February 10, 2018

Easy-to-Install Sprinkler Guard Selection Available at DAK Equipment

There is so much that goes into planning the perfect warehouse design and layout. It can take years of experience before you start to really understand all of the intricacies that go into designing a great materials handling facility. No matter how many hours you put into planning your warehouse, though, there are little details that may escape your attention. Sprinkler guards are often one of those things. Many people forget to include these inexpensive, highly effective guards into their warehouse plan when setting up and designing their space. Thankfully, DAK Equipment sells a variety of sprinkler guards that are easy to install and will prevent damage to both the sprinklers in your warehouse and the merchandise on your shelves.

Why Your Warehouse Needs Sprinkler Guards

What are sprinkler guards?

Sprinkler guards most often look like small metal cages that sit over the sprinkler heads in your ceiling. There may be some small variations in the design or how they attach to the sprinkler, but by and large, these guards rely on the cage-like open structure that’s made from metal. They are there to prevent damage to the sprinkler head itself without restricting the flow of water and chemicals that can help put out a fire if one is detected. They can also help prevent any vandalism or tampering with the sprinkler head itself. It’s not just warehouses and materials handling facilities that need these protective items, either. You’ll see them in gymnasiums, retail stores, and other commercial, industrial, and public spaces that rely on overhead sprinklers for fire protection. Next time you are out shopping, take a second to look up and locate the store’s overhead sprinklers. Chances are good that you’ll see a wire cage sitting over the sprinkler head; that’s the sprinkler guard.

Why do you need to use sprinkler guards?

If a sprinkler head is accidentally knocked or bumped, it can set off the internal system. Overhead sprinklers can send as much as 30 gallons of water per minute onto the surrounding area. That’s more than just a little bit of water. By the time you are able to react, reach the main shut off, and end the flow of water, you could have hundreds of gallons of water all over your warehouse. Even small businesses and public spaces can experience tens of thousands of dollars worth of damage in a short amount of time; how much more damage could your business experience when your inventory gets soaked?

Some damage isn’t apparent at first, either. Instead of setting the system off, an accident could end up damaging the sprinkler head and causing it not to work properly when it’s needed. That can leave your warehouse vulnerable to fire damage, which could be much more costly than the water damage would be. It could also create danger for those working in your warehouse.

Sprinkler guards are some of the most inexpensive safety equipment on the market. Most of the guards cost just a few dollars each, meaning you can purchase peace of mind across your entire warehouse for a few hundred dollars. When you consider the return on your investment and preventing an accident, it’s an investment that’s well worth making.

How are sprinkler guards installed?

Most sprinkler guards can be easily installed on your existing overhead sprinkler system. Many of them attach to the sprinkler head itself, while other models will attach to the pipes that come off of the sprinkler heads and supply them with water and fire retardant chemicals.

Most businesses can install sprinkler guards themselves. The equipment and knowledge needed to complete the installation are minimal. However, if you want to ensure that the installation is done correctly, you can have the DAK team perform the installation for you. We have teams that can service Illinois and surrounding states with the installation work that’s required. Simply contact one of our project managers to discuss your installation options.

Is your warehouse protected from fire?

Sprinkler guards are just one facet of comprehensive fire protection in your warehouse. Are you sure you have the protection you need and that’s mandated by state and federal laws? It’s important to go through an annual safety inspection to help you stay on top of regulations and changes. These inspections can help you uncover potentially vulnerable areas of your warehouse and work to correct them. You might find that you need other safety equipment such as cages, rail guards, safety gates, upright protection, and bollards to help prevent damage to inventory and warehouse equipment as well as prevent injuries and accidents. DAK Equipment & Engineering can help you stay proactive ahead of your inspection schedule and work with you to develop a warehouse safety plan and get all of that equipment put in place.

Let DAK Find the Right Safety Equipment for Your Warehouse

Don’t think your sprinkler guards are a minor detail you can afford overlook for now. While these may seem like an insignificant detail, these guards could end up saving you thousands of dollars. That’s because if a forklift operator accidentally hits a sprinkler, it can go off and leave your warehouse, your team, and your merchandise dripping wet. Clean up alone will cost you both time and money, while damage to merchandise could be even more. All of that damage could have been prevented with one little sprinkler guard from DAK Equipment!

Give us a call today and let us help you find the sprinkler guards that are right for your warehouse. Along with sprinkler guards, we have a comprehensive line of warehouse safety equipment so we can help protect your warehouse from top to bottom. Our team is experienced in helping warehouses just like yours in Illinois and across the Midwest find, purchase, and install warehouse equipment and supplies. We can install them for you or your can do it yourself! Call us at 855-863-0340 today and speak with a project manager in your area. They’ll help you find everything you need to keep your warehouse, your team, and your merchandise safe and dry.

