Pallet Rack Systems
Stack and store pallets with pallet racking
Pallet rack systems are great space-saving solutions for small or large warehouses. They keep everything visibly organized, and the versatile nature of most pallet racking will guarantee a good fit in your storage space. Since there are so many types of pallet racking available, it will be helpful to know about the advantages of some common systems and what sort of spaces will suit them. Learn how pallet racking works and which useful accessories will simplify storage and retrieval of your inventory.
About Pallet Racking
Although there are several specific types of pallet rack systems, the selective pallet rack system is the most common. This system can either have clips to allow for adjustments to the pallet racks or bolts to secure the shelves indefinitely—your choice will depend on the particular features of your products. A roll-formed system that clips the load beams to the vertical supports is ideal for a warehouse that stores pallets of differing shapes and sizes. However, very heavy loads may require a structural pallet rack, which will use bolts to secure strong horizontal beams into the vertical supports; this type of heavy-duty pallet rack system can also be built into the building itself, lending more load-bearing capacity.
To get the most out of your warehouse space, you may want to consider the very narrow aisle, or VNA, system. The downside to this type of system is the expense: you will likely need a specialized wire-guided reach truck system to access the warehouse pallet rack, and the structure itself will cost considerably more money than a conventional selective pallet rack system.
Choosing Pallet Rack Systems
Pallet rack systems are typically composed of upright frames, load beams, braces and pallet supports. Wire decking is often used to distribute the weight of the pallet and to prevent the accumulation of dirt. The less solid surfaces that are used, the less likely you will need to concern yourself with using industrial cleaning equipment to keep the nooks and crannies of your storage space free of debris.
Consider your inventory rotation when you begin to search for a pallet rack system—will you be shuffling your stock regularly, or do you intend to store a lot of your product for a long time? The most economical and space-saving racking will be drive-in pallet systems, but everything at the back will be inaccessible until you clear away everything else. A gravity or flow pallet system will allow for greater accessibility and automatic pallet replacement.
Any pallet system will likely need one or more pallet stackers or forklifts to move and remove pallets as needed, and it is important to use the proper forklift for the job. Consider how many levels your pallet system will contain, and be sure to find a forklift that can reach the top. Forklifts will be rated according to the load that they can carry, so weigh the features of any forklift against the features of your pallet rack system before you make a purchase.