How to Safely Install Pallet Racking

Pallet racking is a common storage solution for warehouses and distribution centers of all sizes. It allows you to organize and store your inventory while enhancing your warehousing operations and productivity.

Planning the design, choosing the correct system and understanding safe installation techniques are all crucial to ensure you get the most out of your pallet racking system. In this guide, we’ll break down how to install warehouse racking safely and why hiring a professional might be beneficial in this process.

What to Know Before Installing Pallet Racking

Preparing is one of the best things you can do for a safe installation. Following this preparation checklist will help you cover all your bases and ensure a successful installation.

  • Create a physical blueprint of where you plan to place the pallet racks and have copies available for installation personnel.
  • Clear the installation area of moveable obstructions. Make the installation team aware of immovable obstructions such as sprinklers, equipment and lights. 
  • Clear a laydown space for materials near the installation area.
  • Schedule a safety meeting with your crew.
  • Create a clear layout defining the installation area, aisle dimensions and rack elevations.
  • Dedicate specific equipment for onsite unloading and installation.
  • Have final stamped blueprints for reference.
  • Conduct a thorough walkthrough with the supplier before installation.

Before installation, learn everything about the space where you’re installing the racking. You should also know the details of the goods that will be stored on the pallets to ensure you get the right equipment. The pallet racking specifications must allow for the safe loading of goods for the intended use.

No matter your experience, it’s always wise to hire an experienced racking professional. Trying to install racking on your own can result in injuries or damage to the equipment. Hiring a professional can give you peace of mind that the installation will be done efficiently. Install experts understand the layout and intricacies of a warehouse installation and can ensure the entire process happens smoothly.

If you decide to install the system yourself, ensure your employees wear personal protective equipment and use the correct warehouse safety equipment. Be sure that your team is fully knowledgeable of the installation plan before starting.

Pallet Racking Installation Guidelines

Racking installation depends on the type of racking you’re installing. Installation is split into two stages — constructing the upright frames and assembling the frames and beams together to make a bay. A basic warehouse pallet racking installation can include the following steps:

1. Construct the Frame

To make the frame, follow these steps: 

  • Lay the posts down and position the footplate at the base of the posts. Attach the footplate to the posts using supplied nuts and bolts — how many you use will depend on the type of footplate.
  • Position the bracing horizontally and diagonally in the position specific to your design. An example of a standard bracing pattern is in a “K” shape.
  • The typical starting brace point is from the fourth hole. Use a frame-block or spacer to keep the frame from crushing.
  • Use a nut and bolt for each joining brace. The end brace point also requires a frame block and nut and bolt.

2. Assemble the Frame

The next stage is to erect the bay:

  • Raise the end frame and position it securely.
  • Install two beams 9 inches from the ground and secure them with safety clips or nuts and bolts.
  • Install an end frame at the other end of the beams at 9 inches and secure it to the beams. 
  • Erect two more beams at 60 inches above the first set of beams or the required height, using nuts and bolts to secure them to the ned frames.
  • Install two additional beams at 60 inches above the second set or at the height you require, making sure to fasten them with bolts.
  • Place your bay in its final position.
  • Use shims to level the frame. You can do this by anchoring both end frames to the ground. 

When you install additional sections, use a spacer between uprights to ensure they’re secure and correctly positioned. Position a load sign at the end of each rack to help ensure your team loads them correctly.

What to Consider While Installing Warehouse Racking

Before you complete your racking installation, there are a few important factors to consider. Below is a list of our top considerations:

Warehouse Layout and Space

The warehouse space is the first thing you should consider when deciding on the type of racking system. Beyond the size, consider the shape and height of the area, as these factors affect the layout. Your warehouse space will determine the racks you should use to maximize your space.

Windows and doors in your warehouse will also affect the racking installation and help you create a functional space. By considering the area, you can design a system with enough space between aisles that allows your workers to easily and safely access goods.

Uneven Flooring

Some warehouses have uneven flooring. If this is the case with yours, you can use shims to level out your racking. Shims can slide underneath the footbeds between the frame and the flooring. Leveling out the structure is essential to keep items from sliding off.

Strength of the System

Poorly installed systems can collapse, which damages inventory and can cause severe injuries. You can avoid accidents by installing strong, durable pallet racks with the correct dimensions to hold your goods. Before installation, estimate the weight of the goods you want to store. Estimating the weight will help you choose racking that can handle the weight of your items.


Before installation, consider your budget. The cost can be broken down into three main categories — design, storage system and installation. While there may be the temptation to cut costs by choosing a cheaper system or completing the installation yourself, this can compromise the safety and functionality of your system. It’s wise to consult an expert to advise you on the best materials and design to meet your needs.


Pallet racks create a system that allows you to store goods and access them with ease. Your racking installation process needs to consider factors such as the type of goods, the loading frequency, inventory movement and rotation, unloading, and dispatching. Carefully planning the design of your racking installation will help to make it functional and accessible.

Choose Tennessee Rack for Your Pallet Racking Installation Requirements

Pallet racks help to optimize the storage and accessibility of your stock. You can create a safe, robust and functional system by carefully planning your design and choosing the appropriate racking for your warehouse. If you don’t have experience in installing racking, it’s wise to hire a professional.

At Tennessee Rack, we’re a market leader in racking design and installation. We help our clients create the best solutions for their warehouse space, no matter the size. Let’s help you install a safe and functional system — contact us today! 

Call us for pickup or delivery 615-739-6174
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