January 10, 2018

Discovering the Perfect Pallets for Your Warehouse Racking

Pallets and racking are the backbones of most warehouses and distribution centers in the country. Facilities rely on these two relatively simple pieces of warehouse equipment to store and transport millions of different items. For a majority of our customers, the basic selective pallet racking and wooden pallets are going to meet their needs just fine. This setup gives you a decent amount of versatility to pack, store, and ship products around the world. Your traditional wooden pallets will hold everything from cartons to furniture and much more. But wooden pallets aren’t the only storage option that you have, and depending on your business, it might not even be the best option for you.

DAK Equipment & Engineering offers several different reusable pallet types, including heavy duty and environmentally friendly options. This is a great way to cut down on the waste of wooden pallets, and investing in these reusable pallets can be a great way to cut down on your supplies budget over time.It’s important to know all of your options and which environment they work best in so you can ensure you are using the pallets that are going to work best for you.

Pallet Options from DAK

100% Recycled Pallets

These plastic pallets are a great way to go green in your warehouse while still getting the strength you need from a pallet. These pallets are made from a lightweight recycled plastic material, so not only are they good for the environment, they can actually be beneficial for workers because they cut down on worker fatigue. These pallets can also be steam cleaned, meaning you can eliminate germs and bacteria from the surface easily, which makes them ideal for food and perishable products.

Aluminum Pallets

Strong and lightweight, these are a great investment for your warehouse. The aluminum pallets that we carry come with a lifetime guarantee against rust and corrosion as well as a five-year guarantee against material defects. That means you can invest in them with confidence knowing that the manufacturer will stand behind their aluminum pallets. We like that they are available in custom sizes, so if you are struggling to find a tough all-metal pallet to ship a non-standard sized product, then this could be absolutely ideal.

Nestable Export Pallets

These nestable pallets are also made from 100% recycled plastics, so they are an environmentally friendly pallet that you can feel good about investing in. One of the big benefits of these pallets is that they won’t absorb moisture in the shipping process, so they don’t gain weight and end up incurring unnecessary expenses. They are also easy to clean and won’t harbor pests that can damage your exported goods.

Plastic Pallets

We carry plastic pallets of every shape, size, and design! The lifespan of plastic pallets will make you wonder why you ever used wood. They might be a larger initial investment than their wooden cousins, but the lifetime use will more than make up for the expense. A lot of insurance companies offer discounts when you use plastic pallets, which could make the change to plastic pallets even more cost-effective. The plastic pallet reduces the risk of warehouse injuries, too, since there are no splinters or shards to worry about. Whatever kind of pallet you need, whether it’s a two-way or four-way entry, you need a lipped deck board or stringers, or you need a specific configuration, there is a plastic pallet for you.


Containment Pallets

These are specialized pallets used when transporting liquids that need to be safely contained. You’ll find them used in the oil and gas industries a lot. The pallets have storage space for pails, drums or buckets inside with a hard flat-topped surface. These pallets can be stacked up for more storage capacity and easier transport. They work with your forklift, too, so it’s easy to move them from point A to point B.

Steel Corrugated Pallets

These steel pallets can hold an incredible 6,000 pounds of weight. They have a solid surface, which makes them easier to stack in your warehouse or on your truck. They also eliminate the need for decking on your racking, so if you cannot put wire decking in, then this might be a cost-effective alternative. They are easy to clean, too, with a little water and elbow grease.

Which Pallets Are Right for You?

It’s going to depend on a number of factors, but our Illinois warehouse consultants can help you determine which pallets are right for you. They will help you take factors such as these into consideration:

  • What you are storing. If you need to store a lot of weight on a single pallet, then a plastic or steel pallet might offer you more capacity per square inch as compared to a wooden pallet.
  • Your budget. Some options are going to be more expensive than others, especially at the beginning, but you’ll want to look at the long-term costs of the pallets as well.
  • Where you are shipping products. If you are shipping products within your own warehouse system, then investing in plastic pallets might make sense. If you are sending products out to other locations, then you might want to stick to wooden pallets so you don’t end up losing specialized pallets in which you’ve invested your capital.
  • Whether you need to clean the pallet. Some options are easier to clean than others. For instance, plastic pallets can be steam cleaned and sanitized, while wooden pallets cannot. You’ll want to consider that if you are handling a product that could be contaminated.

