Structural vs. Roll Formed Pallet Racks

One of the most important things to consider when updating your warehouse is whether to use Structural or Roll Formed Pallet Racks.

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Structural vs. Roll Formed Pallet Racks: What’s the difference?

Both of these pallet racking systems offer durability, but one might be more suited for your warehouse than the other

Structural Vs. Roll Formed Pallet Racks:

One of the most important things to consider when updating your warehouse is whether to use Structural or Roll Formed Pallet Racks. So what is the difference? Structural Rack is hot-rolled structural steel and Roll Formed Rack is cold roll-formed steel. Since Roll Formed Pallet Racks are made of lighter gauge steel with boltless beam pin connectors, they are less expensive to buy and install. However, Roll Formed Racks can be limited in the amount of weight that they can support and they are more easily damaged from forklift trucks. On the other hand, Structural Pallet Racks are made from heavier channel steel, which can provide much higher load capacities and can better withstand harsh conditions such as fork truck impact. Since Structural Pallet Racks are made of heavier steel and get bolted together, they are more expensive and take slightly more labor to install, however they require less maintenance and provide greater longevity.

Structural Pallet Rack Differences:

Structural Pallet Rack is highly recommended in warehouses that have a fast-paced environment, such as large cold storage facilities, beverage distributors, food handling warehouses, or any high volume storage warehouses. This is because Structural Racks can endure much greater impact from forklift equipment and offer more pounds per square inch. In these fast-paced warehouses, it would be prudent to use Structural Frames with a bullnose or angle deflector welded to the front column to help further shield against fork truck damage. Another suggested option would be to reinforce the front column with a doubler, welded behind the column up to 60”, as this also helps the longevity of your system. Even further options would be to add a heavy duty bottom horizontal which is welded front to back on the frame to help prevent damage from direct impact or to incorporate a slant leg frame to help eliminate pallets hitting the frames while fork trucks load or unload products from the system.

Structural Channel Beams provide the ability to store heavier load capacities and over a certain length would require a structural beam tie bolted front to back to help stop the beam from spreading when heavy pallets are stored.

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  • Strength: Hot-rolled Structural Steel Rack provides much greater quality and strength for long-term return on investment over cold roll-formed rack.
  • Rigidity: Fully bolted connections on Structural Rack yield a stronger and more rigid system over Roll-formed.
  • Durability: Structural Rack is manufactured to more precise specifications for longer lasting performance and designed to withstand better in high use applications such as heavy loads, quick turnover, and harsh conditions.
  • Versatility: Offers a wide range of sizes, designs and load capacities. Common configurations include selective, drive-in, push back, or pallet flow applications.

Roll Formed Pallet Rack Differences:

Roll Formed Pallet Rack is generally recommended for retail stores, commercial, and/or industrial warehouses storing lighter weight products with less fork truck interaction. This is because the roll-formed rack components rely on shape for strength and do not offer any extra capacity in the event of over loading or impact. Roll-formed Pallet Racking is a good choice for facilities storing seasonal products or many different product SKUs with varying sizes, as it provides great adaptability to deal with any beam reconfigurations necessary to handle any new product and/or pallet sizes.

  • Cost-effective: Cold roll-formed rack is less expensive than Structural Steel Rack, and this lower cost provides a more up-front return on investment, while still providing the strength necessary for most applications. However, Roll-Formed Rack is prone to costly replacements due to more susceptible damage from fork trucks over time.
  • Boltless: Roll-formed beam pin connectors and safety locking mechanism provides an automatic engagement when the beam drops firmly into place on the roll-formed upright column. Roll-formed beams can be installed slightly faster than structural beams, plus there is nothing to forget or misplace, as no bolts or loose parts are required.
  • Adaptable: Easy to assemble Roll-formed Rack is more adaptable to handle any beam reconfigurations that may arise to accommodate varying product or pallet dimensions. Due to roll-formed beam boltless connectors, beams can be moved much quicker than structural beams, which require more time and labor to unbolt and re-bolt. Roll-formed Rack generally has a teardrop style, which in most cases is interchangeable among different manufacturers.
  • Quick Ship Availability: Most common roll-formed sizes are stocked and available for immediate shipment.

The Structural vs. Roll Formed Pallet Rack debate really depends on your type of warehouse. Let 1 Stop Rack Services help facilitate the process of designing, installing, and supplying the ideal racking system for you. Call us today to have a phone consultation with one of our material handling experts at 855-748-9338!