Resources

March 22, 2018

Why You Should Get Your Pallet Rack System Professionally Inspected

There’s a good reason that steel is used for so many building projects, including pallet rack systems. First of all, iron, which forms the bulk of steel, is the second most abundant metal on (and in) the planet. And even though steel prices are rising dramatically, it has a very high cost/usefulness ratio; there’s simply nothing like it that’s so strong yet so abundant.

So as strong as steel is, we tend to forget that it can suffer damage. We often think that it’s plug-and-play, one-and-done, drop-it-and-forget-it. But as strong as steel is, it still suffers under the strain of warehouse operations. Here are some reasons you’ll want to get your industrial shelving and pallet racks professionally inspected to ensure they’re safe and up-to-code.

 

Why Do Industrial Storage Racks Need Maintenance?

Like we were saying, it’s difficult for the human mind to understand how something as strong as steel can need any sort of repair. But there are three primary reasons that it might be time to replace specific portions of a pallet rack system:

Damage – The most common reason that industrial pallet racks require repair or replacement is due to damage. Warehouses can be busy places, and workers moving too quickly can run forklifts into industrial shelving units. And let’s admit it, sometimes forklift operators just aren’t as careful as they should be. Just because the entire pallet rack didn’t come tumbling down after it’s been hit doesn’t mean that there was no damage, though, and damage done today might not cause problems for months down the road. If you’ve had mishaps in the warehouse involving shelving and vehicles, make sure to get an inspection done soon.

Gravity – If you ever built model airplanes and hung them from the ceiling with fishing line, you’ve probably experienced how weight — even something as light as a plastic model kid — can cause the fishing line to cut into the plastic due to the constant downward pull of gravity. Something similar occurs with heavy weight that is placed upon pallet racks. The constant downward pressure puts stress on the metal, causing even the strongest steel to bend as the bonds between its molecules are strained. You should bring in someone with the right eyes and testing equipment to see just how much the constant weight has affected the racks.

Outside Forces – Sometimes forces beyond our control can cause industrial shelving to need maintenance. Every state has hundreds of tiny earthquakes every year that are too weak for humans to feel, but which can cause shelving to move almost imperceptibly. Other times a building’s foundation might shift due to underground sinkholes (we’re looking at you, Missouri!) Other times a pallet rack might give way due to some freak weakness in the steel that was impossible to detect during installation.

 

Government Inspectors

Most people think that OSHA is primarily concerned with moving equipment and fall prevention. But they actually have a authority over just about every aspect of workplace safety. Any place an employee works is fair game, and if they see that the industrial pallet racks you’re using could cause a dangerous situation, you could be fined.

How can you prevent this? Simply have an independent inspector come in before OSHA stops by. They’ll be able to find any problems and help you address them before the government steps in.

 

Workers’ Safety

Of course, your workers’ safety should always be a primary concern. Storage racking that’s been weakened or damaged by forklifts can eventually give way, posing a huge problem if it should topple and hurt — or more likely kill — an employee. Put your workers’ safety at the forefront by bringing in someone who can look at your space with fresh eyes, someone who can prevent serious injury or death by inspecting the shelving units in your warehouse.

 

Avoid Lawsuits

Primarily, you don’t want your workers to get hurt because you’re a human being with feelings. But there’s another reason to keep your racks in good repair. We hate to sound heartless, but it’s important to be practical; you don’t want them to get hurt because you don’t want them to sue you. A single workplace injury due to a failing pallet rack system could cripple your business. It will be especially bad if you were warned about the problem by OSHA and failed to do anything about it.

Be sure to get knowledge about any problems with you storage racking before anything goes wrong. Contact Dak Equipment inspectors in order to avoid worker injuries and the subsequent lawsuits.

 

Avoid Lost inventory

If an industrial pallet rack has to collapse, hope that it collapses when no one is around. Luckily no one will be injured, but now you have two problems on your hands. First, you’ve lost the inventory that fell from great heights or was crushed underneath the weight of the pallet rack and any other inventory above it. Second, you’ve now got a bunch of twisted and broken industrial shelves on your hands, and it all has to be cleaned up before you can use that part of the warehouse again.

Instead of having a small, fixable problem identified by an industrial shelving unit inspector, too many warehouse managers allow that small problem to become a big (and catastrophic) problem. Don’t let that happen to you.

