The Do’s and Don’ts of Pallet Racking Systems

The Do’s and Don’ts of Pallet Racking Systems

When it comes to installing and maintaining a pallet racking system in a warehouse, there are a host of critical factors to understand to ensure safety and promote efficiency. An adequate understanding of what a pallet racking can and cannot do will not only eliminate accidents but can also save a business time and money.

The Do’s and Don’ts of Pallet Racking Systems

When it comes to installing and maintaining a pallet racking system in a warehouse, there are a host of critical factors to understand to ensure safety and promote efficiency. An adequate understanding of what a pallet racking can and cannot do will not only eliminate accidents but can also save a business time and money.

Pallet racking systems may seem simple, but the variety of material they hold and space they occupy raises important concerns. Warehouse size, load types, and the type of racking system itself should all be thoroughly considered. As well, failing to understand the cost of maintenance or what to do if the system is damaged could result in money loss or unsafe working conditions.

Here are several do’s and don’ts to consider when it comes to pallet racking systems:

Pallet Racking Systems: What to Do

  1. The number one consideration for choosing a pallet racking system is size. Not the size of the system, but the total floor space and vertical space the warehouse has to accommodate a pallet racking system. There are several pallet racking systems available:
    • Selective pallet racks are the most common type of warehouse pallet racking. These racks have beams that slide into place using a teardrop-shaped opening in the uprights. Fast and easy to install, and accessible from both sides of the aisle, this racking type is versatile.
    • Structural pallet racks use bolts to lock beams into place onto the uprights. Structural racking is for heavier loads, or if the chance of damage is to the racks is higher.
    • Drive in racking is also for smaller spaces and/or delicate or perishable loads. These pallet racks are a last in, first out design, so space optimization is key as they can be placed against walls.
  2. Develop a procedure for identifying, reporting, and fixing damaged systems. Pallet Racks can deal with hundreds of thousands of pounds, so any dent, missing bolt or unsecured rack must be repaired immediately. As with any business, the safety of employees is paramount. Having a clear, concise procedure for reporting rack damage is imperative. All employees should be clear on those procedures, and they should be continually emphasized.
  3. Install guard rails. Guard rails can save a company money and keep employees safe by protecting the most vulnerable, high traffic areas around pallet racking. Corner uprights are particularly in danger of collision with lifts; having guard rails eliminates that risk. Whether a company chooses removable guard rails, or the permanent, double barred type depends on their environment.

Pallet Racking Systems: What Not to Do

Pallet Racking Systems: What Not to Do

  1. Do not write off used pallet racking for the warehouse. Used pallet racking can be an excellent choice for a new business with limited capital looking for an effective racking system. On the other hand, if you want to upgrade your existing pallet racking, you can sell your old racking. Whether or not you buy or sell used pallet racking, it is a viable option for keeping costs down without sacrificing safety or efficiency
  2. Do not buy just what you need. Flexibility for a growing business is critical, and only buying just enough racking for current need is a mistake. Buying enough racking to suit only current needs could pose problems in the future. For instance, there could be compatibility issues between the racking systems if there is a significant period between the purchases.
  3. Do not “cheap out” with a pallet racking system. Pallet racking is a significant safety concern in a warehouse as there can be cumbersome items sitting high above the heads of workers. If racking becomes overloaded because poor quality racking cannot handle the load given, it will break. Also, if a business bought drive-in racking to save on costs, then had to switch to a FIFO (first in, first out) model instead, it would cost them unnecessary time and money to replace.

Conclusion

Safety is the most crucial aspect to consider when purchasing and maintaining a pallet racking system. Regardless of the type of system a business chooses to invest in, regular maintenance and understanding the capabilities of each type of system are important.

Whether you are designing a new facility, expanding a current one or upgrading your pallet racking, our team at Shelving + Rack Systems, Inc. can help you design and install your equipment. Call us at 1-800-589-7225 for assistance.