As a complete material handling outfitter, we at AK Material Handling Systems are acutely aware of the competitive market that exists in the new and used pallet rack sector of the industry. So, in an effort to help those considering purchasing pallet racking, our pallet rack system experts compiled a list of the 10 most common mistakes people make when purchasing new or used pallet racking.


Not seeking professional advice with layout and design.

While it may be possible for some people to determine the optimal layout and design for their pallet rack system on their own, it’s often a process better left to professionals. As AKMHS System Design Specialist Brian Koski puts it, “I see two main parts to this mistake: layouts that waste space and rack that wastes space or causes damage by improper sizing of the rack”

Purchasing the cheapest rack system in the belief that all pallet rack is the same.

Like virtually any product, pallet rack varies dramatically in quality and performance. Many folks buy the cheapest rack they can get their hands-on, and are subsequently disappointed when it needs replacing earlier than they had expected. There are certain products that demand an investment in quality, and pallet rack is, without a doubt, one of them.

Buying racking that is not universal for future expansion and growth.

We frequently talk with customers who have purchased proprietary pallet rack styles that don’t fit with any other brand of pallet rack, and who must, as a consequence, replace the entirety of their racking because they’re unable to find a style to match their current system. Purchasing universal pallet rack, such as teardrop style, enables one to expand upon their current system using a variety of different brands.

Purchasing the wrong height of racking for their forklift and wrong depth for their pallet size.

Pallet rack is only useful if you can access it with a forklift. Customers often make the mistake of failing to consider the height to which their forklift can reach, making part of their rack obsolete. In addition, people frequently miscalculate the depth needed for their pallets, also rendering a rack system partially or completely useless.

Guesstimating weight and capacities.

Some things are okay to guesstimate. Pallet rack weight and capacities don’t fall into that category. Taking a guess at how much your racking needs to hold significantly undermines the safety of your warehouse and product, and is, to state it mildly, not a very good idea.

Buying from a non-stocking distributor.

At AK Material Handling Systems, our inventory is in stock and ready to ship within 24-48 hours of order placement. However, this is not the case with all dealers. Many have to order their products from third-party suppliers, a process that can tack on several weeks of shipping time and added cost.

Buying rack from an auction website where you are not getting exactly what you need.

In case you haven’t picked this up yet, it’s extremely important to make sure your pallet rack system meets your needs. Your needs are yours only, and buying rack from an auction website will often result in the purchase of racking that only partially accommodates your unique requirements.

Not considering freight when comparing quotes.

In the competitive pallet rack market, the difference between quotes quite often comes down to just a few dollars. However, when freight costs are considered, the formerly cheaper option can become vastly more expensive. Inexperienced customers tend to make the common mistake of not factoring freight costs into the overall price, and in turn unknowingly choosing the more expensive option.

Paying too much for freight.

Freight is an inevitable cost associated with shipping pallet rack, and it will almost invariably be passed to the consumer. However, you don’t have to pay an arm and a leg for freight. There are plenty of cost-effective options on the market. AK Material Handling Systems, for example, offers customers the best available combination of shipping service and price.

Believing that a used pallet rack system is just as good a new system.

While used rack may be ideal for some, particularly those whose top priority is immediate cost-cutting, it simply won’t suffice for customers looking for optimal strength, durability, and usability. Like any used product, used pallet rack typically incurs damage over the course of its lifetime. The degree to which used pallet rack’s performance is compromised varies greatly, but it is rarely in the same pristine condition as new rack.

For more information and helpful tips on ordering pallet rack, visit our selective pallet rack homepage. Our pallet rack homepage offers a rack diagram that explains how to correctly order the right size pallet rack. Also, if you would like to speak directly to a pallet rack expert, give us a call 800-722-5908.

Top 10 Mistakes When Ordering New & Used Pallet Rack

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About AK Material Handling Systems

We deliver value to our customers by providing the absolute best combination of quality products, helpful customer service and competitive pricing. We specialize in warehouse layout & design, pallet rack systems, engineered sales, mezzaninesmodular offices and completed turn-key warehouse systems. For more information email us or call (800) 722-5908