Action Handling work across a variety of industries, and our sales team are always on hand to answer questions and offer product advice. One of our most frequently asked questions is "What’s the highest possible point I can position the bottom shelf on my bay?"
For shelving systems (large or small scale) this is a truly vital question. Almost every hand-loaded shelving bay on the UK market requires a ‘bottom shelf’. This is because all accumulated loads on the upper shelf levels are being transmitted down to the floor via the shelving uprights and hence the greatest stress is in the bottom part of the uprights. The fitting of a bottom shelf level, just above the floor, provides bay rigidity and strengthens the uprights in their most vulnerable area.
This is where Action Handling’s Longspan Shelving systems are particularly effective. Our Longspan or Widespan shelving systems have rigid upright frames into which the shelf beams are fitted. The frame is made of two upright posts joined by front-to-back bracing – welded, riveted or bolted. This bracing gives the necessary rigidity and allows loads to be transmitted down through the posts, making it possible to have a first shelf level some distance above the floor. Most people tend to think of 'Longspan' as having long spans, but in fact it’s not the length of the beams (and hence the shelf) that is important, it’s the fact that it can span over a load that is stored on the floor. A Longspan system is ideal to span over a pallet stored on the ground, while providing hand loaded storage levels above.
Therefore, our answer would be, "The height above ground that the first shelf level can be fitted depends upon the system, in particular the loading capacity of the upright frames." There is a sliding scale for each type: the higher the first beam level, the less the frame capacity. This same principle applies to pallet racking frames where it is vital to know the beam pitch.
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