Design Beam Elevations – Beam Heights in Pallet Racking

You are thinking about moving into a new warehouse and you need to set the beam heights in your racking. You are wondering what the racking will look like and you need a tool to help you determine the heights of the beam levels and figure out how high your new forklift needs to lift.

There are two ways to do this. You can use this calculator to figure out how many pallets high you can store in the warehouse. Or you can use a more manual approach by setting different beam levels based on pallet heights using our calculator below.

The calculator helps design racking and set beam heights

Here are some of the other things you can learn from using this calculator:

  • Calculate 1st pallet rack beam level height
  • Determine the number of pallets stored vertically
  • Determine the number of beam levels per bay
  • Determine the number of beams needed per bay
  • Determine the height of the top load beam
  • Determine the fork elevation required on a forklift to work with your pallet rack
  • Know the optimal height of the pallet rack upright frame needed
  • Calculate the height to the top of the highest load stored in the pallet racking system
  • Determine the height of the sprinkler head in inches
  • Calculate the number of inches from the sprinkler head to the top of the highest pallet in the warehouse

Beam Height Calculator Instructions

We have set this calculator to work from bottom up. First fill in the height to the sprinkler head in feet to get started. You will need a laser to get an accurate distance. To buy a laser measuring device, you can find various laser measuring tool options here.

Now that you have the sprinkler height, you will need to determine the sprinkler type. Check your sprinkler riser for this information. It will say clearly if it is ESFR. If it does not say ESFR, select standard sprinklers. Your sprinkler height minus 18 inches (standard) or 36 inches (ESFR) will give you the maximum storage height. This dimension tells you the maximum height the tallest pallet on your top load beam can be.

Now start from the bottom of the calculator and work your way up. Each level will have a pallet height, a lift off, and a beam height (usually 4″-6″ tall)

We have assumed that the vast majority of racking systems will have at least two beam levels and therefore two beam heights.