What Makes a Good Pallet Rack Baseplate?

Pallet rack baseplates fill a few essential roles in the pallet racking system & all baseplates should provide some level of the following:

  • Anchors pallet rack to the floor
  • Disperses weight of rack column into floor
  • Stabilizes movement of rack to help prevent tipping

Pallet Rack baseplates, or footplates, are a critical piece to pallet racking. Not all pallet racks are required to have them, but in most areas of the country, racking over 12 feet tall is required by code to have a baseplate. If you have a tall racking system without a baseplate, then you greatly increase your chance of the rack tipping. Racking that is especially tall is also sometimes stabilized with cables or supports from the top.

What Does the Baseplate Do?

The rack baseplate serves several key functions for the racking system. Pallet rack baseplates anchor the system to the concrete. They stabilize the pallet rack beams from movement & potential tipping. They also disperse weight from the column down through the floor, where it dispersed ultimately into the ground.
Leaning looks pretty cool in Pisa, but not so much on your warehouse floor.

How Pallet Rack Baseplates Are Sized

The baseplates are sized based upon the need for each racking system. Standard size baseplates cover the needs of about 75% of the market. However, differences in soil bearing capacity, concrete psi, height of rack (because of overturning), seismic requirements, & rack load capacity can affect the type of baseplate needed to get the job done.

Baseplate Variations

Baseplates can vary in size, steel thickness, & anchor points. A wider baseplate provides greater stability & reduces the chance of the rack tipping over. This is similar to a sumo wrestler getting a wide-legged stance before the match begins. If a sumo wrestler stood with his feet together during the match, it would be pretty easy to tip him over. I might even be able to do it (though I still wouldn’t try those guys are wicked strong!).
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The thicker the steel of the baseplate, the greater strength it will have. This is similar to tearing one piece of paper vs. trying to rip an entire phone book. The phone book is much thicker & much more difficult for a human to tear in half…unless they know this trick.
Finally, you will see variation in the number of anchor points where the baseplate is physically bolted to the floor. The more anchor bolts you have, the greater the bond between the baseplate & the floor.

About the FlexRack™ Baseplate

FlexRack Baseplate comes in standard size (covers 70 – 80% of market) & custom sizes. Custom designed baseplates are engineered as needed & often include a seismic insert for locations with high seismic activity or strict seismic codes.
To get a quote for a pallet rack system or just a baseplate, contact one of our pallet rack systems experts at 800-230-8846.