Top Key Considerations When Assembling Warehouse Wire Shelving Systems

Warehouse Wire Shelving Systems

Wire shelving can provide a lightweight, cost-effective storage option for many warehousing operations. Unlike warehouse pallet racks, shelving units are designed to be accessible to workers without using a separate vehicle, such as a forklift truck or pallet jack.

At Shelving + Rack Systems, Inc., we offer industrial wire shelving by Midsouth Wholesaler Container. Wire shelving increases airflow, preventing dust from collecting on inventory items and reducing condensation in refrigerated facilities.

Made from carbon steel with a chrome, green-epoxy, or black powder-coated finish, Midsouth’s wire shelving is available in four heights: 4½’, 5¼’, 6’, and 7’.

After making sure you have selected the right wire shelving system for your needs, follow these steps to ensure the storage performs optimally:

Evaluate Budgetary Requirements

When budgeting for a storage system, it’s important to begin by evaluating the needs of your warehouse. If you store palletized inventory for retrieval, you’ll need a pallet racking system.

However, if you store inventory in cardboard boxes or cartons, or you stock other non-palletized items, your warehouse may benefit from wire shelving systems. These units are ideal if you need to store items for retrieval by human order pickers.

Wire shelving units are inexpensive compared with other shelving systems. If you’re on a tight budget, wire shelving offers a cost-effective alternative to industrial steel shelving. Keep in mind, however, that wire shelving doesn’t provide the same rated load capacity or strength as industrial steel shelving.

The ideal storage solution depends on factors specific to your warehouse, such as the layout, the diversity of your product range, the turnover rate, and how you intend to retrieve and distribute merchandise.

Read the Manufacturer’s Instructions

Wire shelving is one of the most user-friendly and easy-to-install types of storage systems available on the market. When your shelving arrives, you may see a sticker indicating that the package contains mixed contents. This means the shelves and frame posts are packaged together, making it challenging to know which part goes where.

When you purchase wire shelving from Shelving + Rack Systems, Inc., we provide you with clear step-by-step instructions, so you’ll know exactly how to assemble and safely use your new shelving system. Our 4-Shelf Consumer Grade Wire Shelving from Quantum Storage Systems is conveniently packed in one box, ensuring that your inventory control is simple and efficient.

With a weight capacity of 300 lbs. per shelf, this shelving system provides adequate strength for non-palletized warehouse inventory. Lightweight and portable, this shelving system weighs between 35 and 56 lbs., depending on the model’s dimensions.

Attach the Post Segments One at a Time

Take an inventory of the package contents to ensure all components are accounted for. Once you’ve determined that the package is complete, take the four posts and begin by attaching the level feet to the bottom of each upright. These are usually screwed into place. Next, attach the split sleeves (plastic clips) to the posts. The posts have circumferential grooves into which the split sleeves snap.

These grooves are spaced apart in 1” increments, allowing for height adjustability. Slide the slip sleeve into position according to where you want the shelves to sit. When extending the height of the posts, you’ll screw in additional segments. You can do this repeatedly until your shelving unit has reached the desired height.

You can also use a height gauge to ensure consistent spacing between shelves, especially when assembling multiple shelving units. The spacing between shelves can also affect the load capacity.

Assemble the First Shelf with the Frame on its Side

When you’re ready to assemble the shelves, lay the first or bottom shelf on its side and insert the four posts through the corresponding collars until the shelf rests on the split sleeves. When complete, arrange the shelving unit so that the posts are in the upright position.

Ease the Shelves into Place

Always be gentle with the individual parts during the assembly process. Don’t slam the shelves down onto the posts or force the posts through the collars as you could damage the uprights or plastic clips, compromising the unit’s structural integrity. Every part should ease into position smoothly.

Forcing components could indicate either improper assembly or defective parts. If you’re having difficulty assembling the shelving unit, contact the manufacturer so they can guide you through the process. If you’re still unable to assemble the unit, the manufacturer can arrange to replace it for you.

Use a Mallet to Secure the Shelves

One of the few tools you’ll need when assembling wire shelving is a rubber mallet. With the shelving unit assembled and in the upright position, tap all four corners of the shelves to ensure a snug fit between the sleeves and the collars. Don’t use a regular tool-steel hammer because you risk causing damage to the wire strands of the shelves.

Determine Plumbness

Once your shelving system is installed, it’s important to check it for plumbness. Plumbness refers to the degree to which an object is perfectly straight or vertical relative to a horizontal reference point, such as the floor. If you notice the posts are not straight, this may require replacement.

Placing a level against the side of the uprights, you can determine the degree of deflection or bending that they’re experiencing. This indicates the extent to which the components are out of plumb.

The plumbness of a warehouse racking or shelving system can be altered by forklift impact damage or corrosion, so you must re-inspect these systems periodically for signs of degradation. Inspecting wire shelving units for rust is particularly important for outdoor applications. Chrome plating, epoxy, and galvanizing finishes can protect steel against corrosion, extending its lifespan.

Be Aware of Weight Limits

Every racking or shelving system has a weight capacity. This is the maximum weight that either a shelf or bay can support safely. Knowing the rated load capacity of your shelving unit and adhering to it is critical to ensuring safe, reliable storage.

Always consult the manufacturer or supplier to determine the maximum weight capacity of the system if this information is not included in documentation or listed on the company’s website. Have this information listed and displayed on your shelving unit, along with proper load distribution guidelines, so everyone on your team knows the weight capacity.

Secure Your Shelving

When storing heavy inventory items, especially on unsecured shelving units, always place them on the bottom shelves first. This avoids causing the shelving to become top-heavy and dangerously unbalanced. This may mean you need to leave a wide space between the lower shelves in the unit to accommodate larger items.

Depending on the type of shelving system or inventory you intend to store, you may decide to anchor the shelving unit to the floor or wall. While many shelving systems do not have foot plates as standard equipment like racks, they are often available as an option.

If you need to anchor a wire shelving unit, you can either attach foot plates to the posts, allowing you to bolt them to the floor, or anchor the shelving unit against a nearby wall. This latter option provides additional stability, regardless of whether anchoring bolts are compatible.

Guard Rails and Netting

Guard Rails and Netting

While shelving units are designed primarily to be accessible to human order pickers, they’re still at risk of being damaged by forklift trucks and pallet jacks when used in warehouses that contain both types of storage systems.

You can effectively protect the shelving unit’s posts against impact damage by installing guard rails, preventing destabilization and collapse. You should also ensure your personnel are adequately trained and licensed in forklift operation.

Our high-quality Vestil Guard Rails are powder-coated bright yellow for increased corrosion resistance and visibility, ensuring that drivers can always see them even under poor lighting conditions.

The posts bolt to the floor using floor plates, and the rails bolt to the faces of the posts. Suitable for indoor or outdoor applications, these Guard Rail Systems are available in several configurations, including two- and three-rail high variants.

You should also consider installing safety netting. Netting allows you to protect merchandise on shelves and racks without obstructing a worker’s view of the contents, maintaining critical visibility.

Assembling Your Shelving

At Shelving + Rack Systems, Inc., we supply everything you need to meet your warehousing storage space needs, from wire shelving systems to pallet racking and accessories to improve safety and organization.

If you need help determining the best storage shelf and rack solutions for your warehouse, call us at (800) 589-7225. We can help you find the equipment you need to maximize the usable space of your warehouse.