QUESTION: Should I install SafeRacks into Metal Joists or Concrete Ceilings?
Gathering Tools and Materials
Before you begin, gather the required tools and components listed to the right and ensure all are accounted for.
If any of the listed components in your packaging are missing, please contact our customer service department to have them sent directly to you.
- Rubber Mallet or Hammer
- Drill with 3/16″ Drill Bit
- Socket Set, Adjustable Crescent Wrench or Open End Wrench Set
- Flat Head Screwdriver
- Tape Measure
- Stud Finder (if installing on ceiling drywall)
- Sturdy Ladder
- Pencil or Pen
- Safety Glasses
Please read through the assembly instructions completely before proceeding to installation. Once you understand all of the installation steps, proceed with the installation.
(These instructions depict a 4’x8′ size rack being installed; all size racks can be installed based on the same steps taken with different measurements depending on rack size)
Begin by installing your ceiling brackets (Figure 1).
- There is one ceiling bracket per corner.
- Each ceiling bracket fastens to 2 separate joists.
Next, the vertical posts will fasten to the ceiling brackets (Figure 2).
- Each vertical post is made from 2 pieces.
- Those 2 pieces adjust and bolt to the length that you want the rack to hang from the ceiling.
Finally, the horizontal beams and center support will attach to the vertical posts; the decks are placed on the beams to complete your rack installation (Figure 3)
Find the Perfect Location:
- Identify the ceiling location where the overhead rack will be installed.
- Remember you will be utilizing at least the same area on the ceiling as the size rack you are installing.
- Determine how far down from the ceiling you want the rack to hang.
- Be sure to take into consideration objects that could come into contact with the racks: garage doors, garage access doors, overhead lights, automobiles or auto parts, etc.
- If the garage ceiling is finished with drywall, use a stud finder and locate the ceiling joists that are in the area of the installation.
- Determine the joist direction that applies to the installation.
- In most cases, joists will run from the front of the garage to the back.
- In other cases, they will run side to side. In rare cases, ceiling joist may be at odd intervals, greater than 24″ apart, or even switch directions in different parts of your ceiling.
(If this is the case please contact us and we can supply longer ceiling brackets to suit your needs.)
Installing the Ceiling Brackets:
- Once the location of the rack has been identified, use a stud finder to locate the joist on either side of where you intend the first vertical post to hang.
Mark the edges and center of each joist (Figure 4).
If needed, verify the edges and center of the joist by using a small nail and punching holes along your pencil lines (Figure 5).
Using a 3/16″ drill bit, drill a pilot hole 3″ deep at each center marked location. Ensure that the holes are in the center of each joist. Screw the 3″ lag screws through the ceiling bracket into the drilled pilot holes using a washer under the head of each screw (Figure 6).
If the ceiling bracket is being placed in the corner of the wall and ceiling, and 2 joists are not available for anchoring, you can install the lag bolts into the wall header if one is present (Figure 7).
NOTE: If this option is chosen, install the ceiling bracket 1 ½” from the wall, so that you can access the back of the bracket to install the nut and bolt for the vertical post in the next step (Figure 8).
If the vertical posts are centered on a wall stud, you can screw the vertical post directly to the wall stud. Use 3 washers total per lag screw, 2 against the wall and 1 on the head of the lag screw (Figure 9).
If this option is chosen, install the lag screws loosely at first to ensure room for assembling the rest of the rack and leaving room for the wire decking which sits over the lip of the rack.Once the first ceiling bracket is installed, measure for the remaining brackets (Figures 10,11,12 & 13).
- For the short side, measure 48 ½” to the location of the next bracket. (36 ½” or 24 ½” for other rack sizes)
- On the long side, measure 96 ½” to the location of the next bracket. (72 ½” or 48 ½” for other rack sizes)
- If the ceiling brackets are facing each other, measure directly from the back of one bracket to the back of the opposite facing bracket (Figure 12).
- If the brackets are in-line, the measurement can be from one edge of the bracket to the same edge on the next bracket (Figure 13).
- The measurement could also be taken from a point in the middle of the bracket where the vertical post is expected to hang. Or, if the joist spacing is consistent across the ceiling, you can count the number of joists for the correct distance between the brackets.
Assembling and Attaching the Vertical Posts
- Adjust the length of the vertical posts to the desired distance from the ceiling.
- Ensure the lower section of the vertical post is placed on the inside of the two post pieces.
Ensure the skinny sections of the teardrop holes are facing down, and that all vertical posts are adjusted to the exact same length (Figure 14).
