Are Pallet Rack Frame Column Protectors Necessary?
So you’ve made the decision to install new pallet rack in your warehouse. The uprights and shelves are all in place, and your inventory is stacked neatly in the new rack. Now you’re ready to start operations, right?
Well, not exactly. If there are forklifts that will be used to load and unload those pallet racks, then you may want to consider surrounding the uprights with frame column protectors. Also known as frame guards or post protectors, column protectors are designed to minimize the damage caused when struck by a forklift. Damage to the base of a column can weaken the entire frame and could cause the structure to collapse.
Forklifts aren’t the only threats, either. Automatic guided vehicles (AGVs), stackers, personnel carriers, or any other type of powered equipment can hit the uprights and damage the rack. Not only is that problematic for the rack itself, but it also can cause damage to the vehicle, the inventory, or any people nearby.
Column protectors come in many shapes and sizes, but there are two basic types. They can be installed bolting them onto a frame with side punching or anchored to the floor surrounding the column. They can be ordered to any desired height. They are made of multiple materials, most commonly iron or polyethylene plastic.
So, you might be wondering, “What’s the big deal? Is all this extra stuff really necessary?” Depending on where you live, the answer might literally be yes. In some states and municipalities, column protectors are required according to the building code. Even if not required by law, think of it as an investment in safety or insurance.
There’s a reason people buy protective bags for their laptop computers and cases to preserve their smart phones – to keep their expensive items from being destroyed. Think of pallet rack column protectors in the same vein.