Overloaded Beams Pose
How do you know if you are overloading beams in your warehouse when you are unsure of the manufacturer or you do not have accurate beam capacity tables from the manufacturer? The Rack Manufacturer Institute defines shelf beam deflection limits as follows:
"The deflection of shelf loads is limited to 1/180 of shelf span. For example the maximum deflection of a 108 inch beam = .7" or 9/16 of an inch."
To calculate your beam's capacity, simply measure the distance from the bottom of the beam in question to the floor at the connector clip and then measure the distance from
the bottom of the beam in the middle at 54 inches on the parallel plane. If the difference between those two dimensions exceeds 9/16" your shelf level is overloaded. You either
need to re-merchandise the beam level in question to meet specifications or change the beam level to a higher capacity beam.
Note - you cannot simply rely on a beam capacity chart from one manufacturer to another. Although the beams from the two manufacturers may be the same size, the gauge of the beams may be different. By using a manufacturer that is a member of the Rack Manufacturers Institute you can
be assured that the capacities have been verified by an unbiased independent source.
Article written by Bill Lawson, LJS Solutions.
Bill can be reached at