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Measuring for Longspan Shelving

Longspan Shelving is United Racking's versatile storage solution, perfect for warehouses, storerooms, workshops, or even your backyard shed. Its heavy-duty construction ensures high load capacities and exceptional durability. Being our most popular shelving system, we maintain a vast inventory, guaranteeing the ideal storage option for your needs.

When figuring out the best Longspan configuration for you, there are a few important factors to consider. Don't worry if it seems confusing—just give us a call or send a message, and our experienced team will help you find the perfect system to suit your needs.

Firstly, you'll need to assess the available space or area you want to fill with Longspan Shelving.

Longspan Shelving United Racking
Longspan Shelving United Racking

(1) Height 

What is the maximum vertical clearance you have? For instance, you might have a shed with a roof height of 2300mm (H), or you could be in a warehouse with a height of 6000mm (H).

(2) Depth

What desired depth would you like for your shelving system? If space is limited, you may prefer a narrow design, whereas if space is not a constraint, you might be interested in a deeper shelving system to enhance storage capacity. Depth refers to the measurement from the front to the back of your racking.

(3) Length

What length is available for the Longspan Shelving, or what is the total length you need to fill? For instance, a standalone bay would be suitable for a small area, while a run of joining bays would be required for a larger area.

Load Capacity

The weight distribution on each level is something to keep in mind. If you're storing light items, it might not be a big deal. However, if you need to store really heavy items, we'll need to figure out the best beam length to suit your needs. Remember, shorter beams can handle higher loads, while longer beams have lower load capacities.


Number of Levels (Shelves)

Typically, a 4-level configuration is an ideal fit for a Longspan Shelving System. However, if you have large, bulky items, you might opt for 3 levels instead. Conversely, if the frame height of the shelving is considerable, you may consider adding more than 4 levels. If you need assistance in determining the best choice for your requirements, simply reach out to us, and we'll be more than happy to discuss the available options with you over a call.

Let's take a look at two typical areas that have already been measured up and are ready for finding the best solution. We'll use these examples later to demonstrate how we arrived at the perfect solution for each of them.

Example 1. 

Let's consider a small shed with a maximum height of 2400mm. The total available length is 2300mm, and the desired depth for the shelving should not exceed 600mm. Additionally, each shelf should be able to withstand a maximum load of 250kg. In this case, 4 levels of shelving would be needed..


  • Height: 2400mm

  • Length: 2300mm

  • Depth: 600mm

  • Load capacity: 250kg per level

  • Number of levels: 4

Example 2.

Imagine a large warehouse with an impressively high roof reaching 6000mm. The designated wall for the racking spans a length of 9100mm. To meet your storage needs, you prefer shelves that are approximately 800mm deep, with each shelf capable of supporting a load of around 400kg. In this case, we can configure the racking system with 4 levels.


  • Height: 6000mm

  • Length: 9100mm

  • Depth: 800mm

  • Load capacity: 300kg per level

  • Number of levels: 4

Now that we have taken all the necessary measurements, let's explore the available options.

Height: Our Longspan Shelving comes in four standard heights: 2000mm, 2500mm, 3000mm, and 4000mm. If you have specific height requirements, we can customize them, but it's best to discuss this with your local branch.

Depth: We offer four depth options: 400mm, 600mm, 800mm, and even 1200mm. While the 600mm depth is the most popular, you might need something a bit deeper or narrower, such as the 400mm option.

Length: When it comes to commercial shelving systems, the length refers to the internal clear span, not the external dimension of the system. The external dimension includes the beam length plus the frame's profile of approximately 60mm. Don't worry, we'll explain this further in detail below. United Racking provides nine beam lengths: 600mm, 900mm, 1200mm, 1500mm, 1800mm, 2000mm, 2400mm, 2700mm, and even a 3000mm option.

Load Capacity: The load capacity of each level depends on the length of the beam. Shorter beams have higher load capacities because the span is smaller. In most cases, the standard beam lengths will suffice. However, if you need to store extremely heavy items, you might require shorter beam lengths. For instance, instead of a single 2400mm bay, you may need two 1200mm bays joined together.

When referring to the recommended load capacities, we use the term "UDL," which stands for Uniformly Distributed Load. This means the total weight is evenly distributed over the entire shelf area, rather than concentrated on a specific section. This load rating is based on distributing the weight evenly across the shelf.

The table below displays the available beam lengths, load capacities, and the overall length of the Starter-Bay (or Add-On-Bay).

Beam Length
Load (UDL)
Locking Pins
Colour Options
Starter Bay Length
Add On Bay Length

Lets have a look at a few examples and see how we determine the ideal set up

Example 1. (refer to information in example 1 earlier on this page)

  • The available height is 2400mm, ruling out the option of using 2500mm high frames. Therefore, we will opt for a 2000mm high frame.

  • For the available length of 2300mm, the 2400mm long beams are too large, necessitating the use of 2000mm beams. By utilizing the 2000mm beams, the external dimension will be 2120mm. This calculation includes the two frame profiles and the beam length: 60mm (Left Frame) + 2000mm (Beam Length) + 60mm (Right Frame) = 2120mm (External Length).

  • As for the desired depth of 600mm, we have options of 400mm, 600mm, 800mm, or 1200mm. In this case, we will stick with 600mm.

  • The load requirement per level is 250kg. Fortunately, the 2000mm beams we selected have a load rating of 471kg, ensuring no concerns in terms of load capacity.

  • 4 Levels is a typical set-up so no problems there.

Example 2. (refer to information in example 2 earlier on this page)

  • Regarding the available height, we have a generous space of 6000mm, which allows for the utilization of the tall option measuring 4000mm in height. However, it's important to consider how you will access the stock on the top shelf for the extra tall racking. In this case, platform ladders serve as an ideal solution.

  • For the available length of 9100mm, it is recommended to join multiple bays together. We suggest a run consisting of 4 bays, where 3 bays have 2400mm long beams and 1 bay has 1500mm long beams. This configuration provides an external length of 9000mm. The calculation is as follows: 60mm + 2400mm + 60mm + 2400mm + 60mm + 2400mm + 60mm + 1500mm + 60mm = 9000mm. This accounts for the 5 frame profiles and 4 beam lengths.

  • For the required depth of 800mm, we have the option to choose from 400mm, 600mm, 800mm, or 1200mm. In this case, we will stick with the 800mm depth.

  • Regarding the load capacity, each level should support 300kg. The selected 2400mm beams have a load rating of 327kg, while the 1500mm beams have a load rating of 635kg. These load ratings align perfectly with your requirements.

  • 4 Levels is a typical set-up so no problems there.

We hope this information proves helpful in determining the ideal Longspan System to suit your needs. However, if you find it confusing or challenging to navigate, don't hesitate to reach out to us. Simply give us a call or send us a message, and our team will be more than happy to assist you in finding the perfect solution.

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