rack repair

December 20, 2017

The Pros and Cons of Doing Rack Repair Yourself

When you are doing a routine inspection in your facility for damage to your pallet racks, you are likely going to find some issues on occasion. That’s just the nature of a busy material handling facility, where people and forklifts are hard at work. Forklifts accidentally run into upright supports, people drop items onto racking from high places, and a lot of the damage goes unnoticed and undocumented until you do an inspection. The important thing is that you cannot ignore damage once it’s been found; it needs to be dealt with as quickly as possible. Allowing damaged warehouse equipment to continue to be in use will put your team at risk and heightens the chance you could experience a racking collapse. Attending to the repairs as quickly as possible will help ensure safety in the warehouse and efficient processing of orders.

But when you find those issues, should you hire a rack repair professional? Or should you attempt the repairs yourself? After all, no one knows your warehouse better than you do. On the other hand, can you really repair the racks so they are structurally sound? You need to weight the pros and cons before you make this decision.

Should You Do Rack Repair Yourself or Hire a Professional?

The Pros of Doing It Yourself

 

  • It could save your warehouse money. By doing the work yourself, you won’t have to pay a professional. You can pull people from your own team and put them to work on the repairs without paying more money to an outside company. That means you keep more money in the warehouse and directed towards your bottom line.
  • It could be faster. Waiting for a professional rack repair team to come to your facility could take some time, and while you are waiting for them, it could result in a slow down on production within your warehouse. Doing it yourself means you can get to work on the problem right away.

The Cons of Doing It Yourself

  • Unless you have years of experience and the right training, you might not be able to get the repairs done correctly. Rack repair can’t be learned by watching online tutorials; there is a lot of engineering that goes into the repair process to ensure that the structure is sound and poses no danger of collapse.
  • If you end up using your own internal team to do the repairs, you are probably pulling them away from other tasks. You hired those team members to do those tasks, not to focus on rack repair, and distracting them from their jobs could actually be having a negative impact on your bottom line.
  • Improperly repaired racks can pose as much–or even more–danger to your materials and workers than a damaged rack. You could actually end up making the rack structurally weaker than it was before, unwittingly putting your facility at even more risk.
  • Most rack repair services are very affordable. Companies will attempt to complete the repairs without needing to replace pieces (when it’s safe to do so) so you avoid the cost of replacement. That can save you up to a third of the cost, but only a professional will be able to determine whether repair or replacement is the best choice for your facility.
  • Even expensive rack repair is cheaper in the long run. A pallet rack collapse can cost thousands of dollars in damage, not to mention the production time you’ll lose as your team attempts to clean up the mess. If a member of your team is hurt by damaged racking, then you will face the expense of worker’s compensation claims and potentially even a lawsuit.

Hiring a Professional Is Almost Always the Right Choice

Unless you have an experienced rack repair specialist on your team, it’s almost always the smarter choice to hire a professional to do the necessary rack repairs in your warehouse. The initial lure of saving time and money taking the DIY approach starts to look less appealing when you consider the long-term costs that you could accrue. Hiring a professional gives you the peace of mind of knowing the repairs have been done correctly and there is little or no danger of the problem becoming worse in the future. Professional rack repair team can often provide inspection services, too, meaning you can get both jobs done at once by a team that you can trust. Connecting with a great resource like this can make your warehouse a safer place to work.

If you’ve discovered rack damage in your facility, give the DAK Equipment & Engineering team a call. We can give you an estimate on the work you need to be done so you have a clear picture of the cost–and how affordable rack repair can be. Call us at 855-863-0340 today or contact us through our website and let’s talk about the repair or replacement services you need.

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December 18, 2017

The Danger of Pallet Rack Damage

For many warehouses across the country, damaged rack is often overlooked. The assumption is that because it is still technically working, it’s safe. The case, however, is that one more small impact on an already damaged rack could be the difference between standing uprights and a completely failed system leading to serious injury or death.

Industrial racking damage is an effect caused by multiple conditions all converging to impact the engineering capacity of rack components. These conditions include but are not restricted to:

 

  • Overloading frames
  • Overloading beams
  • Beam damage, improper connection
  • Broken or damaged pallets
  • Improperly designed aisle width
  • Footplate damage
  • Strutting damage
  • Broken or torn components
  • Insufficient heights between beam levels
  • Poor lighting

The greatest asset for a company to secure is the employee. Creating a safe work environment is the single most important priority an employer can establish. Safe working standards and abiding by OSHA, IBC, ANSI, and RMI regulations coinciding with undamaged and protected racking ensures the greatest opportunity for an acceptable environment.

 

Inspecting the Racking Components

Frame damage at beamOne way to ensure the safety of your warehouse environment is to inspect or have an engineering consultant inspect the racking components. Minor to severe column damage can be located under, over, or even behind the beam connection. This creates a false sense of security because it looks like the beam to column connection is working, but contact from a pallet load or forklift can twist and shear the column in half.

Inspecting column deflection is a good way to avoid a failed system. Corner column damage is relatively more critical than damage to the front and sides of columns, however, inspecting both front and back leg columns for deformation is important as well.

A rule of thumb for column deflection is anything greater than ½” would need to be replaced. Column strutting works within the same capacity.

Corner deflectionAllowable beam deflection is measured by length of beam divided by 180. This will give you an allowable beam deflection in inches. Residual vertical beam deformation should not exceed 20% of normal deflection under load. Residual lateral deformation should not exceed 40% of the normal vertical deflection under load.

Any beam with visible deformation or cracking of the beam connection should be unloaded and replaced immediately. Beams should always be fully engaged with proper safety locks that abide by RMI standards and have a specific upward shearing force.

 

beam deflection

Repair Kits

rack repairAfter identifying the damaged rack, repair kits can be applied to the specifications needed for any application. Repair kits are spliced sections of columns and strutting that are installed in lieu of the trouble area. Most repair kits are reinforced and have the ability to add safety features like welded on column protectors or deflectors.

Repair kits are installed using specialized lifts that allow the distribution of the loads above and next to the damaged section to be transferred to the jack. This means you do not have to unload the product from your rack, something you would need to do if replacing the upright entirely. This saves time, labor, and installation costs.  All rack repair must be approved by a supervisor rack engineer.

Finally, repair kits are almost always less expensive than replacing the damaged rack in terms of time, effort and cost.

 

Safety Products

Column GuardAvoiding damage altogether should be the first priority. Whether your rack safety requires something as simple as 12”H floor mounted column protectors to guard rail going the depth of your racking system, it’s an important feature your warehouse should opt to fulfill.

Spending the extra money to sure-up equipment in an order to save thousands of dollars of stored product from damage not only maintains a safe environment, but also saves you from throwing away money for replacement items. Often overlooked, safety equipment is an essential tool needed to efficiently run a company.

If you have any questions or would like help with a rack inspection and repairs, just get in touch.

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