In today's industrial settings, warehouses must be able to store a
large amount of inventory. A major concern is storing this inventory
using a cost-effective and safe method. A pallet rack, or pallet
racking, is designed to better utilize floor space by allowing warehouse
inventory to be stored in horizontal rows with multiple levels. Pallet
racks are essential to modern warehouses and retail centers, as well as
other industrial and commercial facilities. There are several common
types of pallet racks available. Each is designed with specific
functions and each type has definite advantages. The type of racking
required depends on certain factors such as desired storage density,
inventory rotation and storage design. Some types of pallet racks
include: selective, structural, push back, and very narrow. Regardless
of the type of racking needed for a specific application - all racks must be anchored to the concrete floor for stability and security.
Before You Get Started
Once the proper type of pallet racking is determined,
a floor plan must be designed. Always remember to allow for adequate
aisle spacing. If the storage space requires a tighter configuration,
pallet racking designed for narrow aisles is available. The next step
after the floor plan is designed and the racks are assembled is to
decide which type of anchor should be used to secure the racks to the
A vertical tolerance of 1/8" in 4 feet is generally accepted as level in most applications.
It is extremely important to ensure that all of the
racks are level before installing any anchors. It is also essential to
ensure that every column of the rack frame will be anchored to an
adequate and stable concrete floor.
One option for fastening pallet racks is the use of a concrete wedge anchor. Wedge anchors
are available in a variety of diameters and lengths and are
specifically designed for use in solid concrete. The diameter to be used
in each application is dependent upon the hole size in the bottom plate
of the upright. Most racking systems have holes that will accommodate a
1/2" diameter wedge anchor. The 1/2" anchor is available in 8 different
lengths ranging from 2 3/4" to 12". The most commonly used lengths for
fastening pallet racks are the 3 3/4" and 4 1/4".
Concrete strike anchors
can also be used when anchoring warehouse pallet racks. The strike
anchor is designed for use in solid concrete and is an impact-expansion
type anchor. This 1/2" anchor is available in 4 lengths ranging from 2
3/4" to 6". The most common lengths used in this type of application are
the 3 1/2" and 4 3/4".
Deciding which anchor to use is typically based on
the manufacturer's recommendation and/or personal preference. Both the
wedge and strike anchor mentioned above are made to work well in solid
concrete and in anchoring applications such as this one.
Choosing the Size of Wedge Anchor or Strike Anchor to be Used
Another essential consideration is to determine the
required holding values for the chosen anchor. Once the holding values
are calculated and verified, refer to the wedge anchor technical specifications or strike anchor technical chart
to select the size of anchor required. If unsure of the correct size
anchor to use, it is recommended to check local building codes or have
an engineer determine the requirements for the particular application.
The pallet rack manufacturer may also suggest an anchor size to use.
Step by Step Instructions
Hole diameter is equal to anchor diameter
The installation of concrete wedge anchors can be completed in six simple steps. Basic instructions follow:
- Using the hole in the bottom plate as a template, carefully drill holes using a hammer drill and carbide-tipped masonry bit. The drill bit diameter should be the same diameter as the wedge anchor.
- Clear the holes of all debris using compressed air, a shop-vac or wire brush.
- Before inserting the wedge anchor into the hole,
be sure to place the washer and thread the nut a couple of turns. Not
fully threading the nut protects the threads of the wedge anchor.
- Insert the wedge anchors into each hole through the upright legs of the pallet racks.
- Carefully hammer the anchors into each hole ensuring that they are installed to the desired depth.
- Tighten all the nuts using a torque wrench to ensure they are tightened to the required torque value.
For more detailed information, please view this wedge anchor installation video.
When using the concrete wedge anchor, it is important to remember:
- Wedge anchors are very effective when the concrete is in good condition and minimum edge distances and spacing are maintained.
- Hole size is critical to the holding values of the wedge anchor.
Hole diameter is equal to the anchor diameter when using ANSI standard
carbide bits. The tolerances of the ANSI standard carbide bits are
specifically matched to wedge anchor diameters.
- Wedge anchors have a required torque value. See the technical information page to determine the diameter of anchor to use for a range of required torque values.
Similarly, the installation of the concrete strike anchor is also straightforward, and can be completed in the five steps outlined below. Basic instructions follow:
For more detailed instructions, please view this strike anchor installation video.
Some advantages in using the strike anchor are:
- Anchor size is equal to hole size.
- The actual diameter of the anchor is the same as its nominal diameter.
- Anchor is inserted with nut and washer attached.
- The nut and washer can be easily preset for desired embedment.
- The strike anchor can be visually inspected after it is set. When the head of the pin meets the threads, the anchor is set.
- Strike anchors provide excellent holding values.
- Nuts and washers are included.
Pallet racks increase storage space and allow
inventory to be stored in a more effective manner. It is important to
install these racks correctly and safely to reduce on-site injuries and
improve productivity. By taking the time to research the specific
application and reading the steps above, as well as conferring with
contracting experts- you are on the way to a more productive, effective
As with any anchoring project, it is important to keep safety in mind and follow instructions carefully. Always remember to wear safety goggles, handle all tools with extra care and follow all technical specifications. This article is meant to serve only as a basic explanation of concrete fasteners. Always refer to manufacturer's instructions or consult a contracting expert during any anchoring project.
Article Written By:
Michael Pistorino, Vice-President Operations
Concrete Fasteners, Inc. has over 40 years of experience selling concrete fasteners. We can ship out one box or a whole pallet of concrete anchors. Our products are of the highest quality... "your satisfaction is guaranteed". We ship all orders the same day the order is received.