Archive for October, 2018

October 07, 2018

4 Myths About Warehouse Racking and Pallet Rack Systems

Before you worked in a warehouse, how often did you think about them? Probably not much. But with tens of thousands of warehouses across the country in both urban and rural environments, you can imagine just how many hundreds of thousands of people are working with drive-in racking, double deep racking, gravity flow racks, and standard pallet racking systems every day.

With so many people working in warehouses, there are bound to be some myths that get around about them. No, we’re not talking about urban legends like warehouse that kept discovering dead workers, only to find out that the killer was actually living in the top pallet of Row 3 (“The call is coming from inside the warehouse!”) We’re talking about misinformation that gets around, whether it’s from the loaders or pickers or the warehouse managers themselves. Let’s take a look at some of these myths and replace them with the truth.


MYTH: They’re Prohibitively Expensive

Now we’re not going to tell you that pallet racks are cheap. Yes, they represent a considerable outlay of money at first (even more so with the recent steel tariffs), but they’re certainly worth it as an investment in your company.

At first they might even seem too expensive, but considering what they do for you they’re more than worth it. They increase efficiency in a warehouse, allowing you to not only keep more inventory on hand, but also keeping everything in better order so that you can find it faster. Like replacing all of your incandescent bulbs or installing low flow toilets, new racking systems eventually pay for themselves. Of course, new pallet racks also increase safety, which means that your employees are in less danger and OSHA is less likely to come knocking.

If getting new warehouse racking for the entire warehouse is out of the question, consider buying them in stages. First replace the units that have seen the most use or are the most damaged, then schedule the replacements out every year after that. Before long you’ll have your entire warehouse decked out with new warehouse racking.

BONUS POINT! When you look at the price of a new racking system, industrial conveyor system, or other type of materials handling system, remember that they are capital equipment and can therefore be written off as such on your taxes. Investing in your business doesn’t look so bad when you realize the tax savings.


MYTH: Once Warehouse Storage Is In, It’s Permanent

When DAK Equipment and Engineering performs a warehouse design layout for you, we’re going to custom-design your space so that it’s as efficient as possible. But it’s not all delivered in one big block, is it? It comes in thousands of pieces and requires professional racking installers to put it together. Putting it together means that it can also be taken apart.

The fact is, your warehouse layout design was designed with your current work methods in mind. But the focus of a business can change over time. If a business pivots from consumer-facing to B2B, then their need for conveyor systems might go away. Companies can change focus over the years, which means that their needs in warehouse storage solutions do as well.

Yes, pallet shelving is heavy and certainly looks like a permanent structure. Yes, some companies put them in place and never move them again. But warehouse racking can be disassembled and reassembled to meet your new needs. It can be bought, sold, added on to, taken away from, and changed to meet your needs. All you need is a professional to help with your warehouse strategy plan.

BONUS POINT! If you no longer need a particular piece of your material handling system or pallet rack shelving, don’t worry. There’s a great market for used warehouse hardware, including used industrial shelving and used modular drawer cabinets. We will make sure that you get a fair price for it.


MYTH: OSHA Will Overlook It

All too often, warehouse managers get lulled into the idea that it’s the moving equipment that’s going to get them into the most trouble should OSHA come around. But when OSHA stops by, they’re just as interested in the “Danger: Compactor” safety sign as they are in the cardboard compactor itself.

While it’s certainly important to make sure your compactors and industrial conveyor systems are up-to-snuff, you can’t ignore your racking system. OSHA will be checking to make sure that it’s still safe, and they’re not going to hesitate to give you a fine if they find that warehouse racking is in danger of collapse. Their reach doesn’t end with the pallet racks, though, but extends to everything in the warehouse that could affect an employee. This could include materials handling systems, conveyor systems, mezzanine decks, racking ladders and landings, and modular offices.

BONUS POINT! When it comes to warehouse storage safety, the best way to stay ahead of OSHA is to contact a pallet rack inspection company. They’ll be able to address small problems before they become bigger problems, and make sure that your warehouse remains a safe place. It certainly beats the fines that OSHA can levy.


MYTH: Pallet Racks Just Fall Down

We’ve all seen YouTube videos of forklift accidents and pallet racks collapsing, and, as long as no one gets hurt, they’re kind of fun in that “at-least-that’s-not-me” sort of way. Unfortunately, these types of videos have helped perpetuate the myth that warehouse racking is unstable.

If you take a look at that video, the warehouse racking doesn’t just fall down. In every instance, it was an outside force that made them fall, and nearly every time it’s a forklift or other type of loader. But when used properly, warehouse racking is incredibly sturdy and won’t fall down on its own. What does used properly mean? It means that any weight restrictions and loading instructions are adhered to, and all employees are properly trained to work with them.

BONUS POINT!: Can racking systems “just fall down”? If you purchased used warehouse racking that’s been mistreated or hire a bargain-basement installer, there is a chance that time and weight will eventually tear the molecules in the metal apart. But if you go with reputable warehouse consultants, seller, and installers, you shouldn’t have anything to worry about.