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February 05, 2018

Minimize Risk to Workers and Equipment with Upright Protection

How are you protecting your pallet racking? If you don’t have safety equipment in place, you could be putting your team and your inventory in jeopardy. DAK Equipment & Engineering sells a variety of racking protection including corner guards and upright protection. These are essential pieces of warehouse equipment that you can’t afford to go without. Make sure you know why you need it, how to use it, and how our warehouse consultants can ensure you have the protection that you need for your racking.

Upright Protection: The Basics

What is Upright Protection?

Upright protection helps prevent damage to the upright supports of your pallet racking from forklifts and other warehouse equipment. It can be made of plastic, metal, or other material and is there to act as a barrier around the uprights. These are the most vulnerable parts of the pallet racking and damage to them can increase your risk of racking collapse. A ding with the forklift to an edge or a corner of your shelving may not seem like a big deal, but it could be the beginning of structural damage to your pallet racks.

It may seem like the upright protection you put on your pallet racks is simply to protect the corners from wayward forklifts and heavy equipment and keeping them looking nice for aesthetic reasons. While that’s a major part of the job of upright protection, it’s not the only function. In the long run, the upright protection is there to keep your team and your products safe. That’s because damage to the corners isn’t just an eyesore–it’s a safety issue.

The Cost of Not Preventing Damage

While pallet racks are made of heavy duty steel that will stand up to years of wear and tear, it isn’t flawless. Damage in the wrong spot could lead to collapse, putting employees and merchandise at risk. The repercussions can be long-lasting and devastating, and can include:

  • Thousands of dollars in damaged inventory. Imagine if your racking collapsed right now; how much of your inventory would make it through the experience undamaged? In all likelihood, very little of it. You would probably need to damage out the vast majority of your inventory and start over, meaning major losses to your bottom line.
  • Lost time in the warehouse. Cleaning up after a racking collapse takes a lot of time. Not only will you have to damage out the majority of your inventory, you’ll need to purchase and install new racking to replace the ones that caused the damage. All of that takes time, which means you will probably not be able to fulfill orders and will very likely lose business because of it.
  • Injuries to team members. Worst of all, a racking collapse runs the very high risk of causing injuries to your team members. Those working in the area at the time of the collapse could be injured by falling items or even trapped under collapsed racking. Tragically, warehouse workers can even be killed in these accidents.

Installing Your Upright Protection

Thankfully, preventing all of this damage is pretty easy. Most upright protectors are very easy to install. You should be able to do it yourself, if you wish, using a few tools and a couple minutes of your time. The uprights come with pre-drilled holes that can be anchored into your flooring or attached to your current racking system, depending on the piece that you purchase and what you are protecting. If you wish to have upright protection installed by a professional, the DAK team can help with that. We have installation experts who can visit your warehouse and complete the work for you.

It’s important that you add these protective items to your inspection list. When you inspect your racking, make sure you inspect your safety equipment, too. Any equipment that’s been hit by a forklift should be promptly examined for signs of damage or stress. If necessary, you should replace damaged protection immediately. This will keep the racking safe and help you prevent additional damage from occuring.

What Other Protection Do You Need?

There are a number of potential solutions for your racking protection needs, and DAK Equipment & Engineering has them all. Your needs will vary based on the type of equipment you use and the configuration of your warehouse shelving, but a warehouse consultant can help you determine what items you need and can even help you get them installed right away. Along with upright protection, our warehouse consultants might also recommend one or more of the following items:

  • Barriers. Our barrier selection includes corner and column guards as well as bollards to keep forklifts from damaging racking equipment. We also have corner guards and end of aisle rack guards, so every piece of your racking can get the protection that it needs.
  • Column protectors. This category also includes spring-loaded bollards and overhead door track guards, which can keep your dock (another area that’s at high risk for injury and accident within your warehouse).
  • Rails. You need rails in various areas of your warehouse to meet OSHA standards, including at your dock, on your mezzanine decks, and at stairways and platforms. We have the rails that keep you OSHA compliant.
  • Safety tape. Safety tape is a quick and easy way to draw attention to areas. DAK has a robust selection of safety tape so you can mark shelving, aisles, and hazards to make them extra visible.

Let Us Help You Find the Right Racking Protection for Your Warehouse

Keeping your pallet rack free from damage isn’t just about having a nice, orderly warehouse. It’s about having a warehouse that’s safe for everyone in it and the projects you are storing, sorting, moving, and selling. Start with the right upright protection by calling DAK Equipment! Check out all of our pallet rack protection, including upright protection, machinery guards, rail systems, rack protectors and more. Place an order by giving us a call at 855-863-0340 or shopping our online inventory. You can speak with a project manager about finding the right protective equipment for your warehouse by contacting us through our website, too.

