beam length and height
Let's start with the length and height of the pallet rack
beam. Before you start measuring, determine how many pallets will be placed on the rack. Will you store one, two or three pallet widths? What size pallets will be stored on the rack? Are these standard pallet rack size pallets or are they different sizes? These are important questions.
First, measure the length between the upright beams. What measurement is that? Remember, it's not the overall length, but the length of the beam between the posts.
Building and fire codes require 20cm of space between the post and the pallet, and another 20cm between the two pallets. In other words, one beam can safely support two standard pallets with the required spacing. While the beams may have the desired width, your measurements must also account for the depth of the shelves and pallets.
Calculating Rack Depth
Rack depth measurements need to take pallet depth into account. Pallets should overhang the front and rear of the rack. Three inches is typical. So measure the distance from the front of the rack to the back.
The shelf depth for storing standard pallet rack size pallets should be 160 cm. This provides the necessary 15cm at both ends for easy access by a forklift. The ease of forklift access should also determine the height measurement.
Maximizing the pallet load is desirable. However, pallets on which products are stacked tightly on racks can cause problems for forklifts trying to load and unload them. That's why the rule of thumb is to consider the height of the pallet plus the load and add an extra 10-15cm to the height so that there is enough clearance between the pallet load and the transom above (the next level of racking).
Measurements help determine load
However, measuring the beam face also provides information about the [static] load-bearing capacity of each level. In the example above, the length of the beam is 400 cm. Now, measure the beam face from the top of the beam to the bottom. This number, combined with the length, provides a range of load capacities. Next, determine the specifications for the beams.