Pallet racking systems are practical storage systems for businesses in various industries, from suppliers of industrial steel to pharmaceutical manufacturers. There are several different types of pallet rack systems suitable for various facilities and industrial applications.
Benefits of Pallet Racking
Pallet racks make efficient use of space, allowing you to build upward for vertical storage. Pallet racking is versatile and highly adaptable, depending on the type of inventory your business carries and the space available in your warehouse.
Heavy-duty warehouse storage racks protect your goods for materials handling damage and store items safely to prevent workplace accidents. Pallet racking is also a crucial part of maintaining your operation’s productivity. They reduce picking errors and facilitate easier inventory management.
Regular care and maintenance are essential to ensure pallet racks remain safe, stable and retain their load capacities over time. Impacts from warehouse machinery like forklifts, overloading, and other environmental factors, such as corrosion and moisture damage, can deteriorate racking components. Impacts and rust reduce the load capacity of a pallet rack and create safety hazards for workers.
Maintaining equipment and replacing damaged components keeps your racking in excellent condition, protects your employees, and helps with OSHA compliance.
Create an Inspection Plan
Warehouse managers must develop an inspection plan and regular inspection schedule to identify problems before they escalate.
Weekly inspections should be the responsibility of a warehouse supervisor. Once a week, they should inspect the racking beams and shelving for clear signs of damage or anomalies such as rust, warping, sagging, or bowing.
Monthly inspections should take a closer look at the condition and cleanliness of the rack. Supervisors should also pay particular attention to the condition of foot plates, spacers, anchor bolts, and other small components. Look for warped base plates, sheared bolts, damaged bolt threads, foot plates that aren’t flush to the warehouse floor, and rust.
Once a year, businesses should hire an independent health and safety expert to perform a detailed facility inspection to ensure rack safety and comply with OSHA standards. Certified inspectors may identify issues that are hard for an untrained eye to detect, such as beam and lateral column deflection, frontal column and brace deformation, and poorly installed rack safety pins.
Components That Require Careful Maintenance
When conducting in-house inspections, there are several important components to monitor, such as:
Racking uprights and beams
When racking systems are damaged or overloaded, they deflect. This essentially means the supporting beams tilt toward each other. During each inspection, check that the beams are straight and that uprights are plumb (the vertical straightness of the racking system.) Otherwise, their load capacities could be diminished, and their structural integrity may be jeopardized.
More obvious signs of damage include dented, cracked, torn, or buckled uprights. If you notice damaged components during your racking inspection, they must be professionally repaired immediately or replaced with high-quality industrial racking parts.
At Shelving + Rack Systems, Inc., we supply a wide range of replacement uprights, including heavy-duty units from FastRak. These feature a teardrop design for fast and easy assembly. Each upright can support up to 7,000 lbs.
Shelves and decking
Racking manufacturers rely on design testing and high-quality materials to ensure shelves and decking are strong and durable. Although suppliers label decking with the weight or load capacities, it can diminish over time due to damage or overloading.
An effective way to check on the condition of warehouse decking is to monitor the level of each unit. You should also look for signs of rust and corrosion. If you’re worried about the load capacity of your decking, you can hire a specialist to calculate it.
If your decking is damaged, replace it with a heavy-duty industrial steel storage rack. We provide all-welded steel rack decking made from 14 gauge steel. It is coated with a durable powder finish, making it durable and resistant to corrosion. Each decking station can support 3,000 lbs.
Anchors and plates
Pallet racking systems must be anchored securely to the warehouse floor according to the Rack Manufacturers Institute (RMI) and OSHA. Ensure the anchors and plates are in good condition. Foot plates and anchors act as the foundations for a pallet rack system. Out-of-plumb or deflected uprights can damage foot plates and anchors over time, creating instability.
If your foot plates are beyond pallet rack repair, we supply FastRak Deluxe plates that can be easily bolted into the existing upright. These plates can be anchored into concrete.
Labeling and information
Clear signage helps workers quickly identify weight capacities, storage instructions, and other important information about your equipment. Misreading a worn label can lead to overloading, increasing the risk of your racking system collapsing.
If your labels need an overhaul, we stock Superscan insertable label holders. They are easy to remove and relocate using self-adhesive or magnets. The special matte finish on all labels ensures accurate barcode scanning.
One of the most effective ways to maintain the condition of your pallet racks is with protective equipment. We provide a range of pallet protection, including column protectors, guard rails, protective screens, and aisle marking tape.
Our “Stand Guard” ribbed rails are available in 10 gauge, high-tensile steel. They are the perfect protective solution for pallet racks or posts that are continually damaged from forklift contact.
Source a Quality Parts Provider
Although minor damage can be restored with a rack repair kit, more significant damage is dangerous and may warrant professional repair or replacement. Consult Shelving + Rack System, Inc., when purchasing replacement parts or an entirely new system.
We are a team of experienced storage professionals, providing high-quality new and used storage equipment for various applications, from food manufacturing to order fulfillment centers. Our factory-trained and insured installation team can ensure your racking is installed correctly, helping you meet the Rack Manufacturers Institute (RMI) and OSHA standards.