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Should I Buy Structural Pallet Rack?



We’ll give one to five stars for each of the following categories: design, availability, competitive pricing, ease of installation and durability. Next up is the most durable style of pallet rack, Structural.

Design:  five stars

Structural pallet rack is manufactured using one of the strongest known building materials: structural steel. Using poured structural steel C channels, structural pallet rack is designed to stand up to more abuse and hold greater weight capacities than its roll formed pallet rack colleagues. Structural uprights use C channels for their columns, punched at standard intervals to mount beams at various load heights. Structural beams are made of steel C channels with connecting clips welded at both ends. Structural uprights and beams are bolted together, giving it a durable connection.

Structural pallet rack
Design: Structural pallet rack upright and beam connection.

Availability: four stars

While structural pallet rack isn’t quite as widespread as teardrop rack, it’s still commonly available in both the new and used market. Similar to teardrop style, there are many manufacturers of structural rack (Ridg-U-Rak, Interlake, Frazier, Steel King, Dexco, USP, Inca, MECO Omaha are just some of the available brands). Consequently, it’s easy to find a source for new structural rack from a variety of shipping locations. Used structural pallet rackis also widely available as well, though again second to teardrop rack.

Competitive Pricing:  three stars

Due to its manufacturing design, structural pallet rack generally costs about 15% more than roll formed rack. However, based on the application, the design and durability considerations can more than offset the increased product cost.

Ease of Installation:  two stars

Ease and cost of installation should also be taken into account when selecting structural rack. With structural, installation crews have to lift and maneuver heavier components than roll formed rack AND bolt each structural connection. Because it takes longer to install, expect slightly higher installation costs.

Durability:  five stars

This is where structural pallet rack really shines. Utilizing the strength of structural steel, structural racks have an increased weight capacity over comparable roll formed pallet rack. This has the potential for more pallet positions than roll formed due to smaller components bearing larger capacities. Structural rack can also handle abuse and still retain 90% of its load bearing capacity.

Structural Pallet Rack
Durability: With increased weight capacity and damage resistance, structural rack is the most durable style of pallet rack.

Final Word
Structural rack is the best selective pallet rack option in certain applications where the cost of product and installation are offset: high capacity product storage and/or harsh environments.

Structural rack
Structural: Top marks in design and durability can make up for structural rack’s high product and installation costs in applications such as high capacity product storage and harsh environments.

David Youmans, a sales representative at Warehouse1, specializes in fabricating material handling equipment and teaches welding courses at Johnson County Community College.