Four Ways To Get More Out Of Your Industrial Shelving

Industrial shelving is the perfect solution for storing hand-loaded items that require easy access and fast picking. Unlike pallets on a pallet rack, items that are stored on industrial shelving don’t require forklifts, rolling ladders, or other heavy machinery to access them. This makes industrial shelving ideal for miscellaneous warehouse storage or for storing smaller products that need quick fulfillment.

There are three main types of industrial shelving: rivet shelving, clip shelving, and wide span shelving. If you’re not familiar with the difference between these types of industrial shelving, we’d recommend that you read our in-depth industrial shelving comparison article, which breaks them down into detail along with recommendations on the best use cases for each.

The goal of this article is to help you take things a step further by giving you ideas on how to customize your industrial shelving to get more utility from them in terms of increasing safety, security, and storage capacity. 

Getting More Out Of Your Shelving

Here are a few tips on how to get more out of your industrial shelving that can help you either increase the safety of your team, security of your products, or storage capacity of your industrial shelving systems.

Foot Plates

industrial shelving foot plates

Foot plates are an excellent way to add additional stability to your industrial shelving. Foot plates are attached to the bottom of your industrial shelving to allow you to anchor the system to the floor. 

The installation of foot plates on your industrial racking is very straightforward. Besides the foot plate itself, the only other hardware you need is concrete wedge anchors which can be purchased at most hardware stores. 

When purchasing foot plates for your industrial shelving, it is important to pay attention to the specific upright that you are installing the foot plates on. Unique foot plates are needed for each of the end uprights in your industrial shelving system. Uprights in the middle of your shelving system also have their own unique design. 

Below are a few examples of foot plate configurations:

  • Single bay wide span shelving - six (6) total foot plates will be needed. Two on each end of the shelving system (four total) and two that attach to the intermediate uprights.
  • Four bay wide span shelving - ten (10) total foot plates will be needed. Two on each end of the shelving system (four total) and six that attach to each of the intermediate uprights between each bay.

Click here to explore our inventory of foot plates for wide span shelving

Hang Rods

industrial shelving hang rods

Hang rods are another specialized add-on that can add extra utility to your industrial shelving. Hang rods can be attached between the shelf supports on your industrial rack, which can transform your shelving into a multi-use storage solution. Below are a few example use cases for hang rods:

    • Warehouse break room or employee areas - Industrial shelving doesn’t always have to involve the storage of products. Many businesses use wide span shelving or rivet shelving in their break rooms and employee areas for miscellaneous storage. By adding hang rods to your industrial shelving system, you can create a “mix and match” type storage solution where items like coats can be hung at the top of the shelving system. Shelves can be added below the hang rods to allow for extra storage of other products or items.
    • eCommerce clothing warehouses - If you’re selling items like suits, coats, and jackets, and want your items to be stored without wrinkles, your entire shelving system can be converted into a multi-level clothing rack.
    • Automotive warehouses - By adding hang rods to your shelving system, you can create a storage solution that allows you to keep quick-pick items on shelves while leveraging hang rods to store odd-sized parts like tires.

    Click here to explore our inventory of hang rods for wide span shelving

    Protective Caps

    industrial shelving end caps

    Protective caps are an inexpensive yet cost-effective add-on for industrial shelving that can help you protect your employees from getting injured, and your floors from unnecessary damage.

    Protective caps come in two configurations: soft top edge caps and hard nylon foot caps. Soft top edge caps are installed on the tops of your shelving uprights to protect your employees from getting cut on the sharp edges. Hard nylon foot caps are installed on the bottom of your shelving uprights to keep your floors from getting scratched up.

    Special protective caps can also be purchased specifically for post uprights and intermediate uprights. For example, for a single bay shelving system, you’ll need to purchase four soft top edge caps and four hard nylon foot caps, all of which are installed on your post uprights.

    If you’ve got a two bay system, with an intermediate upright separating the two bays, you’ll need to purchase four soft top edge caps and four hard nylon foot caps to go on your post uprights, and two soft top edge caps and two hard nylon foot caps to go on your intermediate uprights.

    Click here to explore our inventory of protective caps for wide span shelving

    Pro Upgrade: Shelving Supported Mezzanine

    shelf supported mezzanine

    If you’re primarily using industrial shelving to store products in your warehouse, you can create a shelving supported mezzanine, similar to a pallet rack supported mezzanine.

    Warehouses that have lots of vertical room to spare can benefit from building a mezzanine on top of your industrial shelving as an effective way to get more storage and working space in your warehouse. There are a couple of popular ways to do this:

    industrial shelving mezzanine with additional storagePhoto from Cisco Eagle

    Adding More Shelving To Increase Storage - By using your industrial shelving as support, you can continue to build additional shelving units on the mezzanine platform to increase your storage density while maintaining the same footprint. Catwalks can be built between shelving aisles to enable your team to access products from all sizes of your shelving units.


    industrial shelving mezzanine with platformPhoto from Cisco Eagle

    Adding a Deck-Over Unit
    To Add More Workspace -  Instead of building additional shelving on your mezzanine platform, you can build a deck-over unit, which provides an unrestricted work area for your employees.

    In short, with shelving-supported mezzanines, you can increase the storage area of your warehouse using the same existing footprint with unlimited possibilities.

    Things To Consider When Building a Shelving Supported Mezzanine

    When considering an addition of a shelving supported mezzanine, you’ll want to keep the following things in mind:

      • Existing footprint measurements and building construction - Always make sure you have the proper clearances on the footprint that you plan on building your mezzanine on and make sure there are no building obstructions like columns or existing equipment that could interfere with the construction of your mezzanine
      • Ceiling height - Pay attention to the height of your ceilings to ensure that you are accounting for things like lighting, support beams, fire suppression systems, and general code requirements.
      • Product types & picking processes - Have a plan in place to select the proper type of industrial shelving to store your products (wide span, rivet, or clip shelving) and make sure you have the proper picking strategy in place to retrieve those products. Pro-tip: Use spiral or incline conveyors to easily move product from the mezzanine to ground level.
      • Safety & code requirements - Make sure you understand the code requirements that need to be met when building a mezzanine, including local building codes and fire codes. Also consider the purchase of additional safety equipment like guard rails to prevent accidental work injuries while working on the mezzanine.

    Click here to reach out to us about designing a shelving supported mezzanine

    Need Help Building a Custom Industrial Shelving Solution? We’re Here To Help

    At American Storage & Logistics, we carry all three major types of industrial shelving: clip shelving, rivet shelving, and wide span shelving. We have fully built systems, kits, and individual components that allow you to customize your storage solution to fit your needs.

    If you are in the mid-Michigan area near Grand Rapids, Lansing, Kalamazoo, or Battle Creek, you can purchase your industrial shelving products online and pick them up at our warehouse the same day, or get them delivered to your business as soon as tomorrow.

    Explore our industrial shelving products that are available for purchase online or give us a call at 616-247-9800 and chat with one of our storage specialists to help you find the right system that fits your needs.