As our inspectors are conducting their SEMA approved rack inspections, one of the most common comments is the placement of pallets within racking.
This may sound a bit petty and nitpicking but there is good reason, we will explain…
Pallet racking is specifically designed to accommodate the pallets that YOU are using… This is because manufacturers design intolerances of safety.
SEMA (Storage Equipment Manufacturers Association) have guidelines specifically on the position of loaded pallets, the reasons are quite simply it is all about SAFETY!
Pallets can and do damage to racking!
Clearances all around the pallet (looking at the loading face) in the first instance makes life easier for the FLT operator to load/unload the pallet giving room to manoeuvre; more importantly, it eliminates the potential of pallets damaging racking components, such as the uprights, beam connectors or frame braces … so it makes sense to have clearances.
Did you know that the depth of your pallet racking frame is designed to be slimmer than your pallet? Why.. well, it’s to make sure that the pallet has the recommended 50mm overhang over the front and rear of the beams, which provides maximum support to the pallet and gives a uniform distributed load spread along the length of the beam.
Perils of loading pallets flush with the front beam!
As seen so many times; pallets have been loaded flush with the front beams, to either give ‘a bit more room’ to manoeuvre the forklift or just because it’s ‘easier‘ for the driver to align the pallet onto the beam. Sadly, this has a knock-on effect in so many ways…
Front beams get damaged as the mast comes into contact with the beam causing it to split.
The rear of the pallet is now sitting on the underside of slats, which can easily give way causing the pallet to dislodge.
If pallets are over offered flush on the front beam then the ‘back-to-back’ flue gap in the run of pallet racking has now been severely reduced. The design in safety clearance between the racks has now been compromised which could easily dislodge pallets to the rear, as pictured below.
Please for that extra few seconds to make sure that your pallets are sitting correctly.
We would go one further and suggest that ALL forklift truck operators are made aware of these tolerances and the reasons why they are so important.
Prevention is always better than cure, and cheaper!
Need help? … Teepee are always happy to offer our expert help and advice, we are only a call away.