How to Order Pallet Rack
In March, while we were enjoying the MODEX 2014 show in Atlanta, a customer asked me a question that really stuck with me. We were talking about the buying process and, specifically, the quoting process for new pallet rack orders. As an industry veteran, he knows the ins and outs, which questions to ask when ordering pallet rack. However, he let me in on the fact that his experience with buying rack was hard earned. He told me, “I wish someone had told me how to order pallet rack in my first year…without getting surprised after the quote.”
This got my wheels turning on how much confusion there is for 1st time buyers when it comes to pallet rack. Even if you’ve ordered it before but it’s been a while, here are some tips to keep in mind before you make your next pallet rack purchase.
Height & Depth
The height of your pallet rack is going to be determined in some cases by your warehouse ceiling. For those looking for floor to ceiling rack, just keep in mind that you’ll want a 6-inch clearance between the top of the pallet (loaded) and the next shelf.
For width, your rack should be 6″ less than the width of your pallet. This allows for a 3″ overhang on either side of the pallet rack. So, if you have a 48″ deep pallet, you’ll want to order a 42″ width rack.
Understanding the Types of Pallet Rack
Granted, pallet rack is not the most intricate and elaborate thing you can buy for your warehouse, but there are options. And those options can make all the difference between meeting seismic requirements or providing flexibility for future use. We manufacture our rack with a teardrop design. We do that because it makes FlexRack™ Pallet Rack
compatible with approximately 85% of the industry. Getting locked into one manufacturer’s rack proprietary design can be problematic down the line, and lowers your options moving forward – both in design and in quoting future orders.
What About Capacity?
One of the first questions you will likely ask yourself is in regards to capacity. What is the maximum load you will place on that rack? It may seem obvious to those who have been in the industry a while, but not all rack is created equal. You certainly don’t want to buy something that won’t support the weight you need and puts your products, or even worse, people in jeopardy. At the same time, you don’t want to overspend on thick, heavy steel that you will never need and that will cost more to ship and more to manufacture.
Whether you’re working with one of Next Level’s design engineers, or you’re designing everything yourself, you need to know what the maximum weight your pallet rack must support and buy accordingly. Once you start receiving bids, compare the gauge of metal on your quotes. If it’s not clearly labeled, then look for the total weight of the order, which should give you a good indication — all other specifications being equal.
Go to the Source
Talk to a reputable dealer, or the manufacturer if possible. As a pallet rack manufacturing company, we might ask questions that you never thought about asking. We see many variations in the use and installation conditions, which can have a major impact on the rack best suited to your needs. We’re also familiar with many codes, restrictions, and other requirements that need to be addressed on the front end in order to save a lot of time, money, and explanations to your boss.
Ordering pallet rack with us is easy, just call 1.800.230.8846 or click to start the process.