A Guide to Selective Pallet Racks
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A Guide to Selective Pallet Racks

If you have been considering adding selective pallet racks to your business, it is essential to understand how this type of racking can benefit your operations and the things you should consider to allow your warehouse to function as safely and efficiently as possible.

“Selective,” concerning Selective Pallet Racks, means “easily adjustable.” Selective Pallet Racks are easily adjustable after they are installed due to their “snap-in” beam connection design. Most other types of pallets racks are not easily adjusted after they are installed due to their beams being bolted to the frames.

Installation and Use of Selective Pallet RacksA Guide to Selective Pallet Racks

Capacity Placards or Beam Capacity Labels

When installing your selective pallet racking, it is recommended that you install capacity placards on the end of each row or at a minimum place beam capacity labels on each beam. These placards provide the load size, load weight, and rack configuration the rack was designed for. Rack configuration means where the beams are to be located and how far apart, they are to be spaced.

This will ensure that present and future warehouse personnel have ready access to the rack’s capacity ratings allowing it to be loaded safely, as per its design. Be sure to instruct warehouse personnel on the rack’s capacity and how to determine the maximum size of the pallet load to be stored in the rack system during new employee orientation and periodically thereafter. This will allow proper loading practices to be maintained.

Avoid Climbing on the Racks

During installation and use of the selective pallet racking, it is essential to avoid climbing on the racks. The rack is not designed to be climbed on and the wire decking is not designed to be stepped on. Doing so could result in serious injury or death.

Install Lighting

It is also important to make sure you install good lighting in each rack aisle. Providing proper visibility will help to prevent accidents, improve handling efficiency, and can also help to reduce damage to the racking and the material stored on it.

Aisle Spacing

If the aisles are too narrow to maneuver handling equipment through or are made smaller due to obstructions, you increase the risk of collision between the lifting equipment and the racking. When a racking system is laid out it is crucial to make sure you have adequate aisle spacing to accommodate your forklifts. When new equipment is purchased it is very important to make sure the clearances in your current aisleways are wide enough to allow the new forklifts to operate in a manner that does not cause damage to your racks. Walkways for pedestrian traffic should always be clearly designated and not located in an aisleway between two rows of pallet racking.

Clearance Around Loads

Clearances around loads that are too tight can lead to issues such as:

  • Damage to your product
  • Decreased handling speed
  • Increase in damage rack components
  • Rack accidents or collapses

To avoid these risks, it is critical to maintain enough spacing between the adjacent loads horizontally as well as between the load and the horizontal beam above it. A rule of thumb is there should be a minimum of 6” of space between the top of the load and the beam. There should be a minimum of 4” of space on both sides of the pallet. This rule of thumb will provide adequate clearance to allow pallets in most instances to be safely loaded and unloaded.

It is also important to keep adequate clearances around your loads for fire suppression purposes. Local fire codes and or insurance requirements dictate the distances between the loads in back to the back rows of racks. They also specify the distance to be maintained overhead between the top load and the roof structure and or the bottom of sprinkler heads.

Avoid Overloading the Rack System

The racking system is designed to hold a specified pallet load weight and load size. The rack upright’s capacity is determined by where the beams are installed in each bay of rack. So, if you move the beams up or down, the load size changes, or pallet weight changes, it’s important to speak with a selective rack expert to ensure your system has the capacity to accommodate the changes. You should always speak to your rack representative before you remove or add beams and before you adjust your beams up or down.

Overloading your rack or any other rack component can lead to rack collapse, which can not only damage the material stored on the rack but also puts your employees at risk for injury.

Make Sure Your Fork Truck is Properly Equipped

When using order pickers, it is very important they are adequately equipped to prevent the operator from falling off of the equipment. The platforms your operators stand on should never be modified from the manufacturer’s original design and all current OSHA fall protection guidelines must always be followed. It is vital to make sure your operators are properly restrained in order to protect them from an accidental fall from the equipment.

If your lift is not outfitted with the proper protective equipment it should be taken out of service. Be sure to contact the manufacturer or lift distributor to have the protective devices installed to keep your operators safe.

Expert Selective Rack Services

At Cranston Material Handling Equipment, we decades of experience providing expert material handling and storage application services to our clients. We can work with you to sort through the options to optimize your workspace. Contact us today to learn more about our selective pallet racks and other storage solutions.