How Much Weight Can a Pallet Rack Beam Handle?

September 19, 2023

Pallet racking beam

Storage facilities, distribution centers, and factories all require pallet racks. However, you should always use the most appropriate and secure tools in such settings. Therefore, it is essential to know the limits of your gear, such as the maximum load it can support. In this article, you will examine the robustness and adaptability of pallet racking to help you decide whether it is the best solution for your requirements.


How intense are pallet rack beams?


When discussing the load capacity of pallet racks, it is essential to consider the racking as a whole, with the load distributed evenly over all of the beams or as near to this configuration as possible. While it is true that individual pallet rack beams may support considerable weight, this should not be done unless necessary. Pallet racks are efficient because the load is distributed over a large area and supported by numerous beams at once. 


Factors that Determine How Much Weight Can a Pallet Rack Beam Handle


The amount of weight that a rack system can support depends upon a variety of variables, such as:


Load Capacity of a Beam: First, you need to know how much weight every pair of warehouse beams can support. The load-bearing capacity of a beam is proportional to its width, height, and kind of construction. Most manufacturers supply standard load tables that may be used in an advisory capacity. Published capacity spreadsheets assume equally distributed loads and exclude seismic or other specific requirements.


Upright Capacity: Unlike the simple task of calculating beam capacities, calculating upright capacities requires more work. A system with 96″ spacing between beam levels might have considerably less capacity than one with only 48″ between beam levels; thus, engineers will first examine warehouse beams level. The engineer will also consider the upright frame layout, number of levels, back-to-back bracing, and other variables.


Slab and Seismic Variables: Adding slab and seismic factors complicates the assessment even more. Considering the slab thickness and other factors is essential since the rack system will be secured to the slab. 

Building permissions are needed in almost every state, and seismic concerns will affect rack design, typically requiring extensive system strengthening to resist seismic effects. 


What is the maximum load capacity of a pallet rack?


Once again, the answer will rely heavily on the pallet rack maker and your chosen model. However, the average weight capacity of an Australian standard pallet is 500–1,800 kg. Some producers may have a lower capacity, while others may have a higher one. Steel pallets, for instance, can support about 2,000 kg. The actual capacity of your pallet racking depends not just on the quantity and accessibility requirements but also on the kind of things you’re keeping.




Never assume anything about rack capacity without consulting an experienced rack design engineer. The engineer has the knowledge and tools for calculations to guarantee that the system you choose will function reliably for many years. Request to have your calculations to be put in writing and that they be supported with LARC diagrams detailing the exact setup you want to implement.