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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January 20, 2018

Harness the Power of Gravity On Your Carton Flow Rack

Carton flow racks are a powerful piece of warehouse equipment to be using on your pick line. Many warehouses who discover their speed and efficiency end up using more than one of these racks on their line. If you aren’t familiar with them, though, you could be missing out on a key piece of equipment that could help speed up your team while reducing errors. DAK Equipment & Engineering has carton flow and gravity racks in stock and ready to ship, so take some time to learn more about these racks and why they might be the right solution for your warehouse.

Carton Flow Racks: Discovering the Basics

What is a carton flow rack?

Gravity flow racks are simply racks that are slightly tilted forward and have rollers on the shelf. These rollers push cartons and products forward as items in front of them are removed. It’s a simple concept, but it’s one that materials handling facilities should put in place on their lines because of the huge difference it can make in productivity. The way that these shelves function is a sharp departure from the way the other materials storage occurs in your warehouse; the majority of your storage surfaces are going to be flat horizontal places, made to keep items stationary until they are accessed. Carton flow racks are made for movement and to keep items going through to their next stop on their journey to the customer.

What are the advantages of a carton flow racks?

Carton flow racks might not be the answer for every warehouse, but it’s important to learn about the potential advantages in order to determine whether or not they could be right for your Illinois business. Some of the advantages include:

  • The ability to quickly manage multiple SKUs. Because you’ll be able to have a visual on a number of SKUs at once, it’s much easier to manage those items with less travel time and effort.
  • Take up less space than other picking systems. These shelves can be quite compact, and because you don’t need access for restocking on both sides, may take up less space than your other picking systems.
  • Great for organizing smaller items that are frequently accessed. The carton flow racks allow smaller items to move forward, keeping the shelves organized and all items within reach.
  • No need to reach to the back of the shelf to access products. On stationary shelving, pickers will have to reach to the back of a shelf to get to the last item. That takes up a lot of additional time and effort and slows down ordering picking while increasing the chance of strain injuries.
  • Great for first-in-first-out stocking systems. Because the shelves can be restocked from the back, there will be a constant flow of product moving towards the front. This is ideal for SKUs that require the first-in-first-out system.
  • Stock can be placed on either side of the rack. While ideally the racks should be restocked from the back to allow picking teams to work at the front, they can be restocked from either side. This opens up opportunities for faster restocking.
  • No interruption of the pick line worker’s flow. Pausing to allow for restocking can really interrupt the picker’s workflow and slow them down on order fulfillment. When restocking happens from the back, there is no need to interrupt their work.
  • Easy to check inventory levels. Because you can see exactly how many items are left on the shelves, it’s easy to determine what needs to be restocked and reordered and when.
  • Reduces the amount of travel required to pick items. Items are all there at the picker’s fingertips, meaning they won’t have to travel as far to pick the items that they need. That’s great news for your productivity numbers.

Are there disadvantages?

In some instances, carton flow racks might increase the amount of handling required to get items out the door. Your team will need to put them on a traditional storage shelf until those cartons are needed for stocking purposes on the carton flow racks, meaning there will be at least two instances of those cartons being handled. That could, potentially, increase your risk of damage.

However, the only disadvantages that you are likely going to experience with carton flow racks are using them when they might not be the best option for your warehouse. For instance, if you are primarily dealing with palletized items, then you may not have a need for carton flow racks. But if you fulfill orders with smaller, carton or individually packages items, then you are unlikely to experience any disadvantages from this addition to your warehouse equipment.

Speaking to a warehouse equipment expert can help you determine whether or not these are the right solution for your warehouse.  There may be other opportunities for improvement that you are missing out on for your pick line, and the DAK Equipment & Engineering team can help with that, too.

Looking for Warehouse Equipment to Speed Up Your Pick Line?

DAK Equipment & Engineering can help. While most warehouses rely on selective pallet racks for the bulk of their storage, this certainly isn’t the only storage option out there. There are a number of options that could help increase the productivity of your warehouse, and in particular, increase the efficiency of your pick line. It’s a matter of working with a knowledgeable partner who can help you find the right equipment for your needs while staying within your warehouse’s budget. That’s where the DAK team can help!

We’ve been working with warehouses in Illinois and across the warehouse to find the solutions that are right for them. We’d love to start working with you, too. Give our project managers a call and let’s talk about how we can help you increase production in your warehouse with a customized system that incorporates carton flow racks and other warehouse equipment options. Call us or contact us through our website today and ask to speak with one of our project managers to get started.


