It is good to take these points into account the next time you buy a pallet rack:
1. Responsibility between lift truck and rack system. Who will take it?
2. Is there enough aisle spacing to operate the truck? Pallet rack is one thing; drive-in rack is another aisle spacing; while pushback & pallet flow rack takes up to 1′-6” more aisle space than pallet rack. Because the truck must go straight in and out of the system, the operator can’t begin to turn into the load before being straight in front of it.
3. 95% of all rack collapses are due to operator error. Abuse is just like a car – sometimes it is driven off the lot and totaled within one day. Sometimes the car never gets into a wreck.
4. Know your loads by weight. Don’t guess. Overloading can be a real problem.
5. Be honest about your operators. If you already have rack abuse, you will continue to have it. Ways to change this pattern: A) additional training, B) wider aisles, C) cutting cross aisle traffic down.
6. Design from the inside out, not the other way around.
7. Look at your competitors’ facilities. Not all companies are the same.
8. Anybody can sell rack, new or used. But what do you get? Is it the right height, depth, or type?
9. Don’t buy a piece of lift equipment before your rack system. Remember: lift truck houses sell lift trucks because that is what they are supposed to do. Just like a car dealer.
10. Everybody wants their product like Burger King. They are in such a rush to get it off their desk that many times they make a mistake. For some reason, there always seems to be enough time to get it corrected but not enough time to do it right in the first place. Remember to allow enough time to plan and don’t rush.
11. When should you replace rack?
- Broken welds on uprights
- Beams creased or bowed in
- Column off of footplate
12. A pallet should overhang a beam by 3” front and back in order for the stated capacity to be valid. Otherwise the capacity has to be down rated.
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