Racking Beams: Types and Characteristics

Racking systems are the backbone of efficient warehousing and storage facilities, and racking beams play a pivotal role in this infrastructure. They provide support for pallets, boxes, and various types of goods, ensuring that your inventory is stored securely and can be accessed with ease. We will explore the different types of racking beams and their characteristics to help you make informed decisions when setting up or optimizing your warehouse storage.

Types of Racking Beams

There are many factors to consider when choosing racking beams including load capacity, length, compatibility, durability, adjustability, safety features, and cost. 

1. Step Beams

Step beams, also known as box beams or box step beams, are the most common type of racking beams. They feature a rectangular cross-section, with a step or ledge on the top surface. This step allows for easy placement of pallets and provides extra stability by preventing them from sliding off.


  • Versatile and widely used.
  • Suitable for a variety of pallet types and sizes including Teardrop racking systems 
  • Easy to install and adjust.
  • Can handle significant weight capacities.

2. Structural Beams

Structural beams are designed for heavy-duty applications and are often used in high-density storage systems. Unlike step beams, structural beams have a closed, tubular shape, which enhances their load-bearing capacity and resistance to deflection.


3. Wire Mesh Decking

While not technically beams, wire mesh decking is an important component of pallet racking systems. They are wire grids that sit on top of the beams, creating a solid surface for non-palletized items or cartons.


  • Provides additional safety by preventing items from falling through.
  • Ideal for storing cartons, boxes, and items with irregular shapes.
  • Many teardrop pallet racking systems incorporate wire mesh decking on top of step beams.
  • Increases visibility and allows for better fire sprinkler penetration.

4. Box Beams

Box beams, as the name suggests, have a hollow, box-like cross-section. They combine the advantages of both step beams and structural beams, offering good load-bearing capacity with the convenience of step beams.


  • Suitable for a range of load capacities.
  • Compatible with various pallet sizes.
  • Easy to clean and maintain.

Racking beams are essential components of any efficient warehousing and storage system. Choosing the right type of beam and considering their key characteristics is crucial for optimizing your warehouse space, ensuring safety, and maximizing productivity. Whether you opt for step beams, structural beams, box beams, or wire mesh decking, selecting the appropriate racking beams tailored to your specific needs is a critical step towards a well-organized and functional warehouse. For all your pallet racking needs, reach out to Simply Rack today! Whether you’re looking for expert guidance, tailored solutions, or Quick Ship convenience, we’re here to help. Contact us now at 844-722-7225 or visit our location at 8560 North IH 35 Service Road, Georgetown, TX 78626, United States. Your optimized warehouse storage journey starts here with Simply Rack.