Let the buyer beware!  A sentiment so old it was spoken in ancient Rome as “Caveat Emptor!”  With the growing availability of cheap imported wire decking becoming more common, it’s important to understand the differences that separate good quality from inferior.

Simply stated, less expensive decking that isn’t R-Mark certified got to be that way for one simple reason: less steel!   Manufacturers lower cost by reducing the amount of steel in the deck.  They do this in three basic ways: using thinner wire, increasing the spacing between the wires, or using thinner and/or smaller support channels.

Some of these differences can be difficult to detect without specialized tools.  Buyers can be left with only the weight of the part to compare competing quotes, and  manufacturers may leave the weight off their quote.  This is no accident, this is smoke & mirrors.  To find evidence of this, read the fine print.  Look closely and you will find disclaimers buried deep within stating things like “capacity is based on the pallet using both beams for support,” or “decks are designed for evenly distributed palletized loads on beams.”

Just to be clear these decks are not R-Mark nor ANSI 26.2 compliant.  The standard clearly defines “capacity” as “a maximum recommended uniformly distributed static load independent of the support system.”  If the deck derives its capacity from the beams why concern yourself with the capacity of the deck at all?  This brings up the obvious question, if these decks aren’t made according to the ANSI standard, what standard–if any–were they made to?

Let the buyer beware.