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Top 10 Pallet Racking Mistakes to Avoid

An optimized pallet racking system is crucial to the efficiency of your warehouse. Here are ten common mistakes you need to avoid.


pallet racking


  1. Ignoring Regulations

Going at it alone to avoid the cost of Design, Engineering and Permits could be the costliest mistake you ever make.  Should a serious accident, a fire, or a racking collapse occur, the authorities, Fire Department, WCB, and Insurance Company will ask for the supporting documents to prove you followed the rules.  Are you willing to be broke and imprisoned over this short cut?


  1. Mistaking a Consultant for a Designer

There are companies that design, engineer, layout, manufacture, and install racking systems, then there are consultants.  Consultants can only provide answers based on their level of understanding, they are not typically engineers, designers or manufacturers, they usually contract out the install and all those other tasks, and that’s if you’re lucky!  The flip side is you’re settling for their skillset.  The success of your business depends on the right design solution, the wrong design can tank your efficiency or worse, and having to rework the whole layout will cost you a lot of money.


  1. Experiencing the Capacity/Density Bargain

When you shop for low cost at a company willing to cut corners, they will too often use estimation on the density of your system.  By using a 70% density calculation (meaning you’re never at more than 70% capacity) it will allow them to under-engineer your system and charge you less.  In this scenario they will tell you your capacity per pallet position meets your requirement, but what they won’t tell you is you had better not fill the system or it could collapse.


  1. Lack of foresight

Always factor expansion into your design. While you may be wary of spending money for space you won’t immediately use, it’ll be less expensive than having to find temporary storage while you upgrade your racking down the line.


  1. Using Estimations where Facts are Required

Don’t select a racking system based on estimations. If you overestimate your load requirements, you’ll spend more money than you need to. If you underestimate it, you’ll put your employees and your merchandise at risk. Government mandated engineered systems should never be based on guesses.


  1. Nice New System, But Old Inefficient Lift Trucks

While you may not need to replace all your equipment when you get a new racking system, make sure what you have now will work with the new system. We all hate paying more money for new equipment, but those older slower trucks were annoying in a smaller facility, wait until you see how inefficient they are in a larger facility.  New models are faster, smoother, more intuitive, safer and more reliable, all these things add up to higher productivity and lower cost per pick.


  1. Showing Capacities on Load Beams or End Frames

If your Racking Supplier/Consultant is willing to put load capacities on your Load Beams or End Frames stop doing business with them!  Racking systems should be designed & engineered for your requirements, then installed professionally while following the design.  If the system is not installed correctly or should anyone change a beam level or make some other change altering the design as provided, the system will need to be re-engineered to assess the correct capacities.

Display Engineer Stamped Layouts throughout your facility, then train your equipment operators on the location of the layouts and how to read them to learn the capacities, and never alter your system without having the provider assess the considered change.


  1. Poor maintenance

Make sure you have a comprehensive maintenance and inspection plan in place. Employees should know how to identify issues and how to report them. This should be supplemented with regular inspections and prompt repair or replace policies. Even a small problem can cause serious structural issues and lead to much more expensive repairs down the line as well as jeopardize the safety of your workers.


  1. Lack of System protection

When forklifts and personnel carriers are zipping around narrow aisles and turning at busy intersections, collisions can occur. Even your best well trained and highly skilled operator can cause racking damage, but the degree of the damage can be minimized with the right protection.  Post Guards, Bollards, Row End Protectors and the Big Foot Base will provide you with that next level protection.  Make sure this is a component of your warehouse.


  1. Installing it yourself

Pallet racking and shelving installation should always be performed by experienced professionals. Remember these systems need to support heavy loads.  A system collapse usually costs thousands of dollars in lost merchandise, or worse than that bodily harm to employees.


In addition to a wide range of warehouse equipment, ARPAC provides racking installation and maintenance. We serve businesses all over the Vancouver area, so don’t hesitate to give us a call to find out more about our services.