Ready to Order the Perfect Pallets for Your Warehouse?

Don’t use wooden pallets just because they are what you’ve always used. Let us help you see if there is a better option out there for you! With all the pallet options available in our online store, we can help you find a pallet that gives you more capacity at a lower lifetime cost. Give the DAK Equipment project managers a call today and we’ll help you find all of the perfect materials handling supplies you need in the Chicagoland area.

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January 05, 2018

Wide, Narrow, or Very Narrow: Picking Your Aisle Size

When you are working on warehouse planning, it can feel like every inch matters. That’s because it does. When it comes to the warehousing and materials handling industry, maximizing every inch of your space can help you maximize your profits. It means being able to handle more inventory, fulfill more orders, process everything faster, and prevent you from incurring the expense of moving your warehouse or paying to expand your facility. One of the most important factors in maximizing every inch of your space is your aisle size.

The Importance of Your Aisle Size

Aisle configuration is a major factor in maximizing the capacity of your warehouse space. Many of our customers ask us about the best aisle size for their warehouse when they are purchasing their pallet racking. They understand the importance of this one decision and the impact that it can have for years going forward, so getting it right the first time can help prevent additional reconfiguration expenses in the future.

Your Aisle Size Options

Your three main options are:

  • Standard. These are best for counterbalanced forklifts, as it gives them a clear twelve-foot radius in which to maneuver. That way the driver can back up with a load and not hit the racks behind him (which will damage the racks and put them at risk of failure).
  • Narrow. A good option if you have stand-up reach trucks or a double-deep reach operating method. This is specialized equipment that is made to operate in a narrower area of space.
  • Very Narrow. These aisles are considered a specialized set-up, in that they are only going to work under very particular circumstances. They are ideal for wire, rail, or optical picking guidance systems as well as in warehouses that don’t need forklifts or machinery for picking, sorting, and packing.

Which one is right for you is going to depend on your business, your goals, and the kind of equipment that you use.

How to Choose the Right Aisle Size

Consider your inventory.

Obviously, if you are handling large items or a lot of palletized product, then you are going to need standard or even wide aisles. It’s rarely that straightforward, though. A lot of warehouses who believe they need standard aisles may find a workaround that allows them to utilize narrow aisles and thus gain more storage space. Talking to a warehouse consultant may help you identify new possibilities.

Consider your equipment.

If you use a standard counterbalanced forklift, then you’ll probably want to stick with standard aisles for most, if not all, of your warehouse. But an investment in alternative equipment like a stand-up reach truck could allow you to reconfigure and gain more space. You’ll want to weigh the cost of the equipment against the potential gains in space.

Consider your space needs.

If you are doing alright in terms of space, then stick with standard aisles. They will allow the most versatility in terms of the equipment that you can purchase and use in your facility. If you are starting to run out or anticipate that the day is coming when you’ll need to move, then consider whether or not narrowing your aisles could help you stay in your current facility longer.

Find the right balance.

Be sure to balance your desire to maximize space with productivity and safety. Don’t get so carried away with maximizing your storage capacity that you start spending too much on new equipment or put the safety of your team in jeopardy. It may be helpful to have a warehouse consultant create a couple warehouse planning diagrams for you to examine so you can see exactly how much space you’ll create and whether or not it’s really going to benefit your warehouse.

Ditch your aisles altogether.

There is a very good chance you have more aisles than you actually need. Reconfiguring your pallets to a double-deep system can eliminate a lot of that wasted space and help you get more storage into your current facility. Whether or not this is a viable option will depend on the product that you store and how often you need to access it. But for a majority of warehouses, if you aren’t already using this system, you should be. It can quickly add a third to your storage capacity and all you’ll need to do is buy some additional racking after the reconfiguration work is done.

Wondering if You Should Change Your Aisle Size? We Can Help!

