive the rest of the anchor into the concrete floor or cut the protruding part using a saw and grind it down until it’s flush with the floor.

Alternatively, if you were able to successfully extract the anchor from the floor, you can fill in the remaining hole using either cement or a cement epoxy.

Bundle Your Components

If you’re dismantling your racking systems for transportation by truck to another location, you will need to securely bundle and palletize the components to avoid movement and possible damage in transit.

Tightly bundle all components by type — uprights, beams, and decking — using heavy-duty steel strapping into pallets. All bundles should be tightly bound and uniform.

Contact Shelving + Rack Systems, Inc for Assistance

At Shelving + Rack Systems, Inc., we understand the importance of breaking down pallet racking and shelving systems for resale, storage, or relocation. If you need advice on how to dismantle your racking systems, give us a call at (800) 589-7225, and we’ll help you navigate the disassembly process.