Let's start off by discussing whether or not you are required to use one product over the other. There are no specific codes requiring a warehouse or distribution center to use one product over the other, except in situations in which someone might be walking underneath the structure. In this case, utilizing wire decking is required as it will keep product from accidentally falling through and hitting the person walking underneath.
That said, it is very common for city fire codes that explicitly prevent the use of particle board when your pallet rack system is over 12' high. This is because the particle board is both flammable and blocks overhead sprinklers from putting out a fire further down in the pallet rack system.
So, if you're not required to use one over the other, how do you know which one you should use? Below are some of the key differences and similarities between pallet supports and wire decking.
- Pallet support material can be slightly cheaper (pallet support = $15-20/pallet, wire deck = $12-18/pallet)
- Pallet supports require more labor to install (you will need to screw them in to the beam to ensure they don't move)
- Wire decking's mesh provides better fall protection
- Wire decking provides a broader platform on which to store product - you can store cartons or pallets
- Both come in standard sizes to fit 36", 42" and 48" deep teardrop pallet rack and are meant to support a 2,500 lb pallet
- Both will work best with beams that have a standard 1-5/8" step
- Both provide adequate support for the pallet
- Both meet fire code standards by allowing water to pass through the rack system
- Both are made of metal
- Both can be custom ordered for heavier loads or to work with pallet rack uprights that are not a standard depth (i.e. - not 36", 42" or 48" deep)
While there is no clear winner, we sell a lot more wire decking than we do pallet supports. We believe this is likely because: (a) wire decking is much more user friendly, (b) wire decking provides better fall protection and (c) the material is roughly the same price.
Still not sure what you need? Talk to one of our Warehouse Consultants over the phone (616-246-8700) or via email (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Founded in 1958 to provide pallet rack to local distribution centers, ASL has evolved to offer complete turnkey warehouse solutions from design to installation and teardown. Whether you require a new pallet rack layout, warehouse mezzanine system or are simply looking to reconfigure your current setup, ASL offers the materials and services needed to make warehousing easy.