 

Don’t Forget The Other Equipment

Of course, industrial storage racks aren’t the only important tools in a warehouse. Our inspectors can take a look at just about anything that can cause a problem in a warehouse, whether it has moving parts or not. We can inspect material handling systems from top to bottom, including gear, belts, and drive motors. Any sort of conveyor system, from the simplest to the most complex, could use a fresh set of eyes to make sure that it remains safe and doesn’t break down at the most inopportune time. We’ll also talk with the employees who use this equipment so that we can discover the hidden problems that could be addressed even if they’ve found less-efficient workarounds.

 

Get Your Equipment Properly Inspected

Calling up an inspector can catch the problems you might miss as your warehouse workers go about their day to day business. After all, they’re busy folks and aren’t trained to look for the signs of problems in pallet rack shelving. We, however, are well trained and can find the problems that could cause it to fail.

Contact Dak Equipment and Engineering today to get your pallet rack system or material handling system looked at to ensure the highest level of employee safety and lowest amount of downtime possible.

 

 

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March 18, 2018

5 Reasons To Get That Outdated Stock Off Your Storage Racking

If you’re in charge of warehouse inventory, there’s a good chance that you like to see things in order. You take pride in knowing where absolutely every pallet is at every moment, and that once the call comes in for a product you know exactly where it is on your industrial storage racks.

But knowing where everything is at any given moment also means that you know where the problem pallets are. In almost every warehouse there are those pallets that simply shouldn’t be there anymore, the ones that hold items that a warehouse manager just doesn’t know what to do with. These pallets stick around while the inventory on dozens of other industrial racks come and go.

It’s these specific pallets that need to be dealt with, and the sooner you get them off your storage racking, the better. Here are some of the reasons you should just go ahead and move them along in your efforts of warehouse optimization, despite the extra effort it’s going to take.

 

It Frees Up Physical Space

The primary reason to get rid of old pallets of unusable materials is so that you’re freeing up physical real estate within your warehouse. That pallet taking up space on your industrial shelving unit is going to get in the way eventually, no matter how far away you’ve tucked them in the back. Once you fill up your warehouse to the brim, it’s time to look into a new warehouse racking system…but there’s no reason to do so if you are keeping stuff you simply don’t need. Did you find a pallet of flyers from the last trade show? Don’t give it a second thought before recycling them. Have a pallet of paperwork that’s just a fire hazard now? It’s worth the few bucks to get them shredded and out of your warehouse.

Sure, it’s possible that you don’t need every inch of your warehouse space today. But when you do have a huge influx of inventory, wouldn’t you rather see an empty space in your pallet rack shelving than to have to deal with the problem when the new inventory is on its way? Which brings us to the following point…

 

It Frees Up Mental Real Estate

It’s not just physical real estate that you have to deal with when it comes to old inventory on your pallet racking system. It’s also the mental real estate that it takes. If you’re in charge of the warehouse inventory, you are likely always running into the outdated products and thinking “I really should do something about that.” A month passes, and dozens (if not hundreds) of storage racks are used over and over, and you still see that unmoving inventory and think “I really, really should do something about that.”

After a while, keeping something around for long past its purpose starts to feel like a failure. It didn’t sell, and it’s being ignored (but stays in the back of your mind) month after month. It’s best to just move it along in some way so that you never have to think of it again.

How can you move it along? Sell it! “But it hasn’t sold in all this time,” you might say. “I’d love to sell it, but it just won’t go.” Well…

 

It Could Get Some Cash

It might be time to cut your losses. Sure, it hurts to sell something for pennies on the dollar, but sometimes it’s just worth it to free up the physical and mental space that the unsellable pallets are taking up. In today’s world of internet sales and easy pallet shipping, finding a buyer for just about anything shouldn’t be a problem. It’s better to sell it for cheap now than to have it forced outside when you need every available industrial shelf for new product; a single rain could turn your product into trash.

The toughest part of selling it might be getting someone else to sign off on it. While you might want it gone, it might be difficult to get someone who doesn’t work in the warehouse to agree to let something go: “It might sell someday” they say. But bug them enough times and we bet they’ll cave, giving you that space back in the warehouse.

 

Tax Write Off

We’re no tax experts, but we know that keeping product around that isn’t moving can be a tax liability. But when you get rid of it, it could become a tax write off. You’ll get some credit for it if you give it away or pitch it, and you’ll also be freeing up warehouse space.

