What You Need to Know Before a Pallet Rack Installation

example of a pallet rackFew things are more valuable in your warehouse – aside from the goods you’re actually storing – than floor space.

When space is limited, and moving or expanding aren’t an option, you may want to consider putting in a pallet rack system.

Pallet rack installation allows you to grow up when you can’t grow out, taking advantage of the height of your warehouse. But there are some things you need to know before you begin. That’s why we’ve put together this pallet rack installation guide.

1. Physical dimensions

What are the dimensions of the space you’ll be using to store pallets? Are there any doors, windows, equipment or other obstructions nearby?

2. Height restrictions

Do you know the height of your building? Is your ceiling level or tapered? Where are the lights, HVAC systems, sprinklers, etc. positioned? You need to answer these questions before pallet rack installation can begin.

3. Product specifications

Will the products you’ll be storing on the pallets expire, requiring them to be handled according to the first in, first out system?

4. Pallet specifications

Make sure you know the dimensions of the pallet and the number of products per SKU.

5. The floor

Before the pallet racks go in, make sure your floor is level, and that you know its load-bearing capacity. Be aware of floor grating and other obstructions that might affect layout.

6. Lift equipment

What are the minimum forklift aisle widths for the forklifts in your facility? What is their weight capacity, and how high can they reach? In some cases, additional lift-off space may be required, depending on the type of forklift.

7. Support columns

Some rack systems will allow you to use your roof support columns as a border. In other cases, these columns might be an obstruction. Try to optimize storage locations without having columns in aisles that maintain minimum forklift widths.

8. Safety and code regulations

Before your pallet rack installation begins, read up on local building codes governing warehouse storage. Are there design considerations related to seismic concerns? Are there safety regulations connected to exists, forklift aisles and foot traffic, etc.? It may be a good idea to speak to your community’s codes department before installation.

Other questions you might ask before pallet rack installation may include:

  • How much storage density do you require? What level of forklift access do you need?
  • Are there specific flow requirements for the products? Are the products first in, first out (or FIFO) or last in, first out (LIFO)?
  • What is your load capacity?
  • Have you thought about directional signage, rack protection devices and labeling/bar codes?
  • Have you designed your system with even more expansion in mind?

The pallet racks you choose will depend on your storage needs and the space you have available. For example, companies that need to store large, bulky items would do well with cantilever racks, which can withstand heavy cargoes, and are easy to load and unload.

If you’re ready to install pallet racks at your warehouse, contact Greystone Equipment Company.

For more than 25 years, we’ve helped customers in the suburban Philadelphia area meet their storage needs and design facility layouts. We look forward to hearing from you.