Industrial Shelving: Pallet Racking Vs. Boltless Shelving

In California, space doesn’t come cheap. Whether you’re in the Bay Area, Sacramento or Central Coast, you’re likely paying more per square foot than a similar business in a neighboring state. That’s why it’s essential for California warehouses, distribution centers, and other businesses to maximize every inch of available space.

In this article, we’ll look at the two most common types of industrial shelving: pallet racking and boltless shelving. In just a few minutes, you’ll know which is the best option for your business. 

Short on time? Contact us for a free, zero pressure, expert consultation.

Boltless Shelving: Pros and Cons

If you need to store lighter-weight items that will be picked by hand, boltless shelving (also known as rivet shelving) is a versatile and inexpensive option. Double rivet shelving allows you to store heavier things, to a maximum of 1500-1800 lbs. per shelf. 

Boltless shelving is also a good choice if you have oddly-shaped items, or if your storage needs will change over time. You can easily raise or lower the shelves in 1.5-inch increments.

Another reason to choose boltless shelving is if you need quick access to your items. With pallet shelving, employees must locate the right box, take it off the shelf, find the item they want, then close and replace the box. With boltless shelving, the employee can simply walk to the shelf and pick up what they need.

Height and capacity limits are the biggest downside to boltless shelving. If you have a large warehouse and only use boltless shelving, you’re paying for a lot of empty air (but it’s better than floor stacking). 

Boltless shelving is also a poor choice for high-volume applications. You can’t use a forklift with boltless shelving. Everything must be hand-picked. 

Pallet Racking: Pros and Cons

There’s a good reason pallet racking is widely used in warehouses and distribution centers. It’s strong, versatile and ideal for high-volume applications. 

Industrial racking is designed for palletized loads and comes in different configurations depending on your needs. Selective rack is the most common, but there’s also drive-in/drive-thru rack, double deep and gravity flow — just to name a few. Learn about the different types of pallet racking.

Industrial Shelving: Pallet Racking Vs. Boltless Shelving

If you’re currently double or triple stacking pallets, an industrial racking system will quickly pay for itself. Some of our customers have saved literally millions of dollars by using more of their vertical space. 

Not sure where to start? Teardrop racks (named for the upside down teardrop-shaped slots that hold lateral bars in place) are the most popular. Teardrop racking is easy to install, adjustable and less expensive than the second-most popular type: double-slotted pallet racking (which is better for extremely heavy items).

Buy New or Used Warehouse Racking in Northern California

Our experts can help you choose the best shelving or industrial racking for your business needs and budget. In some cases, your operation may benefit from a combination of pallet racking and boltless shelving.

Ready to store more without adding square footage? Schedule a free consultation to get an overview of your options. You can also try out different pallet racking configurations at our Bay Area demo center in Livermore.

At Total Industries, we offer a variety of industrial shelving options to help businesses in Northern California maximize their available space. We know you’re under a lot of pressure to “just make it work” and do more with what you have. 

When you work with Total Industries, you get a single-source provider that can:

  • Sell your existing pallet racking (we pay top dollar!)
  • Design and build a system to optimize your existing space
  • Provide a permit package to ensure your local building department signs off on your plans
  • Install new rack and move (or remove) your existing rack

Contact one of our friendly and experienced industrial racking experts for a free consultation. Connect with us online or by phone:

Bay Area – Livermore (510) 340-9293
Fresno (559) 834-9500
Sacramento (916) 376-0500
Salinas (831) 757-1091

Further Reading
Warehouse Racking Permits in California – Know Before You Buy
Structural vs. Roll Form Pallet Racks
Buying Used Pallet Racking: Pros and Cons