Suppose you want to install a new storage system for your warehouse and your manager or storage expert suggests pallet racking systems. You will have at least a dozen questions before you think about investing in them, and rightfully so.
The storage industry is as vast as an ocean. Many first-timers find it intimidating to invest without investigating the storage solution of their choice. That’s why we are here to help. With our experience as a leading storage rack manufacturer in Chennai, we understand the questions you might have. So, let’s get on with it.
Pallet Racks & Their Special Advantages
The pallet racking system is a common favourite in warehouses. It takes advantage of the vertical space by allowing you to stack horizontal rows with many levels. Of course, you will need forklifts to store and pick goods from pallet racks if you add many horizontal levels.
However, by adding more horizontal shelves, pallet shelves help reduce clutter on your warehouse floor. By using pallet racking systems, you can:
- Arrange high-density goods in a systematic order
- Double or triple your warehouse storage capacity
- Simplify the transportation process within the warehouse
- Improve workers’ efficiency in performing warehouse operations
- Increase the size of your warehouse with limited expenses
Now, let’s explore some answers to the most frequently asked questions warehouse owners have about pallet racking systems.
10 Common Questions About Pallet Racking Systems
1. What is the maximum height for pallet racking systems?
Essentially, any “safe height” can be the maximum height of your pallet racking system. We say this because there are no hard and fast rules that determine how far you can build this racking system. Many variables like the following determine the height:
- Building infrastructure
- Size and reach of the forklifts
- System’s load capacity
- Weight of load units
- Height of the warehouse
- Type of sprinkler system
- Structure of the roof
- Floor loading capacity
If you stack the pallets too high, you will optimise your storage capacity, but your forklifts will not reach that far enough. Standard forklifts can reach a maximum height of 4 to 4.5 metres. Specialised forklifts can reach upto ten metres, but they are highly expensive. Another factor determining how far your pallet racking can go depends on the type of goods stored at your facility. High pallets are ideal for small stock. However, large and bulky cargo must be stored lower down for safety.
2. How many pallet racking systems are available, and how can I select the right one?
More than half a dozen types of pallet racks are available in the market. Some of them are:
- Double deep
- Very narrow
- Standard adjustable
- Gravity FIFO Live Pallet racking
Selective pallet racking is ideal for small warehouses with low-storage density because it is the least expensive. If you have a larger warehouse, it is better to select your choice based on:
- Storage density
- Warehouse capacity
- Picking profile
- Warehouse regulations
- Forklift access
Drive-in racks, push back, and pallet flow racks are all available for high-density storage needs. Pallet flow follows a first-in, first-out (FIFO) method of inventory retrieval, whereas drive-in and push-back systems follow a last-in, first-out (LIFO) system.
3. How much weight can be placed on pallet racking systems?
Here again, the load-bearing capacity of your pallet racking system depends on factors like:
- Size of bay clear entry
- Load beam options
- Upright frame options
- Actual beam depth
- Size of the beam face and racking frames
- Size of racking frames
- Vertical beam pitch
- Flooring and anchoring options
- Upright frame options
- Weight of the floor slab
Today, three different types of pallet racking frames are available- standard, heavy-duty, and medium. However, you can also ask your rack manufacturer to reinforce your pallet racking system with structural components to improve its stability.
4. Should all pallet racks be bolted to the floor?
Of course, yes. According to the Rack Manufacturer’s Institute (RMI), any pallet rack that uses machinery for loading and unloading must be anchored to the floor. The anchoring should be done only after all the horizontal racks are aligned and levelled by the installer. Proper anchoring should enable the pallets to stand upright no matter what the height. To ensure this, your installer should consider the following criteria:
- Use and application of the racking system
- Type of base plate used
- Racking structure’s width-to-height ratio
- Number of anchors per base plate
All anchoring methods should be approved and certified by your installer or rack manufacturer.
5. What factors determine the price of pallet racking systems?
First of all, the storage capacity of your warehouse is the basic criteria that determines the number of racks required. In addition to that, you have to choose the type of pallet rack that aligns with the goods’ weight, density, and shelf life. You should also consider the weight capacity of the system because it is another cost-determining factor. If your warehouse specialises in cold storage, you should expect additional costs.
6. Do pallet racks require inspection and maintenance?
Of course, they do. Although pallet racking is quite sturdy and doesn’t require regular maintenance, it is imperative to run a maintenance schedule to keep it risk-free. Since forklifts are used for loading and unloading, they could cause damage by accidentally bumping into the system. Therefore it is better to keep an eye on the following:
- Braces and fixings
- Structural framework
- Anti-collapse mesh
- Front and rear posts
Regular inspection is a must for pallet racks. In fact, safety inspections are a law-imposed requirement for all warehouses. We recommend that you inspect your entire pallet racking system at least once a year.
7. Are pallet racks a safe option for my warehouse?
There is no doubt that pallet racks are the safest option, as long as you follow all the safety instructions during installation and usage. To optimise the safety of the racking system, it is essential to consider the load capacity, loading procedures, and the type of equipment that should be used. Some pallet racking systems have a limited lifespan that should not be exceeded at any cost.
8. Can I dismantle or change the configuration of the racking system?
Yes, you can, but this is a job for professionals. Some pallet racking systems allow reconfiguration, but there is a catch. Criteria like size and height will determine the scale of modification. Even the slightest changes in configuration, dismantling, and reassembling will change the system’s load-bearing capacity. However, reconfiguration is also a good opportunity to conduct an up-close inspection of the system’s components.
9. What kind of goods can I store on the pallet racks?
There are no hard and fast rules about the kind of goods you can store in your pallet racking system. These racks are solid, sturdy, and strong and hence can be used to store anything from small-sized boxes to bulky goods. You are good to go as long as the cargo is properly packed, secured and does not exceed the structure’s load-bearing capacity!
10. Is it okay to invest in used pallet racks for my warehouse?
A second-hand pallet racking system might be a good option if you are working on a tight budget. However, safety is a big aspect to consider here. So, before investing in a used system, consider these questions:
- Are there any structural damages to the system?
- Are all the components of good quality and still within usable age?
- Has the warranty period for the racking system expired?
Nowadays, manufacturers are quite flexible. So, choosing a brand new racking system is always a wiser choice than buying a used one.
Solve Your Doubts & Queries With Donracks, Chennai
We at Donracks have years of experience in the storage industry. If you want to talk to experts, we are here for you. Would you like to talk to our pallet racking experts and find the most satisfying answers for all your queries?
Call us to fix an appointment!