Rack 101

Don’t Let this happen to you! 

Most warehouses have pallet rack systems installed in order to better organize and store products and materials. The question is, are they safe? Have they been properly designed or engineered to with stand daily movement or worse a seismic event? In the past several years it seems like everyone wants to sell rack and shelving and it is being treated as a commodity and not the viable solution it should be designed to be.

We put together some basic information to help you make more informative choices when purchasing material handling equipment. This is an example of what can happen when you do not properly engineer and design your rack systems.  Your storage solutions help make your business profitable and are a large investment (in most cases) and should never be assumed to be safe just because someone said so. There are so many people offering to sell you rack new or used that honestly have no idea what they are doing, They get your money and disappear. This happens everyday!!

The safety of your storage system is ultimately your responsibility and it is up to you to ensure the safety of your team. Here are a few ways to help ensure your rack purchases are correctly designed for your specific needs;

Always ask for engineering prelims! If you are dealing with a reputable company, you will be able to obtain engineering prelims before you commit to making a purchase.
Always confirm if the racks you are about to purchase can “LEGALLY” be permitted! All rack and shelving over 5′ 9″ is required to be permitted by your local city or county authority.
Always confirm the origin of the racks you are purchasing! Imported racks might be cheaper, but in many cities can not be permitted due to lack of testing or LADBS certifications.
Always ask what anchors are being used and verify they are called out on engineering prelims! The wrong anchor can cause the capacity of your system to be greatly reduced and in some cases you will need to move all or your racks and re-anchor.
Always ask about if the building you are in can be permitted with the height of the racks you want to purchase! Even if you do not obtain permits at the time of purchase or installation,  you want to make sure you could. One day the Fire Marshall is going to come by for his yearly inspection and ask you for your permits. If you have a substandard system, you may find it difficult to get your racks permitted after the fact.
Always verify that y our forklift will work with the height of racks you are about to purchase! So many times I see a client purchased rack from  another vendor and the forklift would not allow the top levels to be loaded.

These are a few things you should always ask when considering purchasing material handling equipment for your warehouse. These pages will be updated regularly so feel free to stop in anytime and and see what else we have in storage for you!