The one major advantage of buying used pallet rack is up front cost. Used pallet rack systems can save substantial amounts of money compared to new systems on the initial investment. However, as reported in an article by Material Handling Network, used pallet rack typically doesn’t make sense unless it’s a straightforward situation. Oftentimes, they’re simply not be capable of handling your warehouse storage needs, and you end up paying more in the long run by trying to take a short cut to savings.

Before Buying Used Rack

As pallet rack manufacturers, you might think we’re against buying used pallet rack in any situation. We’re not. If it makes sense & it can save you money, then we support it 100%. The 1st step to deciding if it’s a good idea or not is to understand your storage needs. We agree with the MHN article that a straightforward situation may be fine for a used pallet rack system. But before you buy, be sure to check on a few things

  • Manufacture Date – this can effect everything from steel quality to seismic codes standards and more.
  • Steel Quality – you need to know is this premium steel or commercial steel? Also request the psi range.
  • Seismic Codes – does it meet current regulations, as of the date you purchase it?
    • If you have specific seismic needs, we strongly recommend buying new rack that’s designed to meet those needs.
  • Storage – how has the rack been stored & maintained?
  • Repairs – have there been any repairs to the rack? If so, is all work documented?
  • Still in Production – check to see if this particular pallet rack line is still being manufactured. If not, finding repair/replacement parts may be difficult.
  • Can You See It – obviously buying anything used is a bit of a risk, but it’s much more so when you can’t visit the warehouse & see the rack yourself. In those cases, request images &/or video of the used pallet rack. Many used pallet rack distributors will provide that without you even asking.

When Is It NOT ok to Buy Used Pallet Rack?

Anytime safety is the primary concern, new pallet rack will offer you the best option. Particularly when it comes to seismic concerns & regulations, used pallet rack may not be up to current standard. Be sure to double-check with a qualified engineer before pulling the trigger on that purchase of used rack.
For any type of specialized pallet rack system, new rack almost always makes the most sense. A new rack system will be the only way to ensure that the rack is custom-designed for your environment with your needs in mind. You may be able to piece together old beams, uprights, & other components. But if you create a custom configuration, it can completely change the integrity of the system.

So, Is New or Used Pallet Rack Right for You?

The answer to whether or not new or used pallet rack is right for you begins with a couple of other questions: what do you need from your pallet rack system? And what kind of used rack have you found to meet that need?
Used pallet rack might be the right solution for your warehouse. Take the time to consult with a certified engineer before making a costly error by trying to save a few dollars on the front end. No one wants to see a pallet rack failure like the one below.