Welded frames may be the most popular style of pallet racking in the United States, but that doesn’t mean you should discount the many advantages of bolted pallet rack frames for your next project.
Why Are Welded Frames So Popular?
One of the main reasons welded frames remain the status quo is because US manufacturers have a vested interest in protecting their industry and union welder jobs. These US manufacturers have a vested interest in promoting welded simply because it’s what they’ve always done. The rest of the world has embraced bolted technology for the reasons below, but the US manufacturers have been slow to change.
Advantages of Bolted Upright Pallet Racking
Despite welded racking being so abundantly offered, bolted upright pallet racking maintains multiple advantages over them. Here are five advantages of bolted uprights:
Bolted racking is less costly. The actual manufacturing principles and components between the two are almost identical. However, bolted uprights have a cost-saving advantage because they do not entail the added labor and costs of welding.
Bolted frames are easier to repair. While welded frames require costly, custom replacements and repairs for damages and defects, repair of a bolted frame simply involves replacing the damaged strut or column.
It’s also easier to determine when repairs need to be made with bolted structures. A bolted structure can easily be assessed and tested by the naked eye. A welded structure, however, is covered by paint that makes it much more difficult to determine the soundness, damage, and repair extent following an incident or routine inspection.
Customization options are more flexible, easy, and cost-friendly with bolted uprights. It simply involves cutting the columns down and adjusting the bracing during frame assembly. On the other hand, to adjust the height of a welded rack, a diagonal and/or horizontal brace will need to be cut out, the columns will need to be cut down, and the bracing will need to be completely welded again. Sometimes, the above process for a welded rack isn’t even possible to a client’s specifications.
Shipping and Installation Costs
Welded frames are preassembled, meaning shipping and delivery involves much more space than a knocked-down bolted frame. Therefore bolted frames can be shipped compactly and then assembled on site. This can save you up to 60% in transportation costs over welded frames if the bolted frame is shipped knocked-down.
Areas prone to seismic activity need frames that are capable of flexing. Bolted frames provide that giving leeway as the earth moves. Welded structures are far less giving, and it’s this rigid build that causes many welded structures to break during seismic events.
Misconceptions about Bolted Pallet Racking
One of the main misconceptions clients have about bolted upright racking is a fear that the bolts will loosen with age and need to be retightened. Again, this is a misconception. Our frames feature a serrated lock nut. If shipped assembled, the serrated lock nut is tightened down until it’s securely locked in place prior to shipping. If shipped knocked-down, the installer will tighten the serrated lock nut into place on site.
Confidence in Safety
Our stock is from RMI certified manufacturers with the highest quality standards in the industry. Whether you choose a bolted or welded upright for your application, you can rest assured that our racks have been thoroughly tested to ensure all quality standards have been met or surpassed.
Which vertical connection system gives more added value?
|Full compatibility with other products||YES||YES|
|Certified by AISI and the AISC*||YES||YES|
|Flexibility and easy to configure||YES|
|Easy to repair||YES|
|Less expensive to ship||YES|
|Lower ownership costs||YES|
|Lower storage costs||YES|
*American Iron and Steel Institute, and the American Institute of Steel Construction
We have a wide variety of pallet racking including selective pallet racks, drive-in pallet racks, push back pallet racks and more.
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