One of the key questions asked by prospective buyers of warehouse racking is how much weight the racking can hold. This is perfectly reasonable, given that they have specific storage needs to meet, and do not want to buy a racking solution if it is not going to be able to provide the necessary support. Customers do not want to have to buy stronger racking or spend money on reinforcements down the line; they want the right product, now. In this post, we discuss the load capacity of warehouse racking to shed some light on the subject.
The simple answer to the question of how much weight warehouse racking can hold is: a lot! To this we then need to add the conditional: it depends on the racking. Warehouse racking is built with industrial applications in mind; it is designed for heavy-duty use and is strong and durable. But there are as many different types of racking systems as there are types of warehouses, and load capacities vary. A racking expert will be able to tell you exactly how much weight a particular type of racking can hold.
People are often surprised when they find out just how much racking can take. Some upright warehouse racks can hold phenomenal weights; they have load capacities of up to 9 000 kg. That’s nine tons! This refers to the maximum load capacity for the entire bay of pallet racking, irrespective of the number of levels of beams.
Load capacities are affected by various factors, including the type of material the racking is made of, height and length dimensions, and wall and floor supports used. As a rule of thumb, the thicker the metal or the stronger the steel, the more weight it can load. If it looks tough, it probably is. The beams in the racking also affect its load capacity; the way they are constructed can increase or decrease the weight limits. Shorter beams are generally much stronger than long beams, in keeping with basic laws of physics.
Before shopping for racking, it is a good idea to calculate how much weight you currently need to be stacked, as well as how much this will increase by, if at all, in the future. A racking expert will then be able to work with these figures to find the best racking solution for your warehouse.
Whatever the final load capacity is determined to be, it is crucial that it is clearly communicated through signs attached to the racking. These need to be easily visible so that anyone stacking stock items is immediately aware of them. Respecting the load limits of racking is essential for avoiding injuries to workers, as well as damage to stock. As tough as warehouse racking is, overloading it can cause the structures to sag or even collapse – often without warning. If you make any alterations to the racking, it is necessary to get the load capacity re-assessed to ensure the continued safety of workplace operations.