Teardrop Pallet Racking

Teardrop pallet rack has been around and used commonly since the second World War. It is one of the most common types of pallet rack used today.

Of course, as we get started, we should mention for those that are not aware that pallet racking itself is defined as a major heavy duty large capacity shelving system for warehouse and industrial use.

Having it so commonly used says something about the design, since there are dozens of different pallet rack designs. Most manufacturers come up with their own design for their pallet rack, sometimes using a design closer to a standard design, but sometimes not at all.

There are some manufacturers that have their own proprietary design with the intention that buyers will need to come back to them for further rack components that fit with the rack they already purchased.

Teardrop pallet rack is a type of rack made from cold roll steel. There are other types made from cold rolled steel but the teardrop design is by far the most popular.

What is a teardrop pallet racking? – the teardrop pallet rack design.

Why is a teardrop pallet rack called “teardrop”? Well, it is due to the shape of the slot in the pallet rack upright that the rivets on the beams fit into.

That shape, when turned upside down, forms a classic teardrop, – well, sort of. Anyway, that is the reason for the name teardrop pallet rack.

The teardrop design of the teardrop pallet rack is not unique to pallet racking. The rivet fitting into an upside down teardrop is also used in many other applications – standard rivet shelving being one of those applications.

It is also used in furniture applications, among many others. For example, many steel bed frames use a rivet and teardrop design for connecting the rails to the headboard and footboard.

Teardrop pallet rack assembly.

All pallet racking uses a beam, upright and decking system of construction. Teardrop pallet rack is no exception.

The idea behind the teardrop design is to allow for easy assembly and installation. It is as simple as placing and dropping the pin or rivet of the beam into the inverted teardrop shape on the upright.

Easy assembly and installation also means that the pallet rack can be easily disassembled when needed.

Yes, teardrop pallet rack assembly is fairly easy, but comparatively easy and not always straightforward. Assembly may take multiple workers and possibly some equipment to put the rack together, depending on the size of the rack.

Uprights can be as high as 20 feet. and beams can be as long as 18 feet. And until several components of the teardrop rack are actually in place, the assembly can be unstable and must be supported.

One of the reasons teardrop rack is easier than other rack systems is that it doesn’t require any bolts to hold components together. Remember, beams are just “dropped” into place.

For some teardrop racks, it takes some force to set the pin or rivet into the teardrop once it is inserted. This is done by using rubber mallets to hammer them into a ‘locked’ position.

Once the components of the teardrop rack are in place and the rack is fully assembled, it is very stable and strong.

But, that doesn’t mean that the beams should be free floating.

For safety, with teardrop rack design, and for many other types of rack, there is usually a safety pin or clip system built in. The safety clips keep the beams from popping loose.

Does this ever happen? Yes, it can.

With unstable footing or with flooring that is not level, it can result in beam rivets coming out of the teardrop. This usually happens when items are placed onto or removed from the racking shelves.

So, even though the teardrop rack is designed to have a snug fit on the rivets or pins and even though they may need hammered in, they can come loose. The safety clips hold the rivets in place to keep this from happening.

Teardrop pallet racking load capacities.

Having a teardrop drop-in-place design does not mean that this rack system is weak. Not at all.

There are multiple rivets or pins on each end of a beam and they can hold a great deal of weight. Depending on the beam length, the beams can support loads ranging from 4000 lbs to 60,000 lbs plus.

Uprights can support tremendous weights. And of course, as with all pallet racking, can support more weight with more frequent beams tying the uprights together.

Typically loads of 75,000 lbs or more can be supported by teardrop uprights. Remember that those uprights may be supporting the beams on each side – for two different sections.

Mixing different types of teardrop pallet rack

We mentioned that some manufacturers of teardrop pallet rack design their rack to be proprietary or unique just to them. The proprietary racking is not compatible with other racking types.

This way if more rack components are needed to add on to existing racking, rack users must come back to that same manufacturer to get compatible racking.

Over the years, teardrop pallet racking has become more standardized by manufacturers. This allows for racking to be mixed and matched. Even old and new racking can be mixed together.

Since manufacturers cannot know how other racking may hold up, many racking makers will not honor warranties when other racking makes and types are mixed with their own. So, it pays to be careful when mixing and matching racking components.


With the commonality, easy assembly, and the strength of teardrop pallet rack – it is no wonder it is also so popular for industrial and warehouse storage systems.

You can expect to get years of care-free service from any make of rack you choose.

To choose the best type or the best solution to meet your budget, call us to talk over what solution best fits your needs.

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