Guide to Pallet Rack Assembly and Installation

Whether you’re working in a brand-new facility or considering the best ways to maximize the space in an existing one, pallet racks are an ideal storage solution. A well-designed pallet racking system can keep your work area safe, organized and efficient. There are several types of pallet racking systems, so you’re sure to find one that fits your facility’s needs.

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How Do You Assemble a Pallet Rack?

Installing and assembling pallet racks is fairly straightforward. As long as you remember to keep checking that all beams and uprights are level and even with one another, your project will be complete in no time.

Here is what you need to know about how to install pallet racking:

1. Consult the Installation Guide

Before you begin installing and assembling your pallet racks, consult the user manual or installation guide that came packaged with the product. Inside, you should find specific instructions, guidelines and requirements for the type of pallet rack you’re installing. Read through the materials and compile a list of the supplies you need to complete the project, including:

  • All uprights and beams
  • Shelves or decking
  • A tape measure
  • A chalk line
  • A level
  • A lifting device
  • A mallet
  • At least one assistant

If your pallet racks did not come with a manual, contact the manufacturing company for specific instructions or answers to any questions.

2. Inspect the Pallet Rack Components

Perform a thorough visual inspection of all the parts of your pallet rack, including the beams, uprights and shelving. Make sure there are no dents, warps or cracks. Even if you purchased new supplies, it’s important to check that nothing was damaged during the shipment process.

3. Prepare the Workspace

Clear your workspace of any obstructions or debris. If you plan to anchor your pallet racks to the floor or wall, contact the building owner or architect for information about the load-bearing capacity of your building.

Note the dimensions of your pallet racking and measure those lines on the floor. To make the bay installation simpler, mark the length and width with a chalk line and mark the location for the uprights. Be sure to leave plenty of room between the edge of the pallet racking and the wall, as well as ample space between aisles for workers and pallet lifts to move safely.

3. Install the First Bay

If you don’t know to install pallet racking, the easiest and most effective way to approach the project is one bay at a time. Take the time to get your first bay just right — with equal, precise measurements and secure attachments — before you move on to subsequent bays.

Gather your pallet rack uprightspallet rack beams, mallet, chalk line, level and tape measure, and ask an assistant to help you follow these steps:

  1. Erect the uprights: Using the chalk line as your guide, stand one upright on the outer edge and hold it in place. With the help of an assistant, erect the second across from the first. Use a level to check that the uprights are vertical. If they aren’t, place shims underneath the uprights until they are straight. Typically, a slight tilt of no more than 1/8 inch is okay, but check the installation guide for specific instructions from your manufacturer. Anchor the uprights to the floor using the recommended method in your installation guide.
  2. Insert the rear beams: Insert the bottom rear beam first. With the help of your assistant, place the bottom rear beam in the correct slots between the two uprights, and use a mallet to secure it in place gently. If your beams do not use a slotting system, you may need to bolt them to the frame. Repeat this process with the top rear beam. Depending on the height of your uprights and racking system, you might need to use a lifting device to attach the beams and uprights.
  3. Insert the front beams: Once you have installed and secured the two rear beams, it’s time to install the front beams. Start with the top front beam, placing it at the exact level as the top beam at the rear. Secure it like you did the rear beam, then move on to the fourth and final beam installation. Once you have installed all four beams, you have formed your first bay.
  4. Measure the square: Before you move on to the remaining bays, use a tape measure to check that the first bay measures as a square and that all spacing is correct and equal. This is an important step, as it will save you a headache later on when installing your shelving.

4. Finish Remaining Bays

Depending on the desired length of your racking system, you will likely need to create several more bays before laying shelves or decking to finish the project. To assemble the remaining bays, repeat the process you used for the first one. Start at the first bay and use a chalk line to check that all uprights are straight and even with one another and that all beams are at matching heights.

5. Add Shelves or Decking

Once you have installed your uprights and beams and ensured that all bays are squared, it’s time to add shelving or wire decking. Choose the best type of shelf or deck for your industry, keeping in mind the anticipated weight of your stored products. For example, wire mesh deck shelving is ideal for food service, retail, manufacturing and warehouse environments because it is strong, versatile and easy to use.

Benefits of Using a Professional Installer

If you don’t know how to assemble industrial shelving, consider having a professional installer help you complete your project. There are several reasons why this might be a good option for you. You may not have the time, supplies, or available assistance needed to take on pallet rack assembly by yourself. Or, your pallet rack design might be intricate or large-scale and require a professional eye to ensure proper installation.

Some benefits of using a professional pallet rack installer include:

  • The spare time and energy you need to focus on the daily operations of your business.
  • A knowledgeable and experienced work crew who works quickly to get your pallet racking set up.
  • A safe and stress-free installation process.

The experts at T.P. Supply have taken on a wide variety of industrial racking projects, including structural racks, conveyor systems, pick modules, cantilever racks and more. Because we offer complete package services, we can also help with the takedown and relocation of your supplies.

Contact T.P. Supply for Pallet Racks Today

At T.P. Supply, we’ve specialized in offering quality industrial products and dedicated customer service since 1979. No matter the storage project, we have what you need, including pallet rack supplies, shelving, material handling equipment and more.

Do you have a specific question about pallet rack assembly? Fill out our online contact form or give us a call today at 877-302-2337. We’ll be glad to help you through the process. You can also browse our website to learn more about pallet rack installation and check out our other high-quality industrial products.