1) UDL (Uniformly Distributed Load)
What are you going to store on your shelving and how much does it weigh. That’s number 1. You don’t have to weigh every single item out, this can just be a rough estimation. For example, if you decide to store bags of soil compost on your shelving which weigh 19.5kg, round it up to 20 and then multiply. As long as the weight is distributed evenly amongst the shelf and not all on one side, this should be ok.
Be aware of what you’re storing. By this we mean that chipboard for example might not be suitable if you’re storing wet/cold goods as over time the decking will disintegrate, stainless steel shelves would be preferred as they’re easier to clean and don’t erode. Make sure you take this into consideration if you’re looking to invest in a long-lasting shelving system.
Once the shelving is delivered, what do you have to do with it? Will it take a lot of assembling or is it the boltless type which can be put together quick and easy with a rubber mallet? This might not have much of a bearing on your decision, however if you’re working to a deadline, the faster the better?
If you’re implementing a shelving system rather than a single bay of shelving, you will need tie plates or joining pins to stabilise the shelving if placed back to back or side by side. This will create a stronger, neater and more stable unit if heavy goods are being stored.
Health and safety is very important within the workplace. Now, whilst all racking will likely be deemed safe, some businesses will need to go above and beyond when it comes to their safety checks. If racking has been tested to ‘FEM’ this means it has been approved by the ERF (European Racking Federation). This is unlikely to significantly impact the price and will provide extra reassurance.