06 Mar Pallet Shelving – What You Are Actually Looking For By Name
Pallet shelving is a tough thing to find. One of the things about finding shelving that size is that it is not immediately obvious what those things are called that hold them. If you find yourself in that spot then do not worry because that is where everyone starts. The process of finding out what you need is a long and involved one. It can be confusing because you are not in the industry where those shelving units come from in the first place. It could possibly take you a while to find out that these shelving units for pallets or skids are called pallet racks. The fact that they look like shelves but are referred to as racks are one of the major reasons that you will have a hard time finding what you need.
“If you had a storage problem before you got the pallet rack then you have a bigger problem now. You have to store the product that was on the rack somewhere and you have to store the rack itself. You may have just added a factor of two to the difficulty of storing your inventory.”
However, that is not all you need to know because the truth is that you could run into a lot of problems if you just go out and buy any pallet rack you find on the Internet. The fact is is that most locations have some kind of seismic activity happening underneath them all the time. The amount of seismic activity is of concern to a lot of the local governments. Therefore, your local government could have rules for the use of pallet racks in your area. If you have never dealt with the pallet rack permit process then it can be very confusing. The truth is that many places do not find out about it until they have their first inspection. One of the first questions that will be asked about your racks is if they have seismic calculations. The bad part about that is that not every area has rules regarding seismic calculations which means that you could be buying from a purveyor who does not supply them. In fact, you could be getting used pallet racks that lack seismic calculations as well. If you lack the seismic calculations for the pallet rack you have inside of your warehouse then you will have to pay to get them done. However, it does not mean that your rack can be used in the amount of time it takes you to get this done. They will, most likely, ask you to take all the products off of the racks and they may even ask you to disassemble it. It is because it could be a hazard if the seismic activity is enough to warrant it moving. Obviously, if you had a storage problem before you got the pallet rack then you have a bigger problem now. You have to store the product that was on the rack somewhere and you have to store the rack itself. You may have just added a factor of two to the difficulty of storing your inventory.
Another thing to mention is that not all pallet racks are the same. In fact, pallet rack is usually used as a blanket term for many industrial-strength storage solutions. There are many different types of pallet rack. The most common that you will run into is a selective rack. The reason that it is so common is that it is a shelving system that most people can understand. It is just like the shelves you have at home. You can organize them in any way you want which is the reason that they are designated as selective racks. They offer the most selectivity out of any of the racks available. However, that might not be the optimal rack for your business. If you are trying to optimize your workflow and your warehouse to work at their most efficient pace then you may want to consider another rack type.
A pallet flow rack or a gravity flow rack is the ideal rack for any business that has to follow the first in – first out methodology of inventory. It is because the older product will leave the rack before newer product does when used correctly. The idea behind this rack is that it uses gravity and specialize rollers to push the next oldest product to the front after something is picked. The system works by loading newer products, that have just come into the business, into the back of the system. The front of the system is where your workers or you will pick that product so it can be sent out or used in your business. Obviously, this might be a lot of overkill for a business that does not need to worry about product expirations or product freshness.
If you do not have to worry about product freshness or product expirations but you want to maximize your storage in a certain space than a pushback rack is probably the best choice for you. They refer to the system as a high-density storage solution. It almost works in reverse of how a pallet flow rack or gravity flow rack works. Both the stocking and the picking happen at the front of the pallet rack or pushback rack system. Therefore, it is following a last in – first out system called LIFO. It works well when it does not matter what product goes out first because they are all the same and they do not lose potency over time.
Another popular type of rack is the drive-in or drive-through rack. It is as exactly is it sounds. A forklift can drive into the apparatus in stock or pick products as necessary. If it sounds dangerous then you should be aware that it can be or it can be as safe as you are precise. A lot of people do end up damaging their drive-through or drive-in racks. It is because it is very easy to miss handle a forklift when you have to be that precise. There are people who own and have owned drive-in racks for many many years and have not had any problems. However, you do have to be aware that you could have a problem if you make a mistake. It is these racks in particular where you probably want to consider having column protection just in case. In fact, it should be necessary for this type of racking system. It is important to note that many drive-in racks are hybrids in use of the pushback rack type of system as well.
“You also get the secondary benefit of the business who does the warehouse design layout for you. Chances are that they have seen a business like you before and they can tell you things that they have experienced or seen the business they worked with experienced in the process of getting their warehouse permitted and legal.”
Another racking system that you should keep in mind is the cantilever rack. A cantilever rack is the rack for businesses that have to work with long heavy objects. The objects you find on these cantilever racks are things like timber, steel, and pipes. However, they are sometimes adjusted to shelving as well. Places like Lowe’s and Home Depot use these racks for shelving units. They add decking onto the cantilever rack arms in order to hold products. They also make use of storage bins if the product is too small to be held. You may also find this kind of rack in stores like Costco or IKEA. Stores such as those sometimes use the racks to hold things like couches.
As you can see, there is a lot you have to think about when you are looking for shelving for your pallets. The one last thing we should mention is that if you are at all interested in making your workflow optimized and keeping the pace high in your business then you may want to consider having a CAD warehouse layout done for you. It will enable you to look at your business from overhead and see where your possible bottlenecks of protection and workflow are happening. You also get the secondary benefit of the business who does the warehouse design layout for you. Chances are that they have seen a business like you before and they can tell you things that they have experienced or seen the business they worked with experienced in the process of getting their warehouse permitted and legal. Therefore, you may as well give yourself the best chance of success by listening and asking questions so that you can optimize your workflow to the maximum level.
If you need help finding pallet shelving then give us a call at 503-447-1284. If you are just looking for a pallet rack then you can click that link there. Keep in mind that we can do custom racking for you if necessary. Have a look at this custom fabrication page to learn more about that and give us a call with the number above.