7 Key Things to Look for When Buying Longspan Shelving

on July 01, 2020
The Options All Look Similar

A quick search will reveal that there are many different shelving options out there and that the price varies quite a bit for what seem initially to be similar units. How do you choose between them - is it just price? Here are some of the main features to look for. 

 

1. Weight Capacity and Materials

One of the key differences will be how much weight the longspan unit is rated to carry. This will usually be expressed as the maximum number of kilograms that a pair of beams or shelf level can carry as a Uniformly Distributed Load (UDL) e.g. 300Kg per pair of beams UDL. Each unit will also have a total maximum carrying capacity.

The load capacity of a longspan unit will depend on the quality and weight of steel used in its construction, as well as the bracing that is used in the uprights, beams and decks.

 

2. Type of Deck

Longspan decks or shelves can be made of steel, timber or steel mesh.

  • Steel decks are strong and can be powder coated for a durable, rust resistant finish.
  • Wooden decks are often made from MDF or particle board. They can be good as an active work-surface and are generally less expensive than steel.
  • Steel mesh can be useful for archive storage, as they allow airflow and provide access for cleaning from underneath.

 

3. Stability

It's important that longspan units are stable, especially if the floor is uneven or heavy loads are anticipated on the uppermost shelves of the unit. Here are some of the things to look for:

  • Are leveling plates available that can be fitted under the footplates of a unit to compensate for unevenness in the floor?
  • Do the units have pre-drilled holes in their footplates so that they can be fastened to the floor, if necessary?
  • Can the unit be screwed to the wall, if it is not practical to fasten it to the floor?

 

4. Ease of Assembly and Adjustment

Are the units easy to assemble, adjust and expand? Can they be easily dismantled, adjusted and re-installed if requirements change?

  • What tools are required for assembly and adjustment?
  • Can the shelves be easily adjusted up or down to any height that is required?

 

5. Modular Design that Can be Connected Together into Rows

Does the design of the units allow them to be connected together into pairs or longer rows of shelving? Being able to connect starter bays with one or more addon bays can improve storage space and reduce the investment required (one upright is saved each time a connection is made).

 

6. Ability to Buy Individual Components  

Being able to buy individual components on their own can be important if you have a special requirement or if you wish to add an extra shelf down the track.

  • "Standard units come with 4 shelves, but I only need 3 shelves for my longspan unit. Can I buy the individual parts I need to make this unit?"
  • "I need to add an extra level of shelving. Can I buy that separately?"
  • "I already have some longspan shelving, but I need to change my configuration. Can I buy 3 uprights 4 beams and a deck?"
  • "Can I buy just 1 component e.g I just need one deck?"

 

7. Aesthetics

Bottom line - do the units look good? Do they look solid and professional? Will the finish last and continue to look good for years down the track?

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