How to Measure Pallet Racks

Whether you’re using door dock pallet racking systems, selective racking, push back racking or standard pallet racks, it’s critical the racks fit in where they are supposed to. Correctly measuring pallet racks is therefore essential when installing new pallet racks and when adding onto existing pallet racks.

To accurately measure and fit pallet racks there are three things you must measure: cross beams, uprights and wire decking.

outdoor warehouse shelves with plastic PVC sewer pipes

Most rack systems are designed to accommodate standard-sized items. Pallets are usually a standard size (40”x40”, 40”x48”, 48”x42” or 48”x48”) as are boxes and other storage containers. Pallet racks, in turn, are generally standardized to accommodate the standard-sized products stored on them. However, pallet racks can be custom built, so you find some non-standard measurements with some pallet racks.

Measuring cross beams

There are two measurements you need to take for cross beams.

First, measure from the inside of one upright to the inside of the opposite upright. This will give you the length of the beam. Usually, beams are produced in one-foot increments between 4 feet and 9 feet, so your measurement should be exactly X feet between that range. Sometimes, however, custom pallet racks are designed with odd-sized beams that fall between the standard one-foot increments.

Second, measure from the top of the beam to the bottom of the beam. This will give you the face size of the beam which, in turn, correlates to the beam’s weight capacity. The bigger the measurement the bigger the load the beam can handle.

Measuring uprights

  1. Once you’ve measured the cross beams, you can move onto measuring the pallet rack uprights. There are four measurements you must make when measuring uprights.
  2. Measure across the outside edge of the upright. This will give you the depth of the upright. Usually, the depth ranges from 3 to 4 feet but, as with cross beams, custom pallet racks may be a different size.
  3. Measure the outside face of the vertical column and then measure the inside face of the column.
  4. This will give you the size of the column. It could be, for example, 3”x3” or 4”x4” depending on the uprights. Just like cross beams, the bigger the size, the more weight it can handle.

Measure the length and width of the foot plate the columns sit on.

Measure the height of the upright from the ground to the top of the upright or vice versa, whichever is easiest.

Measuring wire decking

The depth of the upright will be the depth of the wire decking. All you have to measure is the width of the wire decking. Measure the width by measuring from one outside edge to the other. Sizes can vary depending on the decking.

Final thoughts

Once you’ve measured your racks, you can determine whether they fit in your new space or whether they will fit with your existing pallet racks. The team at Shelving+Rack Systems is qualified to handle all aspects of measuring, supplying and installing pallet racks (standard size or custom size) in your warehouse or distribution centre. Our friendly staff may also recommend other options you haven’t considered, saving you time and money.

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