What is a Uniform Distributed Load (UDL)?

By | August 16, 2013

What is a Uniform Distributed Load (UDL)?

A Uniform Distributed Load (or UDL) is a phrase mainly used by the storage shelving and racking industry to denote how much weight each shelf in a shelving or racking system can safely store. At Workplace Products, we use UDL to help our customers select the correct type of shelving system to suit their requirements, to make sure their new storage shelving stores products evenly across each shelf with no point having a much heavier load that the rest of the shelf.

When to consider a UDL?

When you come to select a new shelving system you’ll have a few things to consider such as what you’ll be storing and where the new system will be installed, plus you’ll also be considering the quantity of items you’ll be storing. These aspects will give you a good indication of the right type of shelving to purchase.

Before you go out and spend, you’ll want to consider the weight of the items you want to store and calculate whether the new system will be able to handle the load. You’ll also want to consider whether the weight of the load the shelf is to take can be distributed evenly across the platform.

uniform distributed load infographic

UDL Infographic

It’s fairly crucial that you calculate the weight of the items to be stored and ensure that the weight can be distributed evenly across the shelf.   A non-uniform distributed load can have a detrimental effect on your business given the safety issues it could generate if not stored evenly.  By not calculating the UDL, the health and safety of your employees is put at risk.

If an employee became injured as the result of uncalculated UDL, it could be considered as negligent and insurance policies could become void.  An uncalculated UDL could also be an expensive mistake to make if the stored goods become damaged and need to be replaced due to the shelving system not having the product weight distributed evenly.

Why is UDL important?

Apart from the health and safety aspects, a correct uniform distributed load across each shelf reduces the stress placed on each shelving beam and upright, ensuring your system stays as good and strong as when it was first installed. We recommend that if your items to be stored come close to the max UDL of the shelf, you look at selecting or switching to a heavier duty storage solution with a larger UDL capacity.

For more information or advise on UDL and selecting the right storage shelving for you, please contact us on 01922 743833 or email us: sales@workplace-products.co.uk

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