Sizing your wire mesh deckUnless you've enlisted the help of a material handling professional when putting together pallet rack, you risk finding yourself a proud owner of wire mesh deck that doesn't fit. It's not a good feeling when you have your rack installed only to realize you can't put anything on it because your wire mesh deck is falling through the load beams.

With a little instruction, you can save yourself a whole lot of trouble when coordinating an install. Use these tips to choose the right wire mesh deck for your pallet rack, and please, ask as many questions as you need of the person helping you out. It's not every day you put pallet rack together, but a material handling professional should know this instantly.

Load beam length corresponds to wire mesh deck width

On wire mesh deck advertised as 42" D x 46" W, the 46" side of the deck is what rests on the horizontal load beam. For instance, two 46" W decks will rest on a single eight-foot load beam (a combined 92" of deck spread across 96" of beam). The U-shaped channel supports you see running through a wire mesh deck should run perpendicular to the beam.

Upright depth corresponds to wire mesh deck depth

Take that same 42" D x 46" W deck. The 42" side should match the depth of your upright. If your upright is 42" D, your deck should be 42" D. If the upright is 48" D, your deck should be 48" D. Simple as that.

Channel supports mean everything

Do the outside dimensions of your wire mesh deck match the load beam length and upright depth? Great! One other thing. Check your channel supports.

These U-shaped bars, which run underneath the actual mesh of a deck, are what give the deck its strength. They are also typically shorter than the full depth of the deck. The channel supports on a 42" D x 46" W wire mesh deck measure about 38-1/8". Why? Because they need to sit on standard load beams, which have steps formed into them. If the channel supports are any longer, the deck won't fit evenly across the beams. If they are shorter, the deck will be hanging on for dear life by its mesh alone, which is a very bad thing.

A quick solution is to measure the top of your load beam (on a standard beam, about 1-5/8"). Multiply that by two and subtract from the upright depth. The channel support length should match that number.

It's not always an exact science...

You might measure the depth of a deck and say "That isn't 42 inches deep! It's 42-3/4 inches deep! What gives, Speedrack Midwest?" What gives is that you are measuring a deck with standard waterfall mesh, which means the mesh bends at a 90-degree angle to hook over the load beams. That means it needs to extend a little further than 42" to slip over the beams. No big deal, but it can be irritating when you expect to see a more precise measurement.

Same goes for channel supports. You may expect 38-1/8", but maybe you're presented with 38-1/2" or 37-7/8". As long as the deck can be tek-screwed in place without risk of slippage, it should work.

... But safety is paramount

Before you go overboard estimating wire mesh depth this, channel support length that, you need to take a step back and remember that if you make a mistake, some one else could pay for it. The risk isn't too big if you're buying new, but if you're buying used wire mesh deck, always make sure to double check your measurements rather than trying to "make it work." The best way to prevent this is by purchasing your wire mesh deck from a reputable dealer, and not the guy up the street clearing out some space.

Speedrack Midwest is a trusted provider of material handling products, including new and used wire mesh deck. Don't play the guessing game when you're buying heavy duty pallet rack. Contact us for a quote today.