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Pallet Racking Component Glossary

June 20, 2024

When purchasing pallet racking there are lots of details to consider to ensure you choose the right storage system for your operation. The size of the products you're storing, the size & layout of your facility, inventory control methods, and more all factor into every decision throughout the purchasing process. From what type of racking to choose, to what type of accessories you need, there's quite a bit to wrap your head around.

At ASI, our knowledgable sales team has been guiding businesses to buy the right pallet rack for them since 1991. Our sales team will walk you through the entire process from quoting, to layout design, through to installation. That said, we know that shopping for pallet racking can be overwhelming if you don't know what goes into a pallet rack system. To help make the process easier for you, we've created a glossary of common pallet racking terms.

Once you've brushed up on your pallet rack parts, you're ready to start your pallet rack consultation with our sales team; Give us a call at (800) 876-3736 today to get started!

Teardrop Pallet Rack Frames

Pallet Rack Frames

Pallet Rack Frames are the vertical supports from which you mount your beams. Two frames can be attached via beams to create a bay of pallet racking. Their modular design allows the user to attach multiple bays parallel to each other to create long runs of racking, or they can be attached perpendicular to each other to create more complex storage structures.

Pallet Rack Frames are often also referred to as:

  • Pallet Rack Columns
  • Pallet Rack Uprights
  • Pallet Rack Posts
  • Pallet Rack Trees
Teardrop Pallet Rack Beams

Pallet Rack Beams

Pallet Rack Beams are horizontal supports that run from frame to frame, providing the structural support for your racking. Pallets that are large enough to span the depth of the rack will sit on two beams - one at the front and one at the back. In general, four beams and two uprights are the minimum materials needed to construct a bay of pallet racking.

Pallet rack beams come in two common styles: teardrop pallet rack beams and structural pallet rack beams. Structural beams are designed for heavier duty applications and use a nut & bolt to attach to a structural upright. Teardrop beams, while having a lower capacity rating, enjoy simple, bolt-free installation with a built-in teardrop connection on the beam itself.

Pallet Rack Beams are often also referred to as:

  • Pallet Rack Crossmembers
  • Pallet Rack Crossbars
  • Pallet Rack Arms
Wire Decking for Pallet Racks

Pallet Rack Decking

Pallet Rack Decks are used to bridge the gap between two beams on a single level of racking, providing additional support for the load as a level surface on which to store pallets.

A variety of styles of pallet rack decking exist, including plywood decking, corrugated steel decking, PunchDeck, and a variety of styles of wire decking, the most popular style of pallet rack decking.

Pallet Rack Beams are often also referred to as:

  • Pallet Rack Supports
  • Pallet Rack Flooring
Pallet Supports

Pallet Supports

As an alternative to decking, many business choose pallet supports for extra support for pallets that aren't as deep as their rack system. Resting comfortably inside the step of your pallet rack beam, a pallet support provides a level surface for pallets and additional peace of mind for your forklift operators when loading pallets onto your rack.

Pallet Rack M-Dividers

Pallet Flow Rails

Another alternative to standard decking, flow rails provide a slightly inclined surface made of skatewheels on which pallets loaded from one side can freely flow with the assistance of gravity to the other side to be unloaded. Flow Racking provides simple, electronics free automation of a First In, First Out inventory control system.

Row Spacers for Pallet Racking

Pallet Rack Row Spacers

Row Spacers are metal flanges bolted onto the frames of two adjacent rows of pallet rack. Available in a variety of widths depending on your preferred rack spacing, they enforce uniform, parallel rows during installation as well as bolster your racking system's overall stability.

Column Protectors for Pallet Racking

Pallet Rack Column Protectors

Column Protectors are upright pieces of metal which are bolted to the floor, surrounding the base of your pallet rack frame. Designed to absorb impacts from forklifts and other heavy machinery, they are a worthwhile investment; Greatly increasing your pallet rack's safety and longevity.

Bullnose Column Protectors for Pallet Rack

Bullnose Column Protectors

In areas with high forklift traffic, a bullnose column protector can reduce the effect of an impact with the help of a significantly strengthened connection to the floor slab. A bullnose protector typically features an additional 3/4" anchor installed inside the front bullnose to reduce damage and column rotation during impacts.

End of Aisle Guards for Pallet Racking

Pallet Rack End Of Aisle Guards

End of Aisle Guards are a complementary safety product to your pallet rack's column protectors, defending the entire depth of your pallet rack from impacts on the outside end of the rack. The end of your pallet rack row is most directly exposed to forklift traffic, and therefore most likely to be subjected to impacts, damage, and abuse. End of aisle guards are a simple, effective measure to defend your rack's durability.

You may see End of Aisle Guards referred to as...

  • Aisle Guards
  • Rack Protectors
  • Rack End Caps
Heavy Duty Seismic Footplates For Pallet Racking

Pallet Rack Seismic Footplates

Seismic Footplates provide maximum stability for your pallet racking, securely anchoring your rack into the warehouse floor. These heavy duty rack footplates may be required in areas with high levels of seismic activity, but provide added safety and stability to any racking system anywhere.

Wall Ties for Pallet Racking

Pallet Rack Wall Ties

Wall ties bolster the stability of a rack that is located adjacent to wall by bolting the rack directly into the wall. This added level of protection can be a must have in areas with high seismic activity.

Wall Ties for Pallet Racking

Pallet Rack Stop Bars

Stop bars further increase the safety of your racking system by attaching to the back side of a bay to provide a stop point for pallets being loaded. This is intended to prevent a forklift operator from accidentally pushing a pallet past the end of the bay, protecting your employees and products from serious injury and damage.

As a result of Stop Bars obstructing one side of the rack, they're only useful in situations where a rack is loaded and picked from the side, such as with pushback rack or when racking is adjacent to a wall or a high traffic aisle.

Pallet Rack Safety Netting

Pallet Rack Netting

Like Stop Bars, pallet rack netting prevents falling product from reaching the ground, protecting it from impact damage and more importantly, protecting employees working below. Racking safety products such as netting & stop bars are an inexpensive investment upfront that pay dividends in the long term.

Pallet Rack Back Guards

Pallet Rack Back Guards

For heavier duty protection compared to rack netting, one can choose pallet rack back guards, which are made from corrosion resistant stainless steel. Back guards attach directly to your racking system to perform the function of both stop bars and netting in one, making them a great choice for safer aisles adjacent to high-traffic areas.

Rack Repair Kits

Rack Repair Kits

Sometimes referred to as pallet rack splice kits, rack repair kits are an in-place solution that restores the functionality of a pallet rack frame after a serious forklift impact without sacrificing the original load capacity of the pallet rack. Having rack repair kits handy in the event of an accident can prevent a catastrophic failure while saving time and money on rack replacement costs.

Pallet Rack Rub Rails (AKA Floor Guides)

Pallet Rack Rub Rails

Rub rails are installed to protect vulnerable surfaces in tight aisles and high traffic areas. They are often installed as a safeguard for the end of rack aisles, in-plant offices, and exposed equipment. You may also find rub rails referred to as pallet rack floor guides.

Pallet Rack M-Dividers

Pallet Rack Dividers

Pallet rack dividers mount directly to your pallet rack beams to help keep unusually sized loads upright and organized. Pallet rack's high versatily means that with the right accessories, even unusual products like lumber and carpet and can stored safely and comfortably within your rack system alongside other palletized products.


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