Mixing Your Existing Pallet Rack with New or Used May Be Hazardous

By John Dusek on 2010-03-17 18:46:41 -

Not all teardrop style pallet rack components are compatible or interchangeable.  Unfortunately, there isn’t an authority or institute that doles out specification standards for “teardrop” punched beam to upright connections.

 

 http://pallet-trucks.indoff.com/media/PLT/Pallet_Rack_-_connection_components.jpg

 

There are three main components to modern roll-formed pallet rack which are beam channel, connector plate and an upright.  The connector plate is configured with either rivets, fingers, tabs or clips that attach to a complimentary designed upright.

 

http://pallet-trucks.indoff.com/media/PLT/Pallet_Rack_-_connector_types_teardrop.jpg

Pallet rack designs, specifications and availability may come and go.  Even the same manufacturer has been known to vary these details over a period of time.  Differences in rivet diameter, rivet location, connector plate thickness are critical in compatibility.  Manual safety lock features were mandated by OSHA a few decades ago to protect the forklift operator who accidentally lifts their pallet load into the bottom of the load beam above.  Compatibility of these important mechanisms should be accounted for as well.  Surprisingly an 8 foot beam is not always 96 inches between the uprights.  Some could be 96-1/2” and another may be 96”.  Mixing the two in the same bay may spell problems galore.

The bottom line is undamaged rack is always better than damaged.  It’s always best to replace any damaged components, even with some of the disadvantages that come with mixing varied beams and uprights from different sources.

Try considering replacing entire bay sections rather than one piece. That way you’ll know your connecting components are compatible.  Also you can avoid compatibility issues by simply adding an extra upright next to your existing upright rather than connecting new beams to old uprights or vice versa.