 

It Could Be Dangerous

Sometimes it can be difficult writing these articles to speak to everyone who might be reading them. After all, while some customers are using our industrial pallet rack shelving to store stuffed animals, others are using them to store antifreeze. It’s great that our storage racking is so flexible in terms of what they can be used for, but we’re certainly not going to suggest that one of our customers should get rid of that pallet of stuffed animals for environmental concerns.

But if there is something that could be potentially dangerous, it’s best to get rid of it. And even if it’s not dangerous, there are other reasons to move it along. Maybe it could cause a big mess if it ever fell, or leaks could lead to slip and fall hazards. Why have anything around that could cause you problems in the future?

 

Make The Most of Your Industrial Storage Racks

The fact is, there aren’t many warehouses in the world that don’t have some skeletons sitting around, waiting to be swept away. It’s always a good idea to free up space whenever you can, and it’s better to do so during your next downtime instead of during an emergency situation. When you’ve gotten to the point where you’ve gotten rid of your unneeded product and still need some space, Dak Equipment and Engineering will help you get your next warehouse management system up and running. Contact us right here to get the process started.

 

 

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March 14, 2018

Why Buying Pallet Rack Shelving NOW Could Save You Considerable Money

Steel prices are going up. While the price of most goods is determined by supply and demand, recent mine closures and increased tariffs on steel imports are raising the price of steel in the Midwest and throughout the country. If you don’t follow the price of steel, maybe you should; getting your industrial pallet racks now could save you quite a bit of money down the line.

 

Weekly Fluctuations Can Be Dealt With

Prices of raw commodities are always fluctuating. Crops, textiles, plastics, and, of course, metals are in a constant price flux. Unless a person is in the industry or has their eyes on investments, they might not realize that the price of steel is constantly fluctuating just like everything else. And to the average consumer, it’s not a big deal. When their greatest purchase of steel is a vehicle every few years, the price of steel isn’t affecting their lives much.

But when the products are steel, as is the case of industrial shelving, changes in prices can make their way through the manufacturing process and bump prices. Normally the change in price is small, and small changes in the price of raw materials don’t tend to affect the price of finished products. In the case of industrial pallet racks, minor changes will simply be absorbed by the manufacturers; a dollar rise in CWT (hundredweight) will be offset by the dollar fall next week. Changing the prices of finished products just isn’t viable on a weekly basis, and in the end it tends to even out.

 

Constantly Rising Prices Are A Problem

The problem now is that the fluctuations that are occurring are only heading up. Just two and a half years ago the price of steel rolls was $18.50/CWT, an abnormally-low price that quickly corrected itself by mid-2016. Since the beginning of the year, the price of steel rolls has gone up nearly ten dollars, from $32.63/CWT to $41.78/CWT. This is the highest price since 2011, and is heading toward the insane prices that we saw in 2008. Such steep increases in steel prices aren’t something that manufacturers of industrial storage racking can ignore, and the price of the product goes up.

 

So Why The Increase?

There are two major reasons that the price is steel is going up, one global and one domestic.

First of all, the price of raw iron ore is going up, thanks largely to mine closures in India. When that cheap ore became less plentiful, India raised its prices, and this created a ripple effect through the industry. Every ore supplier, both those internationally those in our own country, have raised prices accordingly. In the end, ore prices are up drastically since January.

The domestic reason is the increase in tariffs on steel that took effect March 23, 2018. These higher tariffs on steel from China and Japan will reduce the amount of steel available to the United States, almost certainly causing prices to rise further.

 

Are The Price Increases Over?

Steel prices have seen some steep increases so far this year, and most data indicates that it’s going to keep going up for the foreseeable future. While steel from some countries is still exempt from the greater tariffs — South Korea, the EU, Mexico, and Canada, for example — it’s still a possibility that tariffs will be raised on these steel imports as well, which would further cause the price of steel to increase.

Our suppliers are offering some of the steel pallet rack shelving they already have on hand at “pre-price increase” prices, but we don’t expect that to last long. In fact, but the time you read this there might have been a price increase, but by acting now you can avoid that higher price that seems inevitable as the cost of steel rises.

 

Get Your Industrial Shelves and Storage Racking Now!

If you’ve been considering a pallet rack system, now is the time to take the plunge before steel prices go up any more. We’ll get your industrial shelving ordered, install them with our professional team, and make sure that you’re making the most of your space. All it takes is a quick message to our consultants. Click here to get the process started!

 

 

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