What Pallet Should I Use In My Racking System?
First let’s talk about the sizes, types, construction, and names of pallets and skids out there. There are CHEP, GMA, postal, 4-way, skids, slave, plastic, wood, plywood, steel, cross-way, foam plastic, Gaylord containers, wire baskets, and 9-legged to name a few terms and styles. On top of that, you could have variations or combinations of the above pallets.
Now, when you use various styles of pallets or sizes of pallets in your operation, it can be a challenge to safely use your selective rack system. To simplify, let’s talk about pallet length. The most common length out there is 48”. What do you do with a 36” long skid? Can you use your pallet rack to store it? If the selective rack is the typical 42” depth, the pallet will not rest on the load beams properly. The simple solution would be a wire deck, correct? Well, pallet racks and wire decking are designed to have the load resting on the rack load beams, so be advised. In the situation that your pallet is longer than your pallet rack depth, you must determine what is safe. The recommended pallet overhang is 3”, but this can cause a problem with 4-way pallets if you are not using wire decks. For drive-in, pushback, and pallet flow systems, variations in width tend to be more critical than variations in length. Again, the design of the rack system will dictate your allowable pallet size ranges.
Next, pallet type and material can affect your storage racks. For selective racks, a 9-legged or postal pallet may be able to sit evenly on the load beams. In addition, it may improperly load your wire deck and cause it to dish. For pushback and drive-in rack systems, your pallet may not be able to span the arms or carts of the system causing numerous problems. For pallet flow systems, the pallet is critical to having a successful installation. The key is to have your pallet tested for the proper type of pallet flow rack. (and don’t expect to change the pallet type and have it work!) There are both wheel systems and roller-type pallet flow systems that can accommodate most pallets. Although, it must be determined which type, number of brakes, and slope works best for your pallet and load.
In conclusion, rely upon a pallet rack expert to help you determine the rack system that will work best for your operation and the pallets that you use.
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