Pallet racks are something that can greatly benefit the running of any warehouse operation, but when it comes to buying or upgrading the racks, many managers or operators look to try and cut their costs. Nevertheless, as Oregon-based Speedrack West, a leading supplier of pallet racks and shelves, says it is a much better option investing in top quality racks to avoid spending more on repairs or upgrades in the future.
Too many people underestimate the importance of pallet shelves and racks when it comes to the efficient running of their warehouse and so will buy substandard products to keep costs low – especially in the beginning.
How Long Should Pallet Racking Last?
It is impossible to predict the exact lifespan of pallet racking as this will depend on a number of things. For example, better quality component material will obviously last a lot longer than cheaper varieties. The way in which the warehouse is used will also play a significant role. If the warehouse in question is to be used as a cold storage or freezer solution, then it is highly likely that the racking will need to replacing sooner.
Indeed, cold storage warehouses can really take their toll on pallet racking. There are a number of reasons for this. For one thing, stock turnover tends to be higher, which means there is a lot of movement. This is an issue because narrower aisles and denser storage reduces the cost of keeping the facility cold, which means that employees need to navigate smaller spaces, meaning that there is an increased risk of impact with the racking.
What About Rack Structure?
Something else to consider is the actual structure of the racking system. The amount of bracing built into the pallet rack system can affect its resistance to impact. This is also true of the quality of the welding. As a side note, the typical open-back racking configuration is able to withstand far less impact than a closed tube-design.
Damage to any of the load-bearing components of the pallet racking can greatly increase the risk of collapse. It is important therefore that regular inspections are carried out to ensure any damage is spotted early.
If there is damage to the structure, it is vital the damaged component is repaired or replaced immediately, even if this means some downtime or disruption. At the end of the day, the disruption to the business would be tenfold were some or all of the racking to collapse.
Invest in Top Quality Steel
Steel is the best material when it comes to pallet racking. However, note that not all steel is the same. As there are different grades of steel, it is a wise to invest in one that is both strong and certified. U.S. steel is certified as having the correct alloy of iron and carbon, which offers some reassurance even if it is a little more expensive than imported steel. The risk with imported steel is not knowing what it contains and not having the same guarantees.
What to Consider Before Buying
Pallet racking is something that should last for a good number of years, so it really is worth investing in quality at the start rather than then have to spend thousands down the line for repair or replacement. Before buying though, consider whether the system you are looking at will withstand the environment in which it will be used.
If you really do have to keep costs down though, some reputable companies do offer used systems that might suit your immediate needs.
In the end, knowing what you need from your pallet rack system will help you to make the right decision before you buy.