April 30, 2021
Adding Durability to Your Pallet Rack Design

Pallet Rack Durability

When you choose Structural Steel Racking Over Roll-Formed Racking, you are already making a great decision for a more durable, abuse resistant product. Pallet rack durability does not begin and end simply with utilizing structural pallet racking however. There are plenty of ways to take durability to an even greater level by leveraging additional pallet rack design considerations:

Pallet Rack Frame Boxing and Bracing

A pallet rack column’s strength comes from its bracing with a horizontal. The tighter the spacing on the bracing, the greater impact resistance the column is able to endure. Bracing can perform even better under stress when manufactured out of structural steel as opposed to flimsy roll-formed shaped steel.

Frazier’s standard bracing pattern, the Z-Brace, is our time-tested design that takes these important factors into account. It was developed to put less stress on horizontal joints than other bracing patterns; many of which attach the diagonal to the column, causing additional stresses.

Strong bracing is especially important in high impact zones of the frame, such as the first 5-6ft off the floor. As a solution for applications where increased impact may occur to the frame near the floor, Frazier has developed the Moment Frame®. The Moment Frame® uses two channels, welded flange to flange to “box” together, in place of the floor level horizontals for maximized impact resistance.

Frazier's Moment Frame®.

Frazier’s Moment Frame®.

It is possible to also Box Columns on a racking system. This is a great way to provide fork truck impact resistance. Boxing a column consists of welding two structural channels back-to-back to create a heavier duty upright. This “boxed” upright is also valuable when customers are looking to increase the overall load capacity of their racking solution.

Pallet Rack Rub Rails

A Rub Rail is a heavy horizontal impact channel that connects the front column of the rack’s upright to the rear column of the upright. It is located approximately 5” off the baseplate of the frame and prevents a fork truck’s outriggers from jumping onto the bracing. It also lessens column twisting from impact.

If a front column is struck, the rub rail transfers the force of the impact to the rear column. This means that the force is dissipated into multiple columns. Collectively, they able to better resist it than a single column would be able to do so independently.

All the great abuse resistance provided rub rail can be negated though, if they are made of roll-formed steel. Roll-formed steel will deform under impact and cannot transfer the forces necessary to afford this advanced level of protection. Frazier’s rub rails are manufactured of 100% structural steel to ensure integrity against abuse.

Pallet Rack Row End Protection

Protection for the side of a rack system’s aisle facing frames is always recommended. Though structural rack is designed to carry 80-90% of its capacity in the event of damage, damage to the frame can often be prevented altogether with Row End Protection. Row end protectors are pieces of channel mounted on the frames at the end of a row of racking to protect both columns and bracing.

Row end protection on rack's outer frames.

Row end protection on rack’s outer frames.

Warehouse aisles are tighter than ever in an effort to maximize storage space utilization. As a result, the chances of a fork truck clipping the outside frames on a row of racking are even greater. With the size and weight of modern fork trucks, the resulting damage can be devastating. Where row end protectors are employed, the chances of mitigating damage are heavily increased.

Bull Noses and Post Protectors

Bull Nose and Post Protectors are used to help deter head-on impact to a pallet rack’s front column. Angles protruding from both the left-hand and right-hand sides of the protectors come to a point. If a fork truck collides with the protector, the angles deflect the fork truck to either side and away from the column it protects.

Bull Nose Protector at the front of a rack's column.

Bull Nose Protector at the front of a rack’s column.

The material used to manufacture both bull nose and post protectors is key. It must be thick enough to both deflect and absorb impact to the column. Just like the rest of Frazier’s racking, our bull noses and post protectors are made of 100% structural steel; we also use a large diameter anchor in either type of protector to help keep the rack column attached to the concrete slab when impact occurs.

Fortify Your Warehouse Rack System

Interested about how you can implement some of these durability features to your new or existing Frazier warehouse rack system? Contact us today at frazier@frazier.com to get in touch with the pallet rack experts that can help you to make your system more abuse resistant.