Let Us Bust The Myths!

When you work with DAK Equipment and Engineering, you’re working with people who do this all day, every day and have a passion for efficiency. We can help you get the perfect pallet racks and dispel any other misinformation you might have heard about racking systems. If you’re ready to make the most of your warehouse space, contact us today!




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October 01, 2018

How Pallet Rack Inspection Services Can Save Your Headaches

When you get a new pallet rack system installed, it’s a good feeling. You’ve purchased your racks, had a pallet rack installation company come to make sure it’s properly erected, and joined the ranks of 21st-century warehouses. Now that you have a more efficient warehouse, everything will start running a lot more smoothly.

While pallet racks are incredibly rugged and can hold up to a lot, there are some safety issues that you really need to pay attention to. After all, you’re not just protecting your inventory but also your employees.


Failure Is Seldom Due To Errors In Installation

Pallet rack installation is a big deal, and that’s why you have to choose the right pallet rack installation company when you get new shelving. Yes, there are incorrect ways to assemble them, and that can lead to problems. Always make sure that you hire an experienced racking installation company, because proper installation and pallet design will ensure that your pallets perform as you need them to.

But to tell the truth, it’s not usually the installation that’s the problem. More often it’s improper use, such as uneven loading, overloading, or leaving something heavy on for too long a time. If you let pallet rack inspection lapse over the years, you could also see small problems become larger problems. Which brings us to the following point…


A Small Hit Can Cause Big Problems

When you’re working with pallet racks, you might think that you’re working in three dimensions. But in truth, you’re actually dealing with the fourth dimension as well: time.

We’ve all seen damage take time to show itself, and it’s not just in racking systems. Take the tower game Jenga, for instance. A block can be moved and placed on top, and the player sighs because it didn’t fall. But just because it didn’t fall for 10 seconds doesn’t mean that it’s going to stay there forever. Micro-movements in the blocks, the tiniest vibration of the floor, and the block on top settling can all cause the entire tower to fall.

Small damage to industrial shelving can do the same thing. You might take a look at the rack that the forklift hit and think it’s not a big deal. But visible damage isn’t always the problem, because the racking was shaken and moved by the hit. Over time, that hit could determine whether or not the storage racking fails and endangers employees. If your pallet rack shelving has experienced any damage, it’s time to contact a pallet rack inspection service. Speaking of which…


Pallet Rack Inspection Services Should Not Be Delayed

Some warehouse managers think that the only time a pallet system should be inspected is when it is damaged, but that’s just not the case. As we mentioned above, it’s not just damage or accidents that can affect it, but time as well. You should have pallet rack inspections performed

Of course, that’s if you know about the damage. Not every hit on the racking system is reported, no matter how much you remind employees to report it. If an employee thinks they can get away with not telling you about hitting the rack, they probably will. They simply don’t want to get in trouble.

If you’ve been putting off pallet rack inspection services, we have one word for you: don’t. Warehouse racking needs constant inspection to protect your employees and your inventory.


Working With Pallets Requires Training

Since there are very few (if any) moving parts in a pallet rack system, it’s easy to think that there’s nothing to learn about them. Unfortunately, that’s how safety concerns arise.

There are two approaches that need to be taken in order to ensure safety is a priority for everyone involved. It begins with the employees who are working the warehouse floor. While a layman might think that the process is simple — drop a pallet on the rack and leave it there — it’s actually a learned skill that needs to be honed. Anyone putting pallets on the shelving needs to know exactly what a pallet rack was designed to do, how much it can hold, and what a dangerous height is. They should also be trained in spotting safety concerns and always encouraged to report damage, even if it’s anonymously.

But warehouse supervisors and managers also have to be involved at the ground level. That means taking time out of the office in order to make sure that everyone is following the training we mentioned above. Never hesitate to stop bad employee behavior in your warehouse, especially if it could lead to a dangerous situation. It’s also important that warehouse supervisors are involved with both the installation process and every inspection so that they know what to look for. When they are aware of the warning signs that a pallet rack is about to fail, they can have it repaired before anything catastrophic happens.


Some Official Might Check

If someone can’t be convinced to have regular pallet rack inspections done in order to protect employees, and if the prospect of losing inventory won’t sway them, there’s one more reason that just might: someone might come and check.

OSHA can step in and inspect your entire warehouse, including your pallet racking system, anytime they want. It doesn’t take an accident to invite them in, though an accident certainly ensures a visit. They can spend hours or months at your warehouse, looking for any problem that could lead to employee injury. If they find something wrong with your shelving system, they won’t ignore it; you’re going to get a fine. That’s going to cost a lot more than racking inspection.


DAK Equipment and Engineering Can Help!

If you believe you might have problems with your pallet racks, or if it’s just been too long since you’ve had an inspection, it’s time to call in the experts. We can make sure that your racks, and your employees, are kept safe in their work environment. Click here to learn more about rack inspections!




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