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What You Should Know About Pallet Racks, and 5 Mistakes to Avoid

What You Should Know About Pallet Racks for the Warehouse

Most everyone has heard the phrase “time is money.” But if you work in the warehousing industry, you also know the less common phrase “space is money” to be equally as true. Because space is at such a premium for warehouses, mobile pallet racks such as the ActivRAC heavy duty industrial shelving systems are a common, cost-cutting, innovative space-saving solution that is implemented throughout the sector.

A good thing about mobilized pallet rack is that it has minimal impact on the overall structure/construction of a warehouse, even if a company decides to have them built into the building as part of the foundation. The rack system itself can be reconfigured to add or remove additional mobile carriages. And, as such, mobile pallet racks are a cost-effective, long-term solution.

Once the mobile pallet racks are in place, and you begin to experience the benefits of the new addition to your workplace it is important that your employees know how to work safely around them.

Here are 5 common pallet rack mistakes to avoid:

1. Don’t Overload Your Units

Your employees are no doubt constantly looking for ways to maximize space on the pallet racks. However, the danger in placing too many products (or products that are too heavy) on your shelving units is the potential for them to collapse. Be familiar with the load capacities of your pallet racks, and make sure your forklift drivers and others are familiar with them as well.

2. Don’t Load Your Racks Incorrectly

Even if the correct load weights are in place, uneven weight displacement can also lead to structural collapse. Make sure that pallet weight is as evenly distributed throughout your pallet racks as possible.

Moreover, try to keep the really heavy products in the bays closest to the floor, or even on the floor itself. Keeping the lighter products up top not only promotes employee safety in the event that the products fall off the shelf, but also places less structural stress on the racks.

3. Don’t Climb on the Racks

This may go without saying, but we all get in a hurry, and at times we may act before thinking. Be sure to regularly remind your employees not to climb the racks, even for products that are barely out of reach. The potential for an employee to fall and injure himself, or for the racks to collapse under weight vectors that they weren’t designed for, is too great.

4. Don’t Hit the Racks

Pallet racks are frequently damaged in fast-paced, high volume production environments. The way to avoid this mistake is to provide ongoing training to forklift drivers, pallet jack operators, and others who work around the racks. Keep aisles clutter-free and teach proper driving techniques as ways to mitigate the risk of your racks suffering damage in this way.

5. Don’t Discount Height-to-Depth Ratio on pallet racks

Your pallet racks’ height-to-depth ratio should never exceed 6:1. In other words, for every 6 feet of height, your pallet rack should have at least 1 foot of depth. If there is ever any question about this ratio, or whether special base plates or overhead rack ties are necessary, be sure to reach out to your rack provider, or consult a professional rack engineer to ensure that your rack is safe.

If you are interested in learning more about mobile pallet racks, or need an effective pallet rack solution for your warehouse, reach out to us today at McMurray Stern for a free design consultation and site assessment. Our expertise in heavy-duty industrial shelving can help you to reduce costs, save space, and grow your business.

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