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January 25, 2018

How Much Weight Can Pallet Racks Hold?

When it comes to setting up the pallet racks in your Chicago-area warehouse, you’ll want to make sure you are getting the kind of equipment you need. That requires knowing what you need to store, how you need to store it, and for how long. But the most important thing to consider when purchasing and setting up pallet racks is how much they’ll hold. The capacity of pallet racks varies greatly, so before you make your purchase be sure you know what you need. It’s not just a matter of having the right kind of storage in your warehouse; it’s a matter of safety, too.

How to Determine Storage Capacity on Pallet Racks

Factors to Take Into Consideration

Pallet racks certainly aren’t one-size-fits-all. There are a lot of different pallet racking options out there, and each one is going to have different weight limits. Some of the factors that will determine storage capacity include:


  • The kind of pallet rack you are purchasing. Selective pallet racks, double deep racking and other combinations and systems can impact your load capacity. What materials are used to make the racks, such as cold roll-formed and hot-rolled steel, the thickness of the steel, and the quality of the materials will all have an impact on the final weight capacity.
  • How you are storing your pallets on the rack. How you load and unload those pallets will also be taken into consideration.
  • The combination of load beams and frames you are using.
  • Capacity can change depending on what uprights, structural beams and other pallet racking pieces you are using on your system.

The racking itself will be rated for a certain weight amount, so make sure that you purchase something that’s capable of handling more than you need to store. Be sure that you strictly adhere to the maximum weigh capacities set by the manufacturer. If you find that you are exceeding it by even a little bit, talk to a warehouse consultant about how you can increase the load capacity. It’s usually a fairly simply fix that won’t require a major overhaul of your warehouse equipment.

Avoid This Common Capacity Mistake

One of the biggest mistakes we see customers make when purchasing pallet racking is to underestimate how much weight their racks are going to need to hold. Underestimating the weight that you need to hold can end up causing total pallet racking collapse in your warehouse. You’ll want to know the maximum capacity of your pallet racks themselves and then multiply that by the number of levels that your racks are going to have. That will tell you the capacity you’ll need to be able to hold. But it’s not just the weight of your inventory that needs to be taken into consideration. Remember that your pallets, packaging, and the racking itself will all need to be added to the total capacity weight.

When you go to purchase racking, a warehouse consultant can help you determine what racking you’ll need. It’s important to work with a professional in order to determine the capacity that you need. Trying to roughly estimate it for yourself can end up in disaster; not only could you end up replacing all of your pallet racking, you run the risk of pallet collapse that can damage your inventory and even worse, put the safety of your team at risk. This is one of those instances when the calculations are best left to a professional team.

Storage Capacity Can Change Over Time

Remember that the capacity of pallet racks can change over time. This can be caused by damage done to the uprights as well as to the pallet shelves themselves. Shelves that have been bent from too much weight can be weakened and not able to hold as much weight in the future. The age of the racks can impact their maximum capacity, as well. That’s why it’s important to have your racking inspected regularly and address any damage done right away. Professional inspectors and repairmen will be able to help you adjust your maximum capacity and inform you when racking needs to be replaced.

If you want to extend the life of your pallet racks as well as preserve their maximum weight capacity, then you’ll want to ensure your racking has the right protection. Upright protection and corner guards can help prevent accidental forklift damage which weakens the steel structure. Make sure that your employees are trained to report any pallet racking damage immediately so it can be professionally repaired. This will help keep the structural integrity of the system intact as well as prevent injuries.

Need to Increase the Capacity of Your Current Setup?

You might not need to purchase an entirely new pallet racking system if you need to increase your weight capacity. Adding more beam levels can increase how much weight your system can safely support. This decreases the space between the pallets vertically and increases the amount of support running between each upright, safely increasing your weight capacity. It’s worth speaking to a warehouse consultant to see if this could be a safe way to help increase capacity in your warehouse.

Don’t forget that your flooring will also need to be capable of bearing the increased weight capacity; don’t assume that it can. Have a professional evaluate it or it could be your floor that ends up needing to be replaced, not just your pallet racks.

Contact Our Warehouse Consultants to Get the Right Storage Equipment

The best way to make sure you are purchasing pallet racks that are capable of holding the load you need them to hold is to speak with a project manager at DAK Equipment. Your project manager will ensure that you are getting the pallet racks that you need, and they can even help you with the configuration and installation of your equipment. Simply give them a call at 855-863-0340. We’ll find a project manager in your area whether you are in the Illinois area or anywhere else across the midwest. You’ll be able to count on DAK to get you the pallet racks with the capacity and storage space you need.

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