Pallet Racking – What you Need to Know
Operational pallet racking systems consist of the following:-
The above is the technical terminology we use in the pallet racking storage industry.
Every frame has a foot with 3 holes in it. It is recommended every foot is double bolted. Some installations have a single bolt. This allows the frame upright to rotate but 2 bolts gives a super strong frame.
Pick the correct weight for a pair of beams based on the weight of a single pallet.
Decide on the configuration of your pallets on the beam. You must leave plenty of space between the back to back beam faces to avoid the fork truck dislodging other pallets. We use row spacers to help you with this. The standard is either 200mm or 300mm gap. If in doubt please ask us.
Leave 75mm between each pallet, left to right and pick a frame depth which supports the blocks on the pallet base. The beams must run beneath the pallet blocks. Never set the pallet to the back of the front beam, flush with it or otherwise you run the risk of dislodging the pallet behind it. Eccentric pallet placement collapses the pallet you are loading because the block passes the back beam and so is effectively unsupported. This is dangerous. If you cannot get a pallet to fit our frame depths, which are usually 900 and 1100mm, ring us. We make them to order including special decking for any pallet sizes and combinations. This gives maximum density.
Please use the cost of frames and beams to work out a budget. Even if you order it on line it has to be reviewed by one of our engineers before it can be supplied too you to make sure that your installation is safe. If you wish, one of our engineers will also do the layout for you and we will come to site and do a measured survey for you, provide a layout and a full quotation for your pallet racking system.
For simple designs on standard U.K. pallets a rectangle 1m x 2.8m gives you an accurate layout when applied to the warehouse measurements. We check this for you in the event you decide to proceed. For long runs use underpasses beneath the pallet racking runs to save the truck having to reverse out. Allow a 3m or 3.3m beam overhead for this and be particular cautious and clear about mast heights with your fork lift supplier. 4.2m is a normal height on duplex articulated trucks. There are very good triplex options which will enable denser stocking if space is at a critical premium.
Your first beam level must not exceed 1600mm and here is a general guide to operating aisle widths.
Normal rack heights don’t usually exceed 12m because of the time it takes a forktruck mast to elevate that height and the difficulty of operating accurately. It also determines the number of lifts and stock operations a machine can do per day. For standard pallet racking installations 5m to 8m is a good working height with slower moving items above this. After this you should consider faster narrow aisle systems.
The Amateur’s guide to pallet racking inspections:– There is no engineer who will give you a revised safety margin on any damage to your pallet racking. Pallet racking used to be made from structural sections. It is now made from cold rolled sections. If it is not in the same condition in which it was delivered to you, change it. Cold rolled materials, like car body panels and motor bike helmets, don’t perform the same way following impact. Change them immediately and keep your warehouse and employees safe.
Marker Systems on Pallet Racking
If you have never had a rack inspection and employ a qualified rack inspector they may place markers or highlight damage. They usually use a traffic light system as follows:-
Green – Good condition
Amber – To monitor
Red – Change
You should ribbon off anything which is not green and stop using it. You must unload the bays either side of a red marker because they could pull down the entire run and in worse case scenario collapse your entire warehouse. Driver training is vital. Don’t allow key site safety workers, i.e. fork lift truck operators, to do long shifts without proper rests in between. However disruptive rests are, they are not as disruptive as a written off warehouse. Make safety your priority at all times. If in doubt please ask us.