Remember, don’t just do what you’ve always done. Take a fresh look at your warehouse space before installing wholesale pallet rack. We recommend bringing in a DAK Equipment project manager to work with you on your warehouse layout because their expertise in the field can help bring a new perspective to aisle width and warehouse layout that you perhaps had not thought of yet. Wide, narrow and very narrow aren’t your only options, either; our Project Managers can help you find creative solutions customized to the needs of your warehouse. We even have solutions that can eliminate some of your aisles altogether!

Get in touch with our warehouse consultants today to learn more. You can reach us by giving us a call or contacting us through our website. We’ll talk to you about our warehouse planning services and how they can help you make the most out of the space that you have. Get your consultation with our team today!

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December 30, 2017

Find a Qualified Team for Your Racking Inspections

Regular racking inspections aren’t just a good idea; they are mandated by Federal regulations. Skip your annual pallet racking inspection and you could end up facing huge fines from OSHA, not to mention putting your company in jeopardy of major litigation battles for negligence. Annual inspections are required, but doing inspections more often can benefit your warehouse in a lot of ways. Besides, regular racking inspections are just good common sense. They help:

  • Lower the risk of injury within the warehouse. Damage racking is in danger of failing, meaning it could end up bowing, bending, or even completely collapsing. Any product or employees who happen to be in the way when that happens are at risk of a major injury.
  • Decrease damaged product rates. When racking is damaged, it can result in damaged product if the racking fails. You’ll have to damage out those goods, losing money in the process and potentially slowing down the fulfillment of customer orders.
  • Prolong the life of your equipment. Just like all of your warehouse equipment, the better you take care of it, the longer it’s going to last. Regular inspections and repairs to your racking are part of taking care of it!

Most warehouse managers understand the importance of regular inspections. What they might not know is how to find a qualified inspector. Here are a few tips about what to look for in a racking inspector to help make your search an easier one.

How to Find a Qualified Racking Inspector

  • Experience counts when it comes to inspections. Sometimes damaged racking isn’t so obvious. It takes an experienced inspector to know where racking is most likely to be damaged as well as to have a keen eye for potential problems in hidden places. While new inspectors could be excellent at their job, finding an inspector with some experience in the field could be beneficial to your company. Experienced inspectors may have certifications that give them knowledge and training needed to spot problems that others might pass by.
  • Look for someone who understands your industry. Inspecting a cold food storage facility is a lot different than inspecting an automobile parts warehouse. They are going to use different equipment and have different risk factors for damage. Working with an inspector who has experience with facilities like yours can give them inside knowledge about the risks you are facing and where your racking is most likely to be damaged.
  • If they can do repairs, too, that’s a plus. With almost every inspection, you are going to be left with a list of repairs. It can be a hassle to have to then go out and find a qualified repair team to manage the repairs for your facility. Some racking inspection teams can provide repair services as well, often at the same time. This is a great resource that can help you save on the cost of your repairs; there may be a discount available for using their repair services, and they’ll be able to judge whether the piece can be repairs or needs to replaced right there on site.

Our Inspection Team is Ready to Help

DAK Equipment & Engineering offers rack inspection services in Illinois and throughout the Midwest. We can partner with your warehouse to provide you with experienced racking inspections and repair services. We’ve been a trusted name in the warehouse industry for decades, so you can count on our services to deliver the quality your warehouse needs.

Making sure you schedule regular inspections with the DAK team is vital. We’ve seen many instances where a small issue with a rack or conveyor belt turned into a costly headache. You depend on this equipment to keep your business moving, so be sure you are taking good care of it so it can take good care of you. Our inspection team will perform a thorough inspection of the wholesale racking and equipment at your facility, including interviewing employees and examining gears and bolts. If we find a problem, we’ll help you fix it, and most of the time we can offer a repair solution that will help you save on the cost of a full replacement. Our services can save you up to half on the cost of replacement and often in a third of the amount of time, meaning not only do you save money, but you get your warehouse back to work faster.

How long has it been since your last inspection? If it’s been a while, or even if you can’t remember the last time you had a thorough inspection at your facility, we’re happy to help. Call the DAK Equipment team in Chicago and let’s set up an appointment for one of our skilled, professional and experienced team members to come to your site. You’ll love how our inspection services help you save on replacement costs and prevent downtime on your production lines!

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