Drilling Down on Pallet Rack System Anchoring | Apex Safety Spotlight

Pallet Rack System Anchoring - Apex Companies

Your pallet rack system is comprised of uprights, beams, struts, baseplates, and all of the components used to support your inventory, i.e., rails, arms, pallet supports, or decking. These elements are strategically connected to form a storage system capable of holding load capacities in the tons, making proper anchoring critical for safe, effective use and overall warehouse safety.

RMI Pallet Rack Anchor Guidelines

Accepted guidelines issued by Rack Manufacturer’s Institute (RMI)* indicate that all columns (aisle & rear) on all frames be furnished with baseplates for the purpose of anchoring to the warehouse floor. Anchor bolts must meet established specifications, as well.

Securing Your Pallet Rack System


Located at the column base, baseplates are used to increase the pallet rack stability and weight-bearing capacity. They are pre-drilled with 2 or more holes to anchor the column to the concrete floor.

Hole diameter can vary from ⅜” to ¾” typically and baseplate sizes can vary by manufacturer; however, the baseplate provided with the rack should afford the needed surface area and stability. In higher seismic areas, baseplates are made thicker and/or larger, depending on their location and the slab thickness. Baseplate thickness range from ⅛” & ¾”.

Anchoring Options

Pallet Rack System Anchoring - Apex Companies
Offset Upright – keeps anchors out of aisle

To properly secure the column, each baseplate must have at least (1) anchor. An engineer specifies the quantity, brand, and size of the anchors during the rack design. In most cases, only one anchor is required, so some holes in the baseplate will go unused. The extra holes are beneficial should installers hit rebar when drilling the anchor hole so they can change position and still properly anchor the system. Also, the extra holes can be used for re-anchoring the upright if the anchor is damaged.

In addition to baseplate anchors, it’s recommended that rack systems have a secondary connection point to properly secure them from falling.


Securing Single Row Pallet Rack

 It may be suggested for single row pallet rack systems to use wall ties to secure the row to the building wall. Apex NEVER recommends anchoring rack to the building structure. This puts stress on the building wall that most likely was not designed to support. If a single row needs to be tied off, it should be connected to adjacent rack with an overhead row tie unless the building engineer reviews and approves of wall ties.

Securing Back-to-Back Pallet Rack

Pallet rack systems that are positioned back-to-back can be connected upright to upright using row spacers. These additional connection points add a significant measure of stability to the rack systems and help secure the safety of warehouse operations.

Pallet Rack Guards

While baseplate anchoring secures the pallet rack system, it doesn’t safeguard it against vehicle strikes and resulting damage. Pallet rack end row guards and column protectors are important companion components to protect the column and the anchor.

Addressing Pallet Rack Damage & Rack Repair

Anchors Sheared Off

Regular inspection of rack systems for damage should be conducted monthly and include anchor and baseplate condition. While important for all racking system configurations, anchor damage in drive-in rack can pose a very serious risk as pallet rack bays can spread leading to inventory falling down through the rails and onto operators working in the system. Here’s more on how to optimize safety and productivity with drive-rack systems.

Apex makes your regular system inspections easy with the Apex Rack Repair App. The app guides you through your rack damage inspection, including checking for missing, loose and sheared anchors and front or rear baseplate tears & twists. Note: any baseplate twisted past ½” requires repair.

Apex Rack Repair Mobile AppWith the Apex Rack Repair App you simply take pictures of damage and capture system specs… right down to paint colors and baseplate type… and upload your findings to the Apex PROs for a fast evaluation and  a non-biased repair solution, if needed.

The Apex Rack Repair App is free to download and use and offers the quickest way to warehouse safety.

Additionally, the Apex PROs are available to come to you and complete a complete warehouse safety and pallet rack system audit. Our team is comprised of trained, certified, rack and safety inspectors, and they are just a call away. After your audit, you receive a non-biased repair solution and safety recommendations to ensure your warehouse is kept at peak performance level.

Download the app today from Google Play or the App Store and give it a try. Available for iOS & Android smartphones or tablets.

RMI Citation: ANSI MH16.1-2012: Specification for the Design, Testing and Utilization of Industrial Steel Storage Racks, section 1.4.7