When it comes to warehouse storage solutions, pallet racks are considered the most efficient and effective option. Utilised by companies throughout the world, these structures are found in fulfilment companies, commercial operations, retail outlets and manufacturing facilities.
Chances are the pallet racks that you see have been carefully designed and chosen to meet the specific requirements of that facility. However, in some cases, the process of purchasing storage solutions is rushed and the wrong system ends up being installed. There are also times when the right system was installed, but proper training has not been given to employees on how to use the system, resulting in unnecessary equipment damage.
Here’s a list of common mistakes to avoid when purchasing and using a pallet racking system.
Climbing Pallet Racks
Warehouses and fulfilment centres are incredibly busy places. To save time, some employees climb the pallet racks to assemble items or pick orders. It may be convenient for a picker to climb up the pallets and retrieve a box or product but this is putting convenience before safety and this is noted in Safework Australia. The racks aren’t designed for climbing and the pallet systems can have protruding nails, fractured stringers or broken planks. These hazards can puncture a hand looking for a hold or give way under a person’s weight.
Overloading Warehouse Racking Systems
Pallet racking systems have specific weight limits and loading capacities. When you want to ensure your workers’ safety, knowing your pallet racks’ capacities before loading them is critical. For instance, if your pallet rack wasn’t designed to hold heavy items, a collapse is inevitable if you overload it.
Ensure that your pallet racks can hold your load, specifically in the upper levels. If you don’t see weight capacities posted on your racks, check the manufacturer’s specs. It’s also best to store the heaviest loads on the lower levels or on the floor. If you have items of different weights, store the lightest ones on the higher bays and the heavier ones on the lower levels.
Not Preventing Pallet Rack Damage
Commercial pallet racking systems are subject to all types of abuse in the warehouse: collisions with heavy forklifts, overloading, misloading and many others. For this reason, even the strongest and most durable racks need cautious handling, guarding equipment and maintenance to prolong their service life.
Preventing and reducing pallet rack damage includes training forklift drivers on proper loading procedures, reducing forklift speeds, making sure the aisles are wide enough, keeping the warehouse clutter-free, conducting regular rack inspections and ensuring that the beam clips are engaged.
You should also take into consideration the environment of your facility. For instance, seismic zones have a different set of standards. Pallet racks that are installed outdoors are also exposed to inclement weather conditions that can reduce the racks’ capacity ratings. In addition, racks installed on non-level or inadequate floors can be compromised.
Overlooking Height to Depth Ratio
Many companies fail to take into account the height-to-depth ratio. The ratio should be 6:1 or lower, representing the ratio of the distance between the uppermost beam level and the facility’s floor, divided by the frame’s depth. It is often necessary to use overhead rack ties, special base plates and anchors to achieve optimum stability.
Purchasing Used Racking on Impulse
Used racking systems are considerably more affordable than new systems. They are also fairly easy to source as many warehouses and distribution centres sell their used pallet racking when they upgrade with new systems. That being said, it’s a common mistake to purchase used racking on impulse