Calculating the Ideal Building Column Spacing for Your Pallet Rack Syste
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Calculating the Ideal Building Column Spacing for Your Pallet Rack System

Laying out warehouse pallet racking can be a frustrating task, especially when it comes to figuring out how to accommodate building columns. It may seem that no matter how you rearrange your layout, you may still have difficulty placing the columns out of the rack or not in the aisles.

At Cranston Material Handling, we’ve put together some tips on how to space your building columns to avoid these frustrations and design a pallet racking system that best suits your needs.

Building Column Placement Tips for Optimizing Your SpaceCalculating the Ideal Building Column Spacing for Your Pallet Rack Syste

In most cases, architects and engineers will space building columns 40 or 50 feet apart., following standard steel mill member lengths. Although this is the general practice, you can make the best use of your space by designing the building around what you intended to use it for and the equipment inside, allowing you to modify these lengths to make the best use of your space.

When optimizing your pallet rack layout, there are two measures you can take to avoid having your building columns fall outside of the racking or within the forklift drive aisles:

  • You can position your racking to ensure that the building columns are positioned in the flue spaces or the space between the back to back rows of pallet racking.
  • You can also position your racking to have the building columns positioned within the racking.
To avoid losing storage locations, it is essential to try to position the building columns within the flue spaces.

Positioning Building Columns Within in the Flue Spaces

Below we’ve put together the best building columns spacings for a variety single-deep pallet racking design. As an example, we’ve determined the building column spacing for 12” x 12” building columns and 48” deep pallets, with no pallet overhang. To determine these measurements, we use the formula:

[(Rack Depth x 2) Flue Aisle] x # Bays = Column Spacing

For this example, we will look at a 40-ft building column spacing for single-deep pallet rack. For 48” single-deep pallet racks with 12” flue spaces, you would have 11’-0” aisles.

Determining the Size of Your Aisles

Wide Aisle – A wider aisle may be needed if your operations require faster loading and unloading. With a 156” aisle width, you would need to increase the building column space by 44’-0.

Narrow Aisle – A narrow aisle, with a 120” width can help you optimize your space and save on square footage. This size aisle requires on a 38’-0” building columns space.

Very Narrow Aisle (VNA) – If you have the proper equipment a 60” very narrow aisle with will allow you to an on an additional set of pallet racks. Very narrow aisles only require a 42’-0” building column spacing.

Pallet Rack Layout and Design Services

At Cranston Material Handling, we understand how challenging it can be to layout and design a pallet rack system while determining the best building column spacing in your building to ensure you get the most out your space. Our team of material handling experts will evaluate your space and help you design and layout the best pallet racking system for your operation.

We also offer installation and project management services to coordinate the entire delivery and installation of your pallet racking system. With experienced employees and contractors who have specialized training, we will install your pallet racking with unbeatable expertise. Contact us today to learn more about our pallet racking options.