Some of the most common questions we get here at Shelving.com involve pallet racks. And that’s understandable – there’s a lot to know, a lot to learn about, and people are always surprised by the amount of different types they see.
Let’s say you’re looking to get some new or used pallet racks for your warehouse or storage facility but you don’t know where to start. Do you want to just upgrade your current racks, or fully replace them with a different kind? This is the first question you should ask before trying to go forward with a pallet rack purchase, and for good reason – there’s a lot of different types of pallet racks out there, and they’re not always compatible or usable with one another. If you’re not sure what you have, let’s break it down!
The biggest difference between different types of pallet racks begins with the kind of slots they use. Slots, as you can imagine, are the specially-designed holes that hold up the racks and shelves on each pallet rack system, and there’s an awful lot of them out there – and they’re not always compatible with one another. Let’s take a look at some of the more common ones:
As you can see, there’s a lot of different slot types, but the most commonly seen are referred to as teardrop pallet racks. Teardrop slots, as made by companies like Unirak, get their name from their distinctive shape. The teardrop design allows for additional stability as opposed to the more standardized slot types used in racks of the past, and since they’ve become a lot more popular and prevalent in recent years you can more easily swap parts between different pallet racks and help maintain and replace your rack parts more conveniently.
However, teardrop aren’t the only kind of slots out there. Certain manufacturers such as Husky make slots that are only compatible with similarly-shaped and designed products, and double slotted pallet racks are still a frequent sight in many warehouses even with the rise in popularity of teardrop slots. A common question and issue encountered by many of our customers and friends involves not being able to figure out what kind of pallet racks to buy, not being sure what rack type you have, and if the parts are compatible.
This brings us to the second part of our guide, a quick rundown of some different manufacturers.
Different manufacturers tend to make their own slots to keep all of their parts proprietary and interchangeable, if not exactly compatible with other rack types. Speedrack, for example, gets their name via the smaller slots used to promote fast replacement and swapping of parts, whereas something like Lynx might use double slotting to promote strength and durability. Many of these racks might resemble standard teardrop slots due to their shape, but there are a lot of subtle differences – spacing between slots, slot measurement, etc. Some of these rack types might not be seen as often anymore and may require more work to track down and replace, and at that point you might need to consider fully replacing your rack if your current parts are too out of date just for safety’s sake.
This isn’t all of them, of course, but this picture can be an easy and quick reference guide if you’re trying to figure out what type of pallet racking you have. As you can see, some companies even make their own forms of teardrop slots and racking, which can occasionally require you to track down specialized parts even for standardized teardrop slots. With any pallet rack identification, the first and easiest step is usually to try and track down the name of the manufacturer on a label or part ID somewhere on the rack. Of course, we’ve seen some pretty darn old pallet racks out there, so that might not always be an option – if that’s a problem you’re running into, then consider using this guide to try and identify what sort of rack you have by the slots it uses. Many times an alternate solution or a compatible part can be found, but due to the multitude of different slot types and manufacturers out there you need to figure out what you have first before any replacement can be done.
And of course, if you have any questions about our pallet racks or need to request a quote for some new racking, Shelving.com is here with the answers you need!