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The Differences Between Structural and Teardrop Style Pallet Rack Systems

While some might tell you that all pallet racks are the same, expert store managers know that is not true. Choosing the right pallet rack frames for your storage center will ensure better productivity and efficiency in your operations. Things like type of product, weight factors, climate, and how you operate your facility, all impact the choice of pallet rack styles. Understanding the differences between different pallet rack systems will help you make the right choice for your business needs.           

Structural Pallet Racks

If your warehouse moves a lot of material each day, with many forklifts, personnel, and machinery supporting your operations, you should consider a structural pallet rack system. Some examples of facilities that benefit from structural pallet racks include beverage warehouses, cold storage facilities, and food storage warehouses. These types of racks are ideal for these types of environments because they can handle more pounds per square inch and withstand impacts better from forklifts and other machinery than other pallet rack systems.

If constant forklift impacts occur in your facility, consider structural frames with a bullnose or angle deflector welded to the front column to provide even greater durability. You can also reinforce your front columns by welding a doubler plate behind it.

Structural channel beams permit heavier loads on the racks. If you bolt a structural beam tie from front to back, the beam will remain rigid when supporting heavier loads.

The advantages of using structural pallet racks are:

  • Greater strength – Structural racks provide much greater long-term usage in a fast-paced working environment. Their sturdiness translates to a longer term of use and a better return on investment.
  • Durability – Their durability allows them to hold up against heavy usage by forklifts in a harsh environment
  • Versatility – Structural pallets come in a variety of sizes and designs. Companies often find drive-in, selective push back, or pallet flow applications meet their needs.

Teardrop Pallet Racks

Teardrop pallet rackTeardrop is the most common type of roll formed pallet rack systems. Retail stores and commercial or industrial warehouses commonly choose this kind of system. The most common colors are green and orange, but you can order them in other colors, too.

Any enterprise that works with lightweight materials and either uses forklifts infrequently or not at all should consider teardrop pallet racks. The shape of these pallet racks provides their strength. Their shape makes them ideal for warehouses that store seasonal goods or assorted sizes of product.

Teardrop pallet racks are easily recognizable by their teardrop-shaped punch hole. Two teardrop punches run side by side all the way up the rack on 2” centers. They can be easily incorporated with other teardrop pallet rack systems, and they are extremely versatile. The assembly is simple. You do not need special fasteners or clips. You can reconfigure them quickly.

The advantages of using teardrop pallets are as follows. They are:

  • Cost-effective – Teardrop pallet rack systems are a lot more affordable than structural steel racks. Teardrop rack frames use less steel, too, which provides a further savings on costs. The lower cost means a fast return on investment while still providing the necessary strength for most uses.
  • Boltless – Because of the way beams are slotted into place, it allows them to be more easily assembled and configured than structural pallet racks. Since there are no bolts, there’s nothing to go missing, removing the need for spare parts.
  • Adaptable – Teardrop pallet rack systems can be quickly and easily configured to meet changing needs, allowing them to accommodate a variety of different product sizes and shapes. Structural racks must be unbolted, making changes more time consuming and costly. As they can be combined with other teardrop rack systems, they are incredibly adaptable to a changing environment.
  • Available – Most teardrop pallet racks are available on demand and can be shipped

Final Thoughts

Rack systemThe type of warehouse or plant you operate and the products you stock and move will determine which pallet rack system you choose. Structural and teardrop style pallet rack frames are comparable in terms of structure or strength, so it really comes down to the type of product you store and your personal preference.

Structural pallet racks are best for large distribution centers that have a fast turnaround and heavy forklift usage. Their strength and durability allow them provide secure storage. However, they are time-consuming to disassemble and refit, which can make them bothersome when differently sized stock has to be stored

Teardrop pallets are better for small storage warehouses that handle stock of varying weights and sizes. They won’t have the strength to handle heavy loads, but they make up for that with great adaptability.

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