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How to Spot Pallet Rack Damage



A warehouse can be a dangerous environment. Forklift trucks are constantly moving through aisles of pallet racking, moving inventory on and off the shelves. Sometimes, these forklifts may bump into these pallet racks, causing damages that need to be repaired. In fact, just misplacing a pallet when inserting onto the rack can cause damage. Storage rack depends on its original manufactured shape for its structural integrity. Once the form is compromised, the load capacity of the member is reduced.The majority of rack damage occurs incrementally rather than an abruptly. It is easier to recognize a frame leg that has been damaged from one major impact and in need of immediate repair. It is more difficult to understand why a frame or beam that has sustained minor impacts over time and only appears slightly dented, maybe in need of repair just as badly.

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A tenth of an inch dent over a 40 in. area is enough to take away 25% load capacity, making the rack unsafe.

With minor damages, the frame may still support some unknown capacity, but it will not support the maximum capacity it was designed for. This can be hazardous if the rack is needed to support heavier loads in the future. You might be asking yourself, “what small damages should I be looking for?”. It is important for you to inspect both the front and rear of your frames. The primary parts of your racking you should inspect are:

 

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  • Upright – The singular part at the front and rear of the frame, connected by bracing. Review for any twisting of the uprights.
  • Baseplate – What the uprights sit on and usually has one or two anchors. Make sure they are secure to floor and free of twists or other damage.
  • Anchor – Bolts that anchor the racking to the floor. Anchor bolts can be missing, sheared, or dislodged from truck impact.
  • Shims – Help level the racking system under the baseplate. If shims are showing. it will indicate the upright has moved or twisted
  • Bracing – Horizontal and diagonal bracing make up the frame along with the two uprights. Although in the middle of the frame, damage still occurs here.
  • Beams – Beams will naturally deflect (or bend) under load excessive deflection may indicate overloading.
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A minor deflection on a pallet rack beam

 

Doing a regular inspection of your storage rack could save you time and money, preventing inventory damage or loss, and injury to employees. It is recommended that you inspect pallet racking annually at minimum, but inspecting more often will increase your chances of catching damages. Need someone to do an inspection for you? Need pallet repair or replacement? Contact Warehouse1 today to speak to an expert about how you can get the most out of your pallet racking systems.

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