How to Determine the Size of Warehouse Pallet Racks

Pallet rack storage systems are used by a variety of supply chain facilities including warehouses, manufacturing factories, e-commerce fulfillment centers, retail locations, 3PL’s and distribution centers as a means of boosting operational efficiency, enhancing safety measures, and maximizing on product storage space.

To suit various industry requirements, pallet racks come in a wide range of customizable designs and dimensions.

Whether you’re adding portions to an existing pallet racking system or installing a new unit altogether, you need to take the right measurements to ensure compatibility and stability with your current setup.

how to measure pallet racks

How to Measure Pallet Racks

To ensure the stability and maximize the functionality of your pallet racking system, you need to make sure that all of the different components work well together like cogs in a machine.

Properly installed pallet racking systems require a great deal of planning and ingenuity. Start by taking thorough measurements of the area where the new pallet racks or add-on components will be installed. If you’re uncertain of how to do this, here are a few excellent pointers on how to measure pallet racks.

Crossbeam Measurements

When measuring the crossbeams, start by measuring the distance between the inside of one upright beam to the inside of the upright beam that’s parallel to it. This dimension constitutes the length of the beam. Standard beams are available in one-foot increments between 4’ and 12’, the most common size beam being 8’. Although, custom or special order beams can be produced in half-increments if necessary.

Next, you need to measure the face size, which is the side of the beam that faces outward. Simply measure the beam from top to bottom to help determine possible weight capacity. Wide-faced beams have a larger weight capacity than narrow-faced beams.

Measure the Upright Frame

Upright frames are also known as frames or uprights. There are several different measurements that are required here. Start by measuring the depth of the upright frame rack. To do this, you need to measure the external dimensions of the rack from one outside edge to the other. Standard upright frames are usually between 36” and 48” deep (the most common size for pallet storage being 42”).

Next, you need to measure the frame column. Start with the front of the frame column and then move to the side of the frame. Usually, these two dimensions are either the same or or the front face of the column can be slightly bigger than the side of the column depending on whether the frame was customized for heavier than normal capacities. This measurement is normally dictated by the weight capacity of the beams.

The height of the frame also needs to be measured. The frame height indicates the distance from the top to the bottom of the upright frame.

Wire Deck Measurement

Lastly, you need to measure the wire deck, which should be the same as the depth of the rack frame when using universal decking and measurement from inside of beam to inside of beam when using step style or drop in wire mesh decks. Excluding the waterfall component of the decking, the dimensions of the wire deck should be the measurements of the crossbeam unless the storage system was customized.

Finally, measure the width of the deck from end to end.

Need Help Measuring Your Space for New Pallet Rack Add-Ons or Systems?

Canadian Rack Technologies Inc. offers high-end pallet rack storage solutions in Toronto and the GTA. Our professionally engineered pallet rack systems come in standard sizes and customizable designs. Contact us today to learn about our different pallet rack storage solutions.


Kevin Ausman is the founder of Canadian Rack Technologies. He has over 30 years of experience in providing safe and efficient turn-key storage solutions and he specializes in pallet racking, pick systems, industrial shelving, mezzanines, cantilever racks, and more. Kevin is dedicated to providing great customer service, listening to client’s needs, and supplying the best products available.

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