Pallet Support beams


Pallet support beams (PSB) are primarily designed to prevent pallets from sagging in the middle when stored with the 1000mm side facing (1200mm) deep in mobile racking.

Racking is generally designed to support GKN Chep Code 1 four-way pallets as delivered from a GKN depot. In practice pallets entering a warehouse can be damaged and costs are pressurizing exporters to use ever lighter “disposable” pallets where corner blocks have shrunk to as little as 70mms square.  

CHEP Wooden Pallet Dimensions in mm:

External L – 1200 I W- 1000 I H- 166

Schematic interpretation of pallet from different sides

In the fruit industry, efficient container stacking has meant that 1176mm pallets are now being stored on rack beams 1100mms outside to outside reducing margins for error when placed on racking.

A CHEP code 1 pallet is specified to carry 1000kgs. It’s not entirely clear whether this is when it is stored with the 1200mm side facing the access aisle or the 1000mm side.  If it’s the former, then all CHEP pallets stored with the 1000mm side facing the access aisle will be specified to carry a lower weight as the distance between the load beams is generally 1000mms as opposed to 800mms.

GKN pallets are seen as the quality standard in South Africa for pallets. Disposable fruit pallets are significantly more flimsy and the corner blocks seem to have an infinite number of sizes all of which are generally smaller than the GKN Chep equivalents. Citrus pallets fully loaded on disposable pallets can reach gross weights approaching 1500kgs.

Although the GKN 1000 kg specification of 1000 kgs is clearly conservative, it tends to indicate that a significant number of wooden pallets are overloaded especially when stored in racking.     

Pallet support beams can alleviate these problems so long as the pallet blocks in the center of the 1000mm side are placed on top of them and not to one side.  PSBs should be yellow in color so their lips are easily seen by the forklift operators against the orange load beams. PSBs are easily installed and secured at the front with a Tek screw. Developments are in progress to assess the effects of an additional lateral beam across the PSBs to provide extra support.  

Alternative options include galvanized steel grids and wooden decking.  The costs for supply and installation varies as it excludes transport, foreign exchanges & taxes. Barpro can provide you with a detailed quotation for the following:

Wooden Decking & Mesh Decks

Solid wooden decking is a cost-effective option but may need gaps between the wooden slats to satisfy fire regulations. The costs for supply and installation vary from R 170 per pallet while heavy-duty Mesh Decks come in at about R 690.

Steel Grids

Steel grids can be designed to give full support to pallets which can then be of any size, or just for central support and the discouragement of slipping which is a problem for plastic pallets on rack beams, especially in cold icy environments.

Pallet Support Beams – Estimated cost from R200 each

Heavy Duty Mesh Decks – Estimated cost from R690 each

Lighter support grids – Estimated cost from R410

If you need any additional information on pallet Support beams and mesh decks, please contact:

Maxine Fereira –   I  Sally-Anne Hassan –