Pallet Rack Frames Use, Components, & Accessories

Pallet racks are a basic yet extremely important storage device that enable warehouses to store pallets and their contents at higher density, thus requiring less space. They also allow for organization, easy in-and-out processing, and heavy load bearing. Pallet rack frames are the columnar uprights located at each of its ends. They are the key part of the rack that ultimately bears all or most of the weight and supports the vertical beams that connect the two frames, the shelves (if any), and all the pallets and products resting on the rack.

Pallet Rack Columns

Columns are the two “corner posts” of which the frame is constructed. They are generally made of either rolled steel or structural steel. Rolled steel is made by simply gradually bending sheet metal as it passes along a set of moving wheels. Structural steel is stronger but more expensive. There are detailed specifics of shape and chemical composition that must be met in order to legally bear the name “structural steel.” Roll formed columns often are often attached to horizontal beams by mounting clips inserted into teardrop-shaped holes, whereas the heavier-duty structural columns are usually welded or bolted to their beams.


Bracing connects the two columns of the frames. The braces will generally be straight across at intervals but also include a single diagonal brace traveling between opposite corners of the “square.” These diagonals will then alternate direction from the top to the bottom of the frame in order to add extra strength. Sometimes a full cross is put in the center of each square to increase the strength even further, and wide frames may even be supported by two crosses per square.

Pallet Rack Beams

Beams can be of any length desired, and the number of them will vary greatly with the height and width of the pallet rack and the weight-bearing capacity that is aimed at.
Single deep pallet racks will need less beams than double deep. Single deep allows easier in-out movement, but double deep accommodates greater storage capacity. As mentioned above, the beams may be bolted, welded, or snapped to the columns. Shelves are sometimes laid on top of the beams, but this is often not necessary — it depends on the nature of the items to be stored.

Pallet Rack Accessories

Column accessories to pallet rack frames include:

  • Footplates which spread out the weight load at the bottom of the column to achieve greater stability, often using thicker steel and anchor bolts
  • Shims which ensure the the columns are resting evenly on the floor surface
  • Column protectors which guard the bottom portion of the column against damage from forklifts
  • Wall ties which attach racks to a wall they run along to better hold them up
  • Row spacers which keep inter-rack forklift paths straight and correctly spaced
  • Guard rails around any stairs or platforms that connect to the pallet racks to add safety

Pallet racks and their frames and accessories help warehouses to run smoothly and safely even through long busy stints. These items are a must for an optimally run warehouse.