How to Calculate Pallet Racking Capacity

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How much weight can your pallet racking carry safely? This is a complex question, which is best left to engineers, because there are several aspects to take into account.

Warehouse shelving Colorado experts say that calculating pallet racking capacity involves:

  1. Dead Weight and Live Weight

Dead weight is the own weight of the racking systems. The bottom elements have to bear the load of the entire structure above them. But pallet racking is not meant to sit unoccupied. It must also carry live weight – the palletized goods you need to store on it.

Thus, pallet racking is actually supposed to bear two kind of weights – its own and that of the merchandise.

  1. Even Loading and Point Loading

Even loading is when the entire surface of a pallet racking unit is covered uniformly. In this case, each part of the unit bears the same load. However, in many occasion, products are loaded on one side of the unit, while the other is empty. This is point loading.

  1. The Resistance of the Material to Wear and Tear

Each type of material (metal, wood, plastic, etc.) has a specific resistance to wear and tear over a period of time. Thus, the calculation of the racking load capacity must also take into consideration what kind of material it will be made of.

The Leading Cause of Warehouse Rack System Failures

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The rack system’s success or failure largely depends on warehouse owners’ and managers’ ability to deal with structural maintenance and thorough, regular inspections.

The abuse or over-use of lifting equipment may be one good cause of rack damage or failure. In this respect, another possible cause would be that of overloading the rack systems. This can cause the system not only to fail, but to collapse altogether.

The rack system’s configuration may also be altered. This configuration is usually carefully made to satisfy the customers’ needs and requirements. If you make any changes to shelf elevation, this can significantly reduce the so-called “column capacity”, further leading to rack system failure.

Your warehouse staff may lack the necessary lift equipment training. This is one of the major causes of warehouse rack system damages and failures.

Any change in operation should be dealt with great caution. Any misuse can have serious consequences on your equipment and ultimately on your business.

Many warehouse managers can be tempted to reduce rack system’s capacity in order to save costs. However, this can be a dangerous mistake with often undesirable consequences.

As a conclusion, warehouse shelving Colorado professionals recommend a proper maintenance program for your warehouse shelving system to help you prolong its life.