Pallet Rack Install and Safety Guide

In order to get the most from your storage rack system it is imperative that the rack is properly assembled and maintained. The following information will assist you with your responsibility of providing a safe storage rack system. Contact Material Flow at 1-800-338-1382 for more information.

Storage racks should only be assembled by trained personnel who have experience with rack assembly.

Improper rack assembly can reduce efficiency and pose safety risks. If you are not familiar with rack assembly you should contact Material Flow for professional assembly. Material Flow cannot provide or guarantee warranty services if your rack is assembled improperly. Call us at 1-800-338-1382.

It is imperative that rack structures are installed in a plumb, level, and square fashion. Since most floors aren’t perfectly flat shims are often required. A four foot long carpenter’s level is great for checking level and plumb specs on a storage rack of reasonable size. A vertical tolerance of 1/8” in 4 feet is generally acceptable. (Building code for floors is + or – 1/8” in 10 feet.) Changing configurations (such as adjusting storage levels) can adversely affect load carrying capacity and structural integrity of the rack system. Before adjusting rack configuration contact Material Flow to double check the safety and structural soundness of the new configuration.

“Nut and Bolt” connections are to be tightened to a snug and secure condition. 60 foot pounds is recommended for ½” diameter hardware. Avoid tightening components to the point of crushing.

Safety locks on bolt-less connections must be fully engaged through the beam connector and upright column connector holes. Safety locks help prevent accidental dislodgement of the load beams. Locks should engage automatically; however, the beam needs to be fully seated in the bottom of the teardrop shaped connector hole.

Do not use beams with damaged or missing safety locks. Contact Material Flow for extra safety locks.

Every Column of each rack frame must be anchored to a sufficient concrete floor. A normal anchor connection is on ½” diameter X 5 ½” or as indicated on the Material Flow installation drawings. (3 ½” embedment is code.) Anchor bolts are not included with our rack systems unless detailed on the invoice. Because concrete floors can vary greatly in design and load capacity Material Flow cannot guarantee that a specific concrete slab is suitable to support a particular rack installation. The characteristics of the slab should be obtained from the building’s architect before the racks are ordered to ensure the proper rack for the specific slab.

Racks are not to be installed outdoors unless specifically designed by Material Flow for this purpose. Outdoor usage requires consideration of winds, snow, and other variables not normally considered in rack design.

Be cautious when mixing new and existing parts. Components from the same company can vary in design. Manufacturers often modify basic designs over the years to improve performance. These differences can affect safety and lead to dangerous situations. While it may be possible to assemble a rack system with parts from different manufacturers Material Flow can only warranty and guarantee systems built with genuine Stromberg parts.

Installation of capacity plates is highly recommended. These plates specify load size, load weight, and rack configuration. These plates communicate important safety information for both present and future users. Several signs should be posted to maximize visibility. Signs can be procured through Material Flow.

Never climb on racks during or after assembly. Storage racks are not designed to be stepped or climbed on. Serious injury may result from doing this. It is your responsibility to communicate this warning to those who use and come into the area of your storage system. Prominently placed signs are very helpful, especially if your rack is in a retail environment.

Allow adequate aisle spacing. Aisles that are too narrow for handling equipment increase the danger of collisions between lifting equipment and rack structure. Collisions can result in items falling or broken products.

Maintain sufficient clearances around loads. These include clearances dictated by fire codes (between loads in back to back rows and overhead between top load and ceiling structure). Also between adjacent loads horizontally and between loads and rack horizontal and vertical members. Tight clearances decrease handling speed, increase fire risk and the likelihood of damage to rack systems.

Install good lighting in every rack aisle. Good lighting improves handling efficiency, prevents accidents and reduces damage to rack systems.

Install optional column protectors at aisle facing columns, and guard rails at ends of rack rows. These devices provide a physical and visual barrier against handling equipment impacts. Material Flow has a large selection of these devices.

Do not cut, weld or in any other way modify any component of your Stromberg storage rack. These modifications can jeopardize the structural integrity of your rack structure. Any modification except performed or authorized in writing by Material Flow personnel will make null and void any warranties and guarantees.

Use only high quality pallets. Broken, cracked, or poor quality pallets can cause falls from racks, or cause dynamic racks to become jammed or inoperable.

Perform regularly scheduled inspections and maintenance at least once a year.

• All hardware for tightness (including anchors)
• All beam safety locks for operation and engagement
• All racks plumb, square, level
• No dents, knicks, or damaged components
• Load sizes and weights match original specs.
• Check finish, touch up chips or scratches to prevent corrosion

Replace damaged or missing beam safety locks immediately! Do not use beams without safety locks. Unload damaged racks immediately and contact Material Flow for replacement parts.

Minimize contact between storage racks and handling equipment. This is the key to improving rack longevity. Educate rack users to avoid dropping loads onto rack, how to position material correctly and how to report rack damage.

Do not overload any rack system or component. Storage racks are designed for specific weights. Should your load weight requirements change contact Material Flow before using the rack for new loads. Overloading racks can result in damaged material and severe injury.

Other Precautions: When using a fork truck be sure that the truck is equipped to protect the operator from accidental crushing against storage, rack loads, or other objects. If your fork truck lacks these features contact the manufacturer/reseller of the fork lift equipment and get the proper safety equipment installed.

Make sure that your fork truck is equipped to protect against accidental falls. Platforms where operators stand must be approved by the manufacturer and OSHA. Operators should always be restrained and protected from falling off equipment.

Keep work area clean. Keep aisles clear of trash or obstruction. Do not stack pallets on floor, keep floor surfaces clean and free of moisture.

Got a need for Pallet Rack by Stromberg, Lyon, Hannibal or others?
Material Flow & Conveyor Systems
800-338-1382 or 503-684-5133
21150 Butteville Rd NE, Donald, OR 97020