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The Anatomy of a Pallet Racking System
Jun 07, 2018


Are you looking to install a pallet racking system in your warehouse, but don’t quite know where you need to begin? As you probably may know already, having a properly designed pallet racking system not only improves storage density substantially, but also reduces the overall cost of handling materials within your business.

While it is always a good idea to partner with a material handling export when choosing and designing the pallet rack system that is going to work best for your operations, it is also a good idea to familiarize yourself with all the components involved in constructing the pallet rack, so you have a basic knowledge of what you are getting.

In this article, we have listed and discussed the most basic components of a pallet racking system for your better understanding:

Upright Frames

The structural assembly that carries the vertical and horizontal loads to the floor. It is usually made up of two frame columns connected together with diagonal and horizontal steel channel bracing members between the columns. The bracing members are cut at different lengths which will determine the depth of the rack system. The beams of the pallet rack are attached to the columns of the frames and carry the loads to the columns.

Cross Beam

The robust and horizontal components of the racks, pallet rack beams form a shelf by using a connector on either end. (2) horizontal structural members connect horizontally to the upright frames to create one beam level.

Anchor Bolts

Pallet racking is secured to a concrete floor by using anchor bolts. Local building codes and seismic engineers determine the size, type and amount of the anchor bolts.

Safety Beam Clips

Found on cross beams, safety beam clips create a secure connection between the crossbeam and upright frame.


A minimum of two baseplates are used on an upright frame to anchor the pallet racking system for stability. To ensure the proper baseplate is specified, engineers base its size on seismic forces and the type of load to be carried.

Row Spacers

Row spacers are bolted onto the top, middle and bottom of each upright, in flue spaces between the uprights, to help stabilize the pallet rack system and/or provide clearance for building columns and other existing obstacles.


Upright frame columns have a series of keyholes, that run the length of the column, that are used for attaching the beams to the uprights to form the rack system. These keyholes will be in different shapes depending on the manufacturer of the racking.


When a pallet racking system is installed on unlevel floor, shims help to ensure the pallet racking is straight or plumb on the warehouse concrete floor.


Crossbars are used under each pallet load to support pallets between the beams.

Wire Mesh Decking

Wire mesh decking provides a more solid support of pallets, and rests on the cross beams to prevent products or pallets from falling.

End of Aisle Guards

These are either anchored to the floor or bolted to the pallet racking to prevent damages at the end of pallet rack aisles.

Column Protectors

Column protectors, also known as post protectors, are add-on accessories that minimize damage from forklift impact by shielding the upright.