Top 5 Pallet Racking Mistakes

  January 29, 2024      Warehousing

Whether you’ve been using pallet racking for years or only recently installed it, the odds are you want to make sure that it’s working correctly and will last for as long as possible.

Although pallet racking is pretty simple, it does often represent a large financial outlay for warehouses and factory operators. Because of this, it’s important it’s important to avoid any mistakes in pallet racking installation, maintenance, and use.

The good news is that, as long as you’re sensible, your pallet racking will stay in the best condition possible and likely last longer than it needs to. To make sure you get the best out of your pallet racking, we have a number of tips around the mistakes to avoid with pallet racking.

Not Using Pallet Racking Protection

As we already mentioned, buying and installing pallet racking is a large investment for a business. Because of this, it only makes sense to install pallet racking protection, especially in areas that are prone to damage.

The bottom portion of pallet racking is usually the most likely to be damaged because it’s the most accessible. This makes collisions with forklifts more common and even getting hit with pallets or heavy objects being moved by warehouse workers. Although there are a lot of products and ways to protect pallet racking, at a minimum, upright protection is needed on every pallet racking installation.

Without adequate protection, it becomes not “if” your pallet racking gets damaged, it’s “when” your pallet racking gets damaged. The right protection can mean the difference between easily replacing the less expensive protective barrier or the more expensive pallet racking itself.

Not Performing Regular Inspections Yourself

Pallet racking inspections need to be conducted yearly by a competent person. These inspections will identify any damage to your pallet racking that needs to be fixed in order for it to be certified for another year.

While the minimum yearly inspections specified by AS 4084:23 are a great first step to ensuring a safe warehouse, doing regular inspections yourself will not only make your warehouse safer, but also prolong the life of your pallet racking. This is because damage recognised early is often less severe and less expensive to replace.

Take, for example, damage caused by overloaded pallet racking. This can bend and warp the pallet racking in various ways. Prolonged overload will only make the problem worse. Even if the large load is removed, the pallet racking may be so warped that it can no longer even take a lighter load, meaning it will deform further anyway. Regular pallet racking inspections would pick up on this sooner, minimising what could have become very major damage.

Overloading Pallet Racking

Although you should be inspecting your pallet racking regularly to check for damage and overloading, it’s always a good idea to avoid overloading in the first place.

All pallet racking is rated for different weights in different configurations. The load that the pallet racking is rated for should be posted on the racking itself. Exceeding the rated load on racking can cause damage either immediately or over time. Worse still, overloaded pallet racking can lead to the pallet racking collapsing.

The best way to avoid problems from overloaded racking is simply not to overload the racking in the first place.

Using The Wrong Kind Of Pallet Racking

There are a variety of different kinds of pallet racking, and each one has its best uses in specific circumstances.

Basic selective pallet racking, for example, is great for a variety of general warehousing applications, but what it has in selectivity it lacks in storage density. Double deep pallet racking, on the other hand, offers more storage density, but works best if you’re storing multiple pallets of the same SKU. Beyond those two examples, there are many other types of pallet racking; each has its best use case.

Sometimes a warehouse operator will just try to get the most density or the most selectivity without thinking about the balance between the two and finding a pallet racking solution that perfectly suits their situation.

Before investing in new pallet racking consider whether it’s the right kind of pallet racking for your business.

Trying To Install Pallet Racking Yourself

For smaller racking installations, it be tempting to try and save some money and install it yourself. This can lead to a lot of problems.

Firstly, installing pallet racking isn’t a one person job, so ultimately you’ll have to pay your own workers for their time doing the installation. With that in mind, professional pallet racking installers can likely get the job done faster.

Going further, once the pallet racking is installed, it then still needs to be inspected and certified by a competent person.  If your self installation has made any mistakes or goes against AS 4048:23, it will need to be fixed, causing more time and money.

Ultimately, getting pallet racking professionally installed ensures it’s up to standard and may actually be the less expensive option.