Pallet Rack Style Reference Guide

Pallet racking comes in many different styles.

Although there are many brands and manufacturers, here is a guide for you to help identify the common styles found across the USA.

With the help of this Pallet Rack Style Reference Guide, you will be able to identify the 8 most common styles of racking that are offered in the United States. It is worth noting that not all styles are compatible with one another, this guide will help identify compatibility and assist you in your purchasing decision. For additional information, read the descriptions below.

Getting Started

To identify the style of the pallet rack, you will need to inspect the connection points of the beams or uprights. The guide below will display the various types of connectors, these various connectors are typically associated to a specific manufacturer. Some of the styles use a hook & slot connection, while others use a pin & slot connection, or a bracket or fastener connection. Although some styles will look very similar, you can determine the style by looking at defining features like a lock mechanism. The color of uprights and beams also vary by manufacturer, with certain color combinations used exclusively by manufacturers. You will understand the differences by looking at the break down of the styles below.

Teardrop Pallet Racking Style
Teardrop Style

Teardrop, also known as Interlake Old-Style, is the most common style of racking in the USA. You will be able to identify this style of racking by looking at the pin connector on the load beam or the slot connector on the upright. The slots on the upright look like an inverted teardrop, making this style very easy to identify on uprights. The load beams have circular pins that are sized to fit in the upper part of the teardrop, dropping down and locking into the upright with ease. You can confirm if a load beam is teardrop style if the pins are spaced 2” or 4” apart center-to-center. Teardrop style racking is most commonly found with orange load beams and blue uprights. The largest manufacturer of Teardrop style racking is Interlake Mecalux. As a proud dealer of Interlake Mecalux, Ziglift offers the largest in-stock inventory of new & used Interlake Old-Style racking.

Sammons Style

Sammons, is commonly found on the West Coast due to geographical proximity to former plants. Although the hole pattern is similar to the teardrop design upon first glance, the hole pattern sits on 4” centers vertically. The teardrop shape is only compatible with Sammons mushroom-shaped connector pins. Teardrop style racking is most commonly found with grey load beams and grey uprights. The largest manufacturer of Teardrop style racking is Hannibal Industries. We occasionally have this style in stock since we acquire used rack.

Newstyle Pallet Racking Style

Newstyle, also known as Interlake "New Style", is also one of the most common styles of racking. Newstyle is compatible with Teardrop style rack, allowing you to connect Newstyle load beams with Teardrop (Interlake Old Style) uprights. This could be beneficial when in search of used material. To identify New Style uprights, look at the slot connector on the upright, it has a rectangular shape with a slight inward slant towards the bottom. The New Style beams are offered in a shaved pin style or tooth pin style as well. The pins are spaced 2” or 4” apart center-to-center. Newstyle racking is most commonly found with Orange load beams and Green uprights.

Structural Pallet Racking Style
Structural Style

Structural racking is a heavy-duty variety of racking, easily identified by its simple yet unique construction and connector type. Structural style uprights and beams are constructed from hot rolled steel and are highly impact resistant and designed for greater weight-bearing capacity. Instead of utilizing hooks or pins to connect with uprights, Structural load beams utilize bolts which bolt directly into the uprights. Structural uprights come in single column or closed post column styles offering additional reinforcement for greater load capacities. The uprights feature basic circular holes spaced 4” apart center-to-center. Beams are fastened to the uprights with ½” bolts.

Speedrack Pallet Racking Style
Speedrack Style

Speedrack is another unique style of racking, easily identified by its unique hole pattern and beams that have no pins or hooks. The beams attach to the uprights utilizing a bracket connection, requiring installation of a U-shaped bracket to secure the beams to the uprights. The hole pattern on the upright consists of ½” circular holes located directly on both edges of the face of the column and are spaced vertically 4” apart center-to-center. U-shaped brackets pass through these holes from one side to another and are secured with a J-hook to lock in the load beam to the upright.

Ridg-U-Rak Pallet Racking Style
Ridg-U-Rak Style

Ridg-U-Rak style racking uses a hook & slot connection. You can identify this style by the unique rectangular slots located on the uprights. These slots are spaced vertically 4” apart center-to-center. Ridg-U-Rak uprights also feature a unique outward bend on each internal side of the column. Ridg-U-Rak beams feature hooked flanges, resting against the ridge of the upright. The beams are more thin than your other beam styles and feature hooked connections. Ridg-U-Rak also use a spring component with two pins as a lock that is installed inside the upright column.  

Keystone Pallet Racking Style
Keystone Style (also known as Republic)

Keystone (aka Republic) racking utilize a hook & slot connection. Keystone style is unique and easily identified by the trapezoidal hole pattern on the upright. These slots are located on the center of the face of the column and are spaced vertically 3” apart center-to-center. The beams are roll formed and feature hooks that slide into the slots on the uprights. The beams are secured to the uprights with J-hooks or a removable steel clip.

Penco Pallet Racking Style
Penco Style

Penco style racking also utilize a hook & slot connection. Penco style uprights are identified by the side by side slanted narrow slots. The Penco style beams feature slanted hooks that fit snuggly into the slots on the face of the uprights. The beams also have a tapered look to them when you look at the cross section. These beams are locked into place with a sliding lock incorporated into the beam.  

T-Bolt Pallet Racking Style
T-Bolt Style

T-Bolt style racking is another popular variety of racking that can be identified by the rectangular slots on the columns and the similar slots on the load beams. T-Bolt beams are attached to the uprights with large bolts that have to be tightened properly. The standard T-Bolt connection has a bolt on each end which holds the beam in place. T-Bolt load beam connections are available with 6″ to 12″ connection clips for high seismic design areas. T-Bolt rack typically comes with Blue uprights and Yellow load beams.


With the help of this guide, you should be able to identify the 8 most popular styles of racking that can be found throughout the USA. If you need any further assistance, don’t hesitate to contact us. We are here to help!


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