Pallet shelving allows for weak pallets and small pallets to be used safely in beam racking. It is typically used in a warehouse where a wide variety of suppliers use a wide variety of pallets to supply goods. The quality of timber used in shelving should be considerably better than the pallets it receives since unlike most pallets, it is a semi-permanent fixture and need not deteriorate since it will remain dry. There is no UK or European standard for timber pallet shelving.

Pallet shelving in beam racking

The advice given here on timber shelving assumes the strength of the steel racking it is used with has been checked with the racking manufacturers - most racks clearly state the maximum load per bay. Some racks were designed before the small Euro became popular and one thing to watch for is if the bay width is just wide enough to allow three 800 x 1200 Europallets to squeeze in across their 800mm where only two 1200 x 1000 were designed for. If this can happen overload could occur and notices must warn rack users against three pallets. The maximum load on both pallet sizes being typically 1500kg the bay could accidentally end up with 4500kg.

To help with racking safety a relatively new scheme is underway allowing for independent inspection of steel racking by accredited inspectors. It is run by the Storage Equipment Manufacturers Association (SEMA) which is involved with European standards work on steel racking and will have good experience on this. However, it is unlikely that SEMA inspectors knowledge of steel racking extends to the quality of timber used in the shelving laid across racking beams and as timber experts we are making Datasheets available.

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