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How to anchor pallet racks

How to secure pallet racking to the floor

Pallet racks are a core feature of industrial and commercial storage. As these structures can hold pallets of immense weight, they must remain upright and stable. If you don’t know how to anchor pallet racks effectively, you risk damaging your inventory, injuring your workers and breaching industry regulations.

Thankfully, base plate-and-bolt systems can fix each pallet rack to the floor.

That way, racks are far less likely to shift or tip over upon impact – whether due to forklift collisions, high winds or anything in between.

Not sure where to start with anchoring?

At Pallet Racking Sydney, we’ve been designing and manufacturing pallet rack systems to Australian Standards for over 30 years. Here, we explain how to secure pallet racking to the floor and why it’s so important. Read on to learn how to ensure compliance, keep workers safe and protect your stock.

Do pallet racks need to be bolted to the floor in Australia?

Do pallet racks need to be bolted to the floor in Australia

Yes, pallet racks need to be bolted to the floor in Australia.

Under AS 4084: Steel Storage Racking, each rack base plate must be secured with at least two bolts if the racking is subjected to forklift or other mechanical handling operations. This helps to prevent the rack from buckling, twisting and collapsing in the event of a collision.

If pallet racking isn’t being serviced by such equipment, then it only needs one bolt per baseplate.

Why do you have to bolt down pallet racking?

As well as ensuring compliance with Australian Standards, securing pallet racks to the floor is essential to safeguarding your staff and stock.

Let’s take a more in-depth look at why pallet racking has to be bolted down

Let’s take a more in-depth look at why pallet racking has to be bolted down.

Onsite safety

The main reason for anchoring your pallet racks is to strengthen warehouse safety.

With manual handling equipment regularly used around pallet racking systems, collisions are a risk you need to prepare for. Bolting the racks to the floor minimises the likelihood of collapse if struck by machinery, in turn protecting operators and other workers in the vicinity.

Moreover, securing your pallet racks to the floor enhances their stability in extreme weather, helping to keep staff safe no matter the conditions.

Inventory protection

Correctly bolting your pallet rack to the floor ultimately helps to protect your stock. After all, if this column collapses, any inventory it’s holding will go down with it.

Therefore, an unstable pallet rack could lead to substantial financial losses in inventory damage.

Don’t take the risk.

Instead, learn how to anchor pallet racks properly below.

How to secure pallet racking to the floor

How to secure pallet racking to the floor

Once your pallet rack’s uprights and horizontal beams are assembled and positioned correctly, it’s time to secure the frame.

Here’s how to anchor pallet racks properly*:

1. Make sure you have the necessary equipment:

a. Shims
b. Level tool
c. Hammer drill
d. Concrete drilling bit
e. Wire brush or vacuum
f. Hammer
g. Anchors
h. Impact driver or socket wrench

2. Use shims to level your uprights.

3. Drill a hole that matches the anchor’s diameter but exceeds its depth (consult a professional on the precise length before you begin).

4. Use a wire brush or vacuum to clear the hole of any dust and debris. This will help the anchor grip the concrete.

5. Place a washer on the anchor and screw the nut on until it is level with the top of the bolt. Then, insert the wedge anchor into the drilled hole and drive it down with a hammer until the nut touches the base plate.

6. Tighten the nut to the suitable torque (again, please consult a professional) using a socket wrench or impact driver. The anchor will pull up as the nut tightens/

Repeat these steps for each base plate.

As you can see, securing pallet racks isn’t as simple as a screw or two. Opting for the wrong anchor, or installing it in the wrong area or position, can have costly consequences.

Save valuable time and money by calling in the professionals at Pallet Racking Sydney. We’ll make sure your pallet racks are installed securely the first time around.

3 tips for anchoring pallet rack

1. Use concrete flooring

Concrete is the only type of industrial flooring robust enough to anchor pallet racks carrying heavy loads. Alternative materials, like linoleum, epoxy or vinyl composition tile, are generally not strong enough for warehouse applications.

If your facility doesn’t have concrete flooring, please speak to our specialists before anchoring any pallet racks.

2. Ensure racks are level

As the anchors that fix your pallet rack to the floor are very effective at keeping it in place, you’ll need to confirm the frame is level before you bolt it down.

Otherwise, your pallet rack may lean to one side, lack stability and be unfit for use.

3. Choose the right size anchors

The size of your anchor needs to suit the base plate’s anchor holes, pallet rack dimensions, and depth of the concrete slab where you will drill.

The anchor diameter for a standard baseplate is about 1.25cm, with lengths typically ranging from 7 to 15 cm.

For personalised advice on selecting the right size anchor, don’t hesitate to call the experts at Pallet Racking Sydney on 02 4072 3456.

Picking the right anchors for your pallet racking

There are various anchors to choose from when securing your racking, each available in different sizes. As each type and size of anchor is suited to a certain application, choosing the wrong one could have costly consequences.

Keep reading to learn about the most common types of anchors in Australia.

Wedge anchors

A wedge anchor is the most common type of anchor used for fixing pallet racking frames to concrete flooring. Inserted into a pre-drilled hole, this steel anchor looks similar to a standard bolt-nut-washer set but is distinguished by its tapered end. When torqued, the tapered end drives into a metal sleeve, expanding within the hole much like a drywall anchor would.

It’s crucial to use the correct hole size and apply the right torque when installing these anchors. The rule of thumb is that a thicker and longer wedge anchor offers more strength.

Keep in mind that wedge anchors are permanent. Therefore, it’s important to optimise your layout before installation. Otherwise, you’ll have to cut the anchors if you need to move the racks.

Strike anchors

Strike anchors anchoring pallet racks

Strike anchors are another popular choice for anchoring pallet racks. Similar to wedge anchors, they are intended for use in solid concrete.

These anchors are sized to match the exact hole. After installation, check the strike anchor to see if the pin’s head touches the threads. If so, the anchor is set correctly.

To find the right type and size of anchor for your racking system, consult the manufacturer’s guidelines or get in touch with the team at Pallet Racking Sydney for tailored advice.

What types of bolts are required for pallet rack baseplates?

The Australian Standards AS4084-2012 doesn’t state a certain type of bolt for securing pallet storage systems to the floor, but it does require whichever bolts you use to meet minimum strength criteria.

In short, bolts must have a minimum of:

  • 5kN Tension (equivalent to about 500kg of pulling force).
  • 8kN shear (approximately 800 kg of horizontal force).

To ensure you end up with the correct tension and shear, you’ll need to assess the flooring to which these bolts will be affixed. If the concrete is weak or the mortar quality is poor, the floor may need to be repaired first.

Explore robust pallet racking systems in Sydney

Pallet racking must be anchored properly to comply with Australian Standards, as this helps to enhance warehouse safety and protect your stock.

If you approach this crucial step incorrectly, you’ll be left with a compromised floor and unstable pallet racking that could cost you thousands in damages if an accident occurs.

Ensure every rack is anchored securely with Pallet Racking Sydney. We know how to anchor pallet racks for lasting stability. Manufactured and installed to Australian Standards, our durable pallet racking systems and pallet rack accessories maximise storage capacity without compromising on safety.

Find out more or contact Pallet Racking Sydney for support with fulfilling your unique storage requirements. We’ll equip your facility with a stable and secure pallet racking system.

*Importantly, this is just a general guide, as every pallet racking system has distinct requirements. Therefore, we strongly recommend seeking professional advice before you begin any anchoring work.

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