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Good Quality Racking Vs Cheap Shelving Units

Thursday, 3 March 2016  |  Jon

There are hundreds of different shelving units available to buy and it can be difficult for a potential buyer to know which system is best suited for their needs. Budget entry-level units are available from as little as £30 per bay but as with everything in life, you certainly do get what you pay for.

A good indicator of the quality of a racking system is how much steel is used in the components. You can clearly see in the image below that our commercial grade Trimline shelving system uses a super-strong 1-piece rolled tube post made from 2mm thick high quality steel. The alternative budget option shown to the right features a much less rigid 2-piece angle post design made from steel that is under 1mm thick!

See the difference in shelving post designs

Cheap units have their place and if you want to buy one or two bays for your shed or garage, you plan to screw it back to a wall and are not planning on moving it then they will certainly do a job. If you want something that will last for decades, can be moved easily as a complete unit and be disassembled & re-assembled many times then you will need to spend a little more on a good quality racking system.

Many people choose racking based upon its shelf load capacity and some cheaper shelving systems can quote upwards of 200kg storage capacity per level. In reality only industrial users will load shelves above 175kg, anything over this and you really should be looking at heavy duty warehouse racking. As an example; a shelf that can hold 130kg would be able to store 100 bottles of wine or 7 full size car batteries - can you really imagine needing to store more than this on a single shelf and would you be happy loading up to 1 tonne of weight on a structure made from the thin flexible steel shown above?

View the difference in chipboard thickness

Another aspect of buying a premium shelving unit is that you will be supplied with a much higher quality chipboard deck. Typically 15mm thick boards will be supplied compared to only 6mm on cheaper racks - that is 2.5 times thicker!

Another important question you need to ask yourself is: are you going to need to adjust the shelf heights? Many angle post systems require 4 shelf supports to be moved every time you need to make the slightest adjustment. With our E-Z-Rect system you only need to worry about the front and back supports - making configuration changes super quick.

It is very common for us to supply Trimline racking units to replace budget shelving that retailers have bought in an attempt to save money in their stockrooms. The clients soon realise that the 'cheap' shelving isn't up to the job and now they have to look for something better. We know that budgets for storage racking aren't always very large but we do recommend that you choose the best racking system that you can afford. Doing so will hopefully ensure that you will only need to buy it once.