A pallet rack system plays a key role in many warehouses and distribution centers. When they are well-maintained and working properly, they are essential to keeping your productivity moving and your operation profitable. Like all things that see regular use, however, pallet racks are prone to wear and damage over time. Here’s what you need to know to identify and fix a problem when it occurs.
COMMON TROUBLE AREAS
The first step in fixing pallet rack damage is to know what to look for. Some of the most common problem areas include:
- Columns: Pallet rack columns are important structural components and should be fixed immediately if dented, warped or bent beyond ½”.
- Struts: Struts run diagonally and horizontally across rack systems. Look for signs of bending and warping, or missing welds and braces.
- Footplate: A pallet rack’s footplate anchors it to the floor. Common issues include twisting and missing bolts caused by forklift collisions.
- Beams: Pallet rack beams can start to sag when overloaded or improperly installed. To prevent an accident, beam repairs should be performed immediately.
You should also be on the lookout for problems such as rust damage, misalignment and missing, incorrect or poorly-installed hardware, among other issues.
FIXING RACK DAMAGE
Depending on the nature of the damage, you will typically have two options when it comes to fixing a damaged pallet rack: replacing the part or using a repair kit. Repair kits reinforce the damaged section and can be installed with a minimal amount of disruption to your operation. They are also usually more cost effective and produce less waste.
If a rack has suffered extensive damage or is worn in several areas, replacement is likely to be your best option. Because of the risk involved, it’s always best to err on the side of caution when it comes to fixing questionable system components.
AVOIDING A PROBLEM
Of course, being able to avoid a problem is always preferable to requiring emergency repairs. Here are some of the best ways to ensure your pallet rack system keeps working its best for longer:
- Don’t overload your racks. Overloaded pallet columns will be more prone to stress and damage. Make sure you do not exceed the rated capacity of your system.
- Invest in preventative maintenance. Periodic inspections and regular service are the easiest ways to identify and prevent a potential issue before it leads to damage.
- Make staff training a priority. If your team knows what to do and how to properly operate forklifts and other machinery, they are much less likely to cause damage.
- Improve visibility. Whether it’s by getting rid of clutter, upgrading your lighting or adding corner mirrors, any steps you take to improve visibility in your facility will lead to fewer accidents and less damage to your pallet racking systems.
- Impose speed limits. Just as it is on the road, speeding is one of the leading causes of accidents in warehouses and other industrial storage spaces. Set a designated speed limit to minimize those accidents and potential damage to your pallet racks.
- Add protective guarding. Guards and post protectors can prevent or reduce damage when a forklift inevitably comes into contact with a pallet rack.
Your pallet rack itself can also play an important role in preventing damage. Better-designed systems integrate with your workflow in a more seamless manner, reducing the risk of an accident. To learn more about your options, contact a Logic Material Handling, Inc. representative directly.