A warehouse employee operates a forklift in a warehouse filled with pallet racks

Why Damaged Pallet Racks are a Big No-No

Pallet racks are in, and how! Maximising storage and doing it the smart way is essential for warehouses. Pallet racks are the perfect solution to optimise vertical and horizontal storage space in warehouses. And that’s not all. Pallet racks:

  • Reduce storage risks
  • Improve orderliness
  • Simplify the movement of goods
  • Prevent displacement of goods
  • Minimise the pick-up time

Pallet racks are designed and built to last for years. However, prolonged usage can lead to damage to pallet racks. It can also happen due to:

  • Improper loading and unloading of goods.
  • Lack of maintenance.
  • Excessive weight of goods.

Damaged pallet racks are simply not safe to use. It is impossible to predict when an unsafe rack will give way and injure your warehouse staff, and damaged goods. Imagine the repercussions you may suffer if such an unfortunate event occurred.

Damaged pallet racks are:

  • Unsafe for workers to use.
  • Unsafe to store inventory.
  • Unreliable for uninterrupted workflow.

What’s worse is that you may incur penalties for not keeping your pallet racks in safe conditions. Why go through such hassles when you can take good care of these racks and extend their durability for many more years?

Our blog is about repairing, caring for, and maintaining pallet racks. So, let’s get going!

8 Ways to Prevent Pallet Rack Damage

With health, prevention is better than cure. With pallet racks, prevention is always better than accidents and unforeseen expenses. When investing in pallet racks, always choose the racks with super-strong frames and beams. There are two aspects to look out for with pallet rack frames and beams:

  • Built-in damage resistance.
  • High-capacity structure.

You may have to shell out extra money from your pocket, but the investment is worth it because well-built pallet racks are less vulnerable to collision damage.

To prevent your pallet racks from any kind of damage, you must:

1. Train your staff

Never allow untrained staff to handle goods with pallet racks. You need to train them on:

  • The handling capacity of the racks.
  • Maintenance and characteristics of the system.
  • Operating limit of forklifts.
  • Using alarms and rear-view mirrors.
  • Using safety devices to improve visibility.

2. Conduct regular inspections

By “inspection”, it means regular, routine inspection to check all the parts for rust, corrosion, internal damage, structural integrity, and imbalance. Hire an expert team or ask your pallet rack manufacturers for inspection guidelines.

3. Increase rack visibility

Your staff who use the racks for loading and unloading goods should have uninhibited visibility in your warehouse. Most importantly, the drivers handling forklifts require proper lighting and strategically placed mirrors to avoid collisions with the racks.

4. Adhere to loading capacities

Never overload your pallet racks. When it comes to loading the racks, you should:

  • Stack the load one above the other in an overlapping manner.
  • Place heavy loads on the lower level racks.
  • Have racks customised to bear the heaviest weights.
  • Use reinforced columns for extra stability.
  • Post clearly-defined loading tolerances on the racks.

5. Avoid aisle clutter

A cluttered aisle will contribute to poor visibility and difficult navigation for your forklifts. Make it easy for your drivers by doing away with all clutter, clearing the pallet stacks, and categorising the pallets into sections. You can also implement strict rules for your employees to remove any obstructions at any height.

6. Maintain speed limits

Never permit your forklift drivers to speed inside your warehouse premises. You can enforce speed limits by curtailing the vehicle’s speed and placing signs that clearly indicate speed levels within the warehouse.

7. Use protective accessories

Never cut back on upgrading your pallet rack safety with accessories like:

  • Nuts
  • Bolts
  • Punch patty
  • Corner plates

To extend the efficiency and durability of your pallet racks, always invest in high-quality accessories. Also, keep in mind the rack corners are most vulnerable to collisions with forklifts. Repeated and heavy-impact collisions can damage the horizontal and diagonal braces. To protect the corners, install accessories like:

  • Guard railings
  • Bollards

8. Ensure regular maintenance

A well-maintained rack is a safer rack than one that’s dirty and greasy. Dirty racks attract rust and result in minor or major structural damage. Routinely cleaned racks tend to serve their purpose for many more years.

What are the Benefits of Damage Prevention?

It is easy to guess how you benefit from implementing damage prevention for your pallet racks. Apart from the other advantages, three main aspects make your efforts worthwhile.

1. Safety

The safety of your staff and the goods are the first priority. Routine inspections and maintenance measures ensure the pallet racks are structurally safe and sound.

2. Expenses

Even minor damages to your pallet racking system can cause unexpected expenses. Major damages can sometimes call for the replacement of the entire system, which will definitely be a huge expense. However, by following the above tips, you can drastically reduce the cost of damage.

3. Productivity

Any damage to the pallet racking system will put your warehouse workflow on hold for a few days, weeks, or even months. Imagine what would happen if such a thing were to happen. Damage prevention helps steer clear of such unwanted hassles.

Pallet Rack Inspection: When to do it

Pallet rack inspection is a must. There are no two ways about it. In fact, it is mandatory to inspect and document pallet rack inspections if you run a business that requires mechanical operating and lifting equipment.

So, next comes the big question: How often should you inspect your pallet racking system? You can do it:

  • Weekly once

Weekly walkthroughs are quick and inexpensive. You must look for general signs of wear and tear, dents due to forklift collisions and the general status of small accessories like nuts, bolts, and screws.

  • Inspection after small accidents

Your forklifts often may cause accidents to the pallet racks, even if your drivers operate them with care. These bulky machines can cause small dents that can severely impact the structural integrity of the beam and frames. Even the slightest collision can affect the stability of the entire racking system. Therefore, you must carry out a thorough inspection after every small accident.

  • Yearly inspections

A professional inspection at least once a year is mandatory to record the condition of the racking system. Professional rack inspectors will rate the overall condition of the rack-based:

  • Floor condition
  • Floor level
  • Stock overloading
  • Floor alignment

A yearly inspection will help you identify any major repairs on time and protect your investment and rack efficiency.

What is Pallet Racking Damage Tolerance?

Although pallet rack columns are perfectly straight, they can sometimes lean and curve in places they shouldn’t. This is known as “being out of plumb or straight.” A defined ratio for racks is “out of plumb or straight.” As long as they are within that ratio, the rack is safe.

However, if the rack exceeds this ratio, it may collapse because the damage racking tolerance becomes unsafe. The most common reasons for pallet racks “going out of plumb” are:

  • Changes in beam height
  • Poor quality of beam connection used
  • Poor installation of bolts
  • Impact with forklifts
  • Overloading of racks

If your pallet racking system goes out of plumb or straight, it must be immediately unloaded and repaired. Please remember that pallet racks must conform to the prescribed column vertical safety standards.

Always Choose Donracks for Pallet Racking Systems

When safety is your top priority, do not compromise on quality. When it comes to quality, always choose Donracks, Chennai, the most preferred brand for all kinds of storage solutions. Give us a call and tell us your requirements.

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