Pallet racks are material handling and storage systems that are commonly used in warehouses and similar facilities. The purpose of a pallet rack is to store palletized products. These systems have a large and open design that makes it easy for warehouse personnel to load and unload items via a forklift. The versatility of a pallet rack allows for numerous types of accessories to be added to the system for more functionality.
By using accessories, you can customize your pallet racks to suit your exact needs. The right accessories should also help you maximize your investment and create pallet racks that effectively optimize your warehouse. This guide goes into more detail about the various pallet rack accessories that can be used for better warehouse optimization and safety.
The four types of accessories that you can add to your pallet racks include:
- Rack guards
- Column protectors
- Row spacers
- Safety netting
Pallet rack guards are highly effective at reducing the number of accidents that occur in a warehouse setting. Once installed in a storage system, these components can:
- Limit falls in working and transit areas
- Reduce the effects that result from equipment coming into contact with the racks while maneuvering
- Keep goods from collapsing
Pallet rack guards are low-cost items that are easy to replace and will help you keep damage at bay.
Column protectors are a type of protective shield that you can install at the base of a pallet rack upright to reduce damage in areas where forklifts could hit it. If the base of the column is damaged, the whole frame could be weakened, which increases the possibility of a collapse. Column protectors are often fashioned from such materials as ductile iron casting and polyethylene.
In most cases, column protectors are stocked at heights of 12″-24″. However, they can be customized to reach a height of 48″ tall. The three most common types of column protectors include column-mounted, notched-column, and floor-mounted protectors. Before ordering these items, make sure that your existing uprights accommodate the protector.
Pallet rack row spacers are available as steel channels, rods, or bars. You can also purchase them in many different shapes and sizes. Additional customization options include the ability to select spacers that are unfinished, galvanized, or painted. The main functions of a row spacer include:
- Maintaining the necessary flue space for fire code compliance
- Keeping aisles neat for a warehousing system layout
- Maintaining the space between bays to mitigate product damage
- Providing stabilization for high-density pallet rack systems
Safety netting is also highly recommended for pallet racks to provide protection for all employees, visitors, and customers who enter the workhouse. Once installed, this netting will reduce product damage, keep products from building up in the flue area of your pallet racks, protect traffic areas from falling products, and bolster safety in your warehouse.
The four types of capacity accessories that will help you improve the functionality of your pallet racks include:
- Load beams
- Wire decking
- Pallet supports
Load beams are designed to hold heavy and dense pallet racks. These beams can be placed between the pallet rack uprights and will come with a safety clip to make sure that they don’t detach from shelving bars. They can be used with an electric lift, forklift, or hydraulic lift.
Wire decking is a highly common accessory that’s made directly from a metallic mesh that can be fitted between the rear and front rack beams. It creates a foundation where inventory can be placed. This inventory may include non-palletized cartons, products, and cases. Once installed, these items shouldn’t fall through the rack. Keep in mind that the mesh design lets in light and water. The main advantages of this design accessory include:
- Better employee safety
- Provides support for broken pallets
- Supports poorly sized pallets
- Effective with hand-stacked applications
- Meets all fire safety requirements
Crossbars are designed to enhance the safety of the entire pallet rack system and are most effective when paired with heavy-duty pallet rack beams. These bars can be used in place of wire mesh decking and offer the following benefits:
- Galvanized steel construction is resistant to corrosion
- These bars have an open-bottom design that keeps water from accumulating
- A screw hole is available in each flange, which allows a tek screw to prevent the bar from moving
Pallet supports are necessary when you want to keep your inventory secure and boost the pallet rack’s structural integrity. Once implemented, it’s less likely that pallets will fall through. These supports also provide better strength than plywood.
The main organizational accessories that are compatible with pallet racks include:
- Pallet rack labels
- Row markers
- Floor marking tape
Pallet rack labels are highly recommended if you want to keep your pallet racks organized for the people who are tasked with performing loading and unloading operations on a daily basis. These labels can come in many different designs, materials, and colors. You can also make the content as varied as you’d like it to be. A simple organizational technique involves using distinct label colors to differentiate storage zones, product groups, or racking levels.
Row markers can be made with durable materials that allow you to separate each row and help personnel know exactly where to go. Numbering each row should boost efficiency in your warehouse. You can purchase row markers in various colors, shapes, and sizes.
Floor marking tape is an adhesive tape that can be used to divide spaces, make aisles, or mark hazards. They’re made with different materials, the primary of which include vinyl and PVC. The thickness of this tape can be anywhere from 5-55 mils. Certain tapes are designed with high reflectivity. These tapes can be effective at helping employees place equipment and materials in the right locations. You can create distinctions between raw goods and finished goods with this tape.
Organization is a necessary aspect of making any warehouse more efficient. Better efficiency should result in less accidents and a safer workplace. Pallet signage can be used to create lanes, highlight equipment locations, and denote pallet placements.
If you want to improve convenience with the pallet racks in your warehouse, the primary accessories that can do so include:
- Forklift accessories
- Row end protectors
- Pallet rack extenders
- Pallet rack dividers
There are numerous accessories that you can purchase for the forklifts that are used in your warehouse, the primary of which include:
- Side shifters
- Push-pull attachments
- Paper clamps
- Multiple pallet handler
- Fork rotator
- Fork extensions
Row end protectors are steel sections that you can attach directly to the end of a pallet rack row where posts can be at risk of being damaged from forklift traffic. These protectors are anchored directly to the floor and typically run the entire depth of the frame.
Pallet rack extenders allow you to effectively reduce costs by increasing the height of your existing pallet racks. After you install these extenders, you’ll be able to store items vertically for a more efficient use of space.
If you’d like to add a divider to your pallet racks, there are several options to select from, which include M-dividers, hanging wire mesh dividers, V-dividers, and single divider arms. An M-divider functions as a separator for any tall products in your warehouse, which can include doors and windows. Because of the “M” shape, these dividers keep bulky items from falling and becoming damaged.
Hanging wire mesh dividers separate the products you place on your pallet rack shelves. They will hang directly from wire decking and can be fitted to the rack below. These dividers are most effective when paired with smaller items. When you install them, you’ll be able to increase storage density by keeping smaller items organized.
V-dividers are also made to separate bulky products that you store vertically in a bay. These dividers are regularly used for lengthier items, which include wood casing and piping.
As for single divider arms, you can use them to separate any vertically stored products in your warehouse. They can be bolted to the teardrop beam that’s found at the back of your pallet rack. You can also purchase them in numerous sizes.
Why Choose QMH?
At QMH, our knowledge of warehouse racking and shelving solutions allows us to give you the best recommendations for your warehouse. We can help you increase storage capacity and reduce operational costs. Purchasing pallet rack accessories for your warehouse is a simple but effective way to optimize your layout, increase efficiency, and improve worker safety. Contact us today to find out which types of accessories would be most effective when installed in your warehouse.