In Part 3 of our “Warehousing Basics series, we explore an integral component of the pallet rack, the base plate.  

What is the Purpose of the Pallet Rack Base Plate?

The pallet rack base plate (sometimes called foot plate) is a crucial component that anchors the pallet rack to the floor, disperses the weight of the rack column, and stabilizes the rack to prevent it from tipping.
Not every installation requires base plates, such as with mobile installations or when the rack is connected to areas other than the floors, but in typical configurations, you’ll use base plates to anchor your pallet rack frames to the concrete floor.
Anchoring your racking system to the floor will provide uniform transfer of the column load to the floor, and ultimately the ground, ensuring a safe and secure storage system.

Is Anchoring Required?

RMI Specifications

The ANSI/RMI Specification requires that all rack columns should be anchored. This means that both the aisle column and the interior or rear columns must be anchored on all frames according to the instructions from the manufacturer and applies to all rack frames all the time.
The RMI Specification requires at least one anchor per column. The rack manufacturer will often provide extra holes in the base plate as alternate holes that can be used in case floor reinforcing interference is encountered when drilling the floor.
RMI has no legal authority to require or enforce compliance with the Specification.

OSHA Storage Rack Regulations

While you will not find a requirement to anchor pallet racking specifically stated in the federal OSHA standards, OSHA uses the General Duty Clause of the OSH Act to hold employers responsible for protecting workers from serious and recognized hazards, often referencing the ANSI/RMI Specification above, and citing: “Rack columns not anchored to the floor.”

Base Plate Sizes and Variations

Base plates can vary in size, steel thickness, and anchor points. A wider base plate provides greater stability & reduces the chance of the rack tipping over. Standard size base plates cover the needs of about 75% of the market. However, differences in soil bearing capacity, concrete psi, height of rack , seismic requirements, and rack load capacity can affect the type of base plate required.

About the FlexRack™ Base Plate

Pallet Rack Baseplate on a TableThe FlexRack™ No-Weld Base Plate is the easiest to use in the industry with fewer parts and simple construction. It is available in standard size & custom sizes. Secure-lock dimples quickly align and lock the column into the bottom teardrop position creating a solid 4-point connection. Custom-designed base plates 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 base plate, contact one of our pallet rack systems engineers at 800-230-8846.