• Contributing Editor

      Really don't Undervalue Rack Upkeep & Repair

      By Gary Forger, Contributing Editor · September 10, 2018

      It’s easy to underestimate the importance of rack servicing.

      To begin, the structure looks sturdy. It’s carrying all that weight from the pallet loads stored in it. And as we all know, racks do take a long time to wear out.

      “The common mistake is one of the most dangerous mistakes: If the rack is not falling down, there is no danger,” says Dave Onorato, vice president of sales for Mac Rak. He tells the story of a plant manager who gave a good kick to a rack column that brought down the entire structure.

      Additionally, “uprights and beams form a framework that holds pallets with loads of product; to the casual observer, these systems don’t look overly complex.” That’s what the rack experts themselves --

      It is best suited for every or any other technical platform.

      Rack Manufacturers Institute (RMI)-have to say about underestimating rack damage and its impact on safety in the facility.

      potential losses from rack failure include injury or loss of life, loss of inventory, business interruption, cleanup and replacement expenses, and costly litigation. Clearly, there are serious consequences to rack failure.

      Several areas exist where damaged rack could be a problem. And, any of them could be out of the line of sight of most people looking right at the rack. The list includes crushed or sheared frames, bent columns, broken components as well as damaged footplates and anchors, to name just a few trouble areas.

      The problem is that damage to racks occurs as a matter of course. And, not every time the racks are damaged is a noted event. Unfortunately, rack damage is cumulative, and the tipping point is invisible, says Onorato.

      The two most common causes of damage are lift truck impacts and the abuse of the rack in day-to-day use.

      Accidental impacts by lift trucks are a common cause of damage. So are poor lift truck drivers. In addition, the wrong truck often operates in some aisles while other aisles were originally poorly designed.

      Then, there’s the matter of day-to-day use beyond lift trucks. In the interest of higher productivity, workers can inadvertently cause damage. For example, overloading is a problem. Furthermore, as the products stored change, there are often adjustments to how the rack is used, often causing its own damage.

      All of that said, what can you do to ensure your rack structures are safe and capable of delivering top efficiency for your operation? Quite a bit actually. But doing that requires discipline and adherence to industry-recommended procedures.

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