- Secure these posts together using two nuts, two bolts, and two washers. Ideally put one nut and bolt assembly on each face of the vertical posts. One bolt at the top and the other at the bottom, where the vertical post sections overlap (Figure 14).
- Next, using a single bolt with two washers (one on each side) and a locking nut, connect the first vertical post assembly to the ceiling bracket that was installed in the previous step (Figure 14).
- For now, leave the vertical posts slightly loose on the ceiling brackets so that they can move back and forth during the next step. They will be tightened down in the upcoming steps.
- When installing the vertical posts to ceiling brackets that are in-line (Figure 13), ensure that the vertical posts are 48″ or 96″ apart (depending on the orientation of the rack).
Ceiling Brackets and Vertical Posts
Our ceiling brackets are intended to be installed with a minimum of two Lag Screws. Please refer to the figures below for the correct way of positioning the vertical posts on the ceiling bracket.
- Place the rivets of the beams in the bottom 2 holes of the vertical posts (Figure 19).
Attaching the Outside Frame:
- Once all vertical posts are in place, install the side beams.
- Ensure the small lip is on the top, and that the side beams are on the inside of the vertical posts (Figure 20).
- Use a rubber mallet to hammer the rivets into the bottom of the teardrop holes (Figure 21).
Opposite ends may come loose when hammering beams in place. Use a helper to ensure rivets do not come loose during the seating process.
- Finish with installation of the C-Channel Beams.
- Line up the 45 degree on the end of the small lip to the same angle on the side beams. Each corner should look like (Figure 22).
- If the rivets are not seating correctly, check if the vertical posts are truly vertical.
- If the vertical posts are at an angle, the rivets will not seat properly.
- Make adjustments to the placement of the vertical posts or ceiling brackets if the vertical posts are severely out of alignment.
Attaching the Center Support:
- Connect the center support (Not included with 4×4) using the remaining slot-head bolts and wing nuts (Figure 23).
- Use a flat head screwdriver to fully tighten the bolts to the wing nuts.
- Once the center support is installed go back and tighten the vertical posts to the ceiling brackets (Figure 24).
Placing the Wire Decking:
- Take the wire decking and place it on the rack unit (Figure 25).
- Wire decking remains in place by gravity and can slide freely side-to-side.
- There will be a small space between each deck (Figure 26).
- Take one last look at all of the rivets to make sure they have not backed out during the installation process.
- Look at the ceiling brackets and lag screws to make sure that they have not pulled out during the beam seating process. If they have, it is an indication that the lag screws may not be in the center of the ceiling joist, or that they were not fully tightened when installed.
- Finally, check all the nut and bolt connections on the vertical posts and ceiling brackets to ensure that everything is tight.
Congratulations! You are now ready to load your rack and enjoy the extra space that you have created (Figure 27).
- Load heavy objects, distributed equally, nearest the vertical posts and light objects nearest the center.
- Read the safety label on the rack and do not overload the system.
- Do not climb on or hang from the storage rack.
- Routinely inspect the rack over time to ensure rivets and wire decking units are seated properly.
WARNING, DO NOT EXCEED THE FOLLOWING WEIGHT LIMITS:
|4’x8′ Frame||600 lbs||4’x6′ Frame||500lbs|
|3’x8′ Frame||500 lbs||3’x6′ Frame||400lbs|
|2’x8′ Frame||400 lbs||2’x6′ Frame||300lbs|
|4’x4′ Frame||300 lbs|
- All stated weight limits are based on static loads with load distribution as stated above.
- Some horizontal deflection can be expected when racks are loaded near maximum limits.
REFER TO THE WARNING PAGE ON INSIDE COVER OF THE MANUAL FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION.
If installing multiple racks, end-to-end or side-by-side, a 27″ ceiling bracket should be utilized per corner, per rack. At the corners where two vertical posts will be hanging side by side, install the ceiling brackets back to back and utilize 2 lag bolts per bracket as outlined (Figures 6, 28 & 29).
- Depending on the direction of the ceiling joist in relation to the racks, the vertical posts will either be located on opposite sides of the ceiling brackets (Figure 29),
- or they will be located on the same side of the ceiling brackets (Figure 28). In either orientation, run the hex bolts through both ceiling brackets.
- The Deck Hook is designed for easy installation; just snap into place with the flat top ranging over two wires. (Figure 30)
- The Rail Hook is similar to the Deck Hook in its shape, but is designed to hold items around the edge of your SafeRack. (Figure 31)
- The Utility Hook is designed for longer items and it attaches to the vertical posts with bolts, washers & locking nuts. (Figure 32)