How Long Will Pallet Rack Last?

Forklift in Warehouse

The short answer to how long will pallet rack last? is “nearly forever.” But the long answer is a little more complex, involving a few ifs and buts. Here’s a look at the factors that can impact the lifespan of steel pallet rack.

Steel Quality

One of the most important factors that can affect the number of years you will get from your pallet rack is the quality of the steel used. The grade of steel used in your rack can definitely affect the life of the product. It’s generally accepted and recommended by engineers that steel used for pallet rack have a minimum yield strength of 50,000 psi. If the tensile and yield strengths are lower, there’s a chance your rack could fail.

Environment

Purchase the right rack for the environment. If your want many years of use outdoors, or in a freezer environment, for example, select the right type of steel for the job.

Maintenance

Regular inspection of your pallet racking system is vital. Even minor damage can significantly reduce its durability and longevity. Your trained staff should regularly inspect the racks for overloading, damaged upright frames, bent or twisted bracing, rust and corrosion, etc.  

Pallet Rack Protection

Using pallet rack protection accessories such as column protectors and end-of-aisle protectors can help minimize  or eliminate damage to increase the life-span of your pallet rack system.

Proper Training

When a forklift confronts a pallet rack, the forklift will win. Prioritize driver training and require certification of all forklift drivers.

Visibility

The better a forklift driver can see, the more safely they can perform. Good lighting combined with wide-angle convex mirrors (mounted on the forklift and at the ends of aisles) give drivers better ability to observe their surroundings.

Clearances

Aisles should have ample width and be free of clutter so the driver can safely maneuver the forklift. Stacks of pallets in the aisles are a recipe for pallet rack disaster.

As the old saying by Ben Franklin goes, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” To get years of use from your pallet rack, buy the best quality product that’s appropriate for the environment, then take care of it through preventive maintenance, proper training, and best warehouse practices.

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