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January 15, 2018

One Quick Trick to Keep Your Shelves Organized

All warehouse managers know the importance of keeping their warehouse organized. It cuts down on labor costs, gets your products out faster, and keeps your customers (and your shareholders) happy. But the battle to keep the warehouse organized is never-ending. When products are coming in and out all day long, it can lead to a lot of confusion. But there is one very simple thing that your warehouse can be doing to help everyone working there stay more organized: label your shelving. DAK Equipment recommends  SUPERSCAN® Insertable Label Holders for the job; they are available right now in our online catalog. Here is why we love them:

  • They are made to fit a variety of pallet shelves. It doesn’t matter what pallet racking system you are using or how many industrial shelving units you have, these labels will work with them.
  • These labels are side loading and can be quickly relabeled and moved for your ever-changing inventory needs. The shelves in your warehouse probably change and rotate inventory regularly, and now your labels can keep up with every change that happens.
  • The package includes white inserts that you can easily run through your inkjet office printer to create clear, crisp, professional looking labels. No more scribbled labels that are hard to read at a distance!

But is labeling really the secret to a warehouse that gets and stays organized? Yes, and here is why.

The Benefits of Labeling Your Shelves

  • A cleaner looking warehouse. While this isn’t the most important benefit, it’s a nice one. A clean, organized warehouse is more pleasant to work in, boosting employee morale and helping with the efficiency of your warehouse.
  • Faster pick and pack times. When items are clearly labeled and stocked, workers won’t have to go hunting for the products they need to fulfill an order or build a product. This speed up production and shipping times.
  • Faster ordering. Proper labels help you see, at a glance, what items are low and need to be restocked. You’ll never be caught off guard by low inventory levels.
  • Less theft. When something is sitting on a shelf by itself, it can be a temptation for theft. Afterall, how long will it take you to notice one missing item from the shelf? But when everything is labeled, it’s a lot easier to notice when something is missing and would-be thieves will know that and leave items in their proper place.
  • Less location confusion. It can be tough to find your way through the maze of inventory in a warehouse, but time matters, especially when it comes to picking an order. Racking labels can help eliminate the confusion of locations within the warehouse and get the picker to the next item faster.
  • It can lower your error rate. When shelves aren’t labeled, pickers may assume they have the right item when they actually don’t. That leads to more returns and more frustrated customers. Labeling reduces confusion and errors.
  • It can increase your storage capacity. When areas are well labeled, there is a place for everything. When everything is in its place, it’s a lot easier to see where the empty spaces are within the warehouse and maximize on available shelving.

Tips on How to Label Your Warehouse

  • Make sure the labels are secure. Great labels are no good if they are constantly falling off of the shelves and needing to be replaced. The labels that we recommend are available in both adhesive and magnetic options, both of which are great for sticking and staying in place until you need to move them.
  • Use color coding if it makes sense. Too much color can be confusing, but a simple color coding system can help workers identify products from a distance a lot faster.
  • Make sure the labels can be read at a distance. The further away they can be read, the easier and faster it’s going to be to identify the right locations within your warehouse.
  • Purchase labels that can be changed easily. Within the ever-changing environment of the warehouse, you’ll want to make sure your labels can keep up with everything that’s happening around them.

Labels Aren’t Just for Shelves

Labeling your shelves is a great step to take towards the total organization of your warehouse, but it’s not the only thing you can label. Consider getting additional labels for the floor, racks, aisles, and other areas as well. This will help direct pickers to the right locations a lot faster, meaning they can get the order picked and off to packing in less time. Look around your warehouse like it’s the first time you’ve ever been there and think about what information you’d need to successfully find an item on an order. Talking to a warehouse consultant can help you see your warehouse with fresh eyes and identify where labeling is lacking in your space.

Order Your Warehouse Labels From DAK Today

It’s time to discover all of the benefits of labeling warehouse shelves for yourself. Even if these labels aren’t quite right, there are so many other options available from DAK Equipment and Engineering. We’ll help you find the labels that are right for your space. There are tons of benefits to using insertable label holders, so place an order and start discovering them for yourself! Our Chicago-area business can ship these label holders nationwide, so no matter where you are you can get the benefits of great DAK Equipment products. Give us a call or order online today.

Facing an issue in your warehouse? Our warehouse consultants are here to help! Give us a call or contact us through our website and talk to one of our experienced consultants today. We have decades of experience in the materials handling and storage industry and have helped hundreds of companies like yours overcome the challenges they are facing. We can provide you with cost-effective solutions to problems such as warehouse optimization, planning and layout, automation, and keeping your warehouse organized. Get in touch with our team and let us help you overcome the challenges you are facing today!

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