Pallet Racking TerminologyWe get a lot of calls from people about warehouse material handling using very different pallet racking terminology to ask about the same type of product. In the material handling industry, there are many words and terms used for one specific product.  In this post, we will cover common pallet racking terminology, what they mean, and their alternative names.

Aisles are spaces in between pallet rack rows.

Anchors keep pallet rack columns secured to the floor and come in a variety of different types.
(Similar names include Strike Anchors, Concrete Anchors, Wedge Anchors, or Lags)

Automatic Retrieval and Storage System
Rack structures that use a stacker crane, or a vehicle similar to it, to load and unload racks without assistance from on-board operators.

Pallet Racking Footplate
Foot Plate or Baseplate
Rectangular-shaped metal places situated at the bottom of a vertical frame. Baseplates or foot plates are always fastened to the floor unless the pallet racking is less than 8 feet tall and is only used for hand-stacking.

Bays are pallet rack units that contain two uprights with the beams situated in between them.
(Similar names include Section or Unit)

Braced Frame
These kinds of frames are vertical truss systems that resist lateral forces and keep the structural system stabilized.

Cantilever Pallet Racking
Cantilever Racks
Cantilever racks are used for storing large, lengthy items such as lumber and piping. Cantilever rack is single or double sided and the footprint is the same as a back to back row of pallet rack.

Learn more about Cantilever Pallet Rack.

Pallet Rack Column Protector
Column Protector
A product that wraps around a vertical beam to prevent it getting damaged by forklifts.
(Similar names include Guard Rail, Upright Protectors, Post Protectors, or Rack Protector)

Pallet Racking Crossbar
One of two primary directions of a storage rack, and corresponds to the direction that’s vertical to the primary handling equipment aisle. This is also known as the transverse direction.

Cross-Aisle Ties
These kinds of ties keep both frames together near the top that extend across each aisle.
(Similar names include Over Aisle Tie)

Drive In Pallet Racking
Drive-In Rack
Drive-In pallet racking involves the forklift entering the racking from one side to load or retrieve the pallets which are stored more deeply.

Learn more about Drive-in pallet rack.

Drive-Through Rack
Drive-Through racks allow a lift truck to enter the rack from either side to pick up or pull out pallets. Loads are supported by rails attached to upright frames, and lift trucks are driven between uprights to reach pallets. This is done because pallets can slide backwards on a continuous rail.

Pallet Rack Drop Pin
Drop Pin
Drop pins are components that help to keep pallet rack beams secured in a vertical frame column.
(Similar names include Pallet Rack Clips, Beam Clips, J Pin, or Safety Clip)

Guardrails protect the ends of pallet rack structures and are designed to be strong enough to tolerate multiple impacts from forklifts

Smooth railings that run up stairways to offer additional safety and balance for workers who walk up or down a stairway.

Offset Backstop Beam
A special beam that’s installed to keep pallets on the back of each rack from falling down.
(Similar names include Pallet Stop, Back Stop, or Load Stop)

Moveable Shelf Racks
These are structured racks that are primarily composed of horizontal shelf beams and vertical upright frames that are commonly used for hand-rack or one-deep pallet storage. Generally, the position of some of the shelf levels are fixed while the position of the in-fill shelves are flexible.

Pallet Beam
Shelf members located in the front and back that carries the brunt of each load and are moved to the vertical frames.
(Similar names include Stick, Cross Member, Horizontal, and Rail)

Pallet Flow Racking
Pallet Flow Rack
Special rack structures that are used to support pallet-flow lanes via the horizontal shelf beams. These lanes are connected to a slight pitch that allows multi-depth pallet storage. Loading takes place from one aisle and unloading takes place from a different aisle.

Learn more about Pallet Flow Rack.

Pallet Rack
Rack structures primarily composed of horizontal shelf beams and vertical upright frames that are commonly used for one or two-deep pallet storage.

Pallet Supports
Members that extend between shelf beams at a certain level underneath a stored load that keep the load supported.

Multi Level Pick Module System
Pick Modules
Rack structures primarily composed of horizontal beams and vertical frames that contain one or multiple platform levels of pallet-flow, case-flow, or selective bays that feed into a work platform on a central pick aisle supported by the structure of the rack.

Push Back Pallet Racking
Push-Back Rack
A pallet rack system that is used to support push-back lanes via the horizontal shelf, and are primarily composed of carts and tracks. The push-back lanes are connected to a slight pitch that allows for multi-depth pallet storage. By pushing back the pallets, unloading and loading can be accomplished using the same service aisle.

Learn more about Push Back Rack.

Pallet Rack Row Spacer
Row Spacers
These kinds of spacers specifically keep space in between pallet racks that are situated back-to-back.
(Similar names include Back-to-Back Spacer)

Rack Supported Structure
Comparable to other rack structures, rack supported structures include roof purlins, wall girts, or similar components to support roof and wall cladding. These structures can withstand rain, snow, or wind along with normal storage loads.

Rated Rack Capacity
Maximum permissible product loads that account for design safety factors, which include factors like installation and fabrication tolerances, geometric and material properties, reservations in the analysis, and load uncertainties.

Safety Bars
An important component of secure pallet rack system that prevents misdirected pallets from falling accidentally through the horizontal beams of a racking system.
(Similar names include Pallet Bar Supports, Skid Supports, or Cross Bars)

Safety Flooring
Protected surfaces located in places where order-pickers might need to step off a pick module walkway or a normal walking area to prevent workers from slipping or falling.

Selective Pallet Rack
Selective Pallet Rack
Selective pallet racking is the most commonly used pallet rack system. These systems are called “selective” because they allow users to select any pallet load from the pallet racking system without having to move any other pallets.

Learn more about Selective Pallet Rack.

Unit Load
The expected total weight that can be placed in a rack, consisting of the pallet weight and the product load.

Upright Frame
An upright frame is used in a pallet rack system to create a narrow heavy-duty storage solution. The 8′ height of the upright allows for pallet rack beams to be installed at the top of the upright, elevating product above the 96″ frame height.

Wall Tie
Wall Tie
Wall ties eliminate the worry of rack sway or tipping by reinforcing your pallet racks. A simple wall tie will connect your uprights to your physical structure for greater stability.

Pallet Rack Wire Deck
Wire Deck
Decking systems that are used in conjunction with pallet rack shelves. Wire decking is made from welded wire mesh that uses support wires or channels for reinforcements. These decks provide extra support for stored materials and keep unstable loads protected.

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