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Your Ultimate Guide to A Pallet Racking Installation

Warehouse pallet racking is a form of storage that is very widely used today. Its popularity arises from a number of factors. Firstly, it is very flexible, and can be erected in a myriad of different arrangements to suit the specific space and layout of each particular location. Secondly, it is easy to assemble. Thirdly, it facilitates the storage of goods in the packaging in which they arrived, and thus keeps warehousing costs to a minimum. Fourthly, when properly put together, pallet racking is very sturdy and long lasting.

The caveat included in the fourth point above is vitally important, warehouse pallet racking must be properly put together. If it is not assembled in the correct manner, considering its characteristics and the site conditions, its user may not obtain the value from it that they should, and in some cases, it can be dangerous to the people working with it. Each warehouse pallet racking installation will have its own distinct physical conditions however, the importance of planning is vital to a successful project.

How simple it is to install a pallet racking system can vary from very easy to incredibly complex.

If you’re looking to put up a single row of racking in a smaller space, you could have the job done within half an hour. If you are in charge of something more sophisticated, you could be looking at several days.

The video below, shot in South Africa, gives you an idea of how complicated things can get and how big a job it can be!

Assembly planning

You need to study any instructions and drawings that come with the racking and take them into account in your preparation. Don’t be tempted to take short cuts or skim over all that reading. This is where your financial interest and the wellbeing of you and your colleagues come together. The instructions are there to help you get best value from your pallet racking, and to ensure that your installation is safe for the people who work with it.

By far the best idea is to buy your racking from a professional supplier, and get it installed by specialists. Pallet racking installation involves many steps, and each need careful consideration to ensure your productivity isn’t adversely affected. Typically, a site survey to assess the building will be conducted prior to determining the suitability of different racking solutions, capacity, and density. The thickness of the concrete slab is one determining factor, but the final solution will also consider the location of columns and obstructions such as lights, ducting, pipes, and electrical panels.

Then your supplier will design your installation to take account of safety regulations and the particular circumstances in your warehouse, and then put the whole structure together for you. This not only saves you time but also ensures the pallet racking installation is safe and ready to use.

Planning for Your Pallet Racking Installation

Planning permission is not usually needed. However, Building Regulations may need to be adhered to. This is often the case if the industrial racking supports a floor or if the system is a multi-tier solution. So, if the system supports a staircase or walkway, then these need to comply with Building Regulations and will require approval.

Similarly, you won’t typically need planning permission to install a mezzanine floor. However, there are a few instances where planning permission or approval will be needed. These are: if there are current restriction placed on your site floor place, if the mezzanine will be used for office space, is over 200m², or will need external alterations.

The Installation of Your Racking

Pallet racking should only be erect by experienced and knowledgeable installers, who have completed a thorough risk assessment beforehand, ensuring your racking is within regulation and fit for purpose. Our team of pallet racking installers can usually install around twenty frames per day depending on the complexity of the installation.

Installation Guidelines

Your racking installation will comprise of the following components, and they should be installed following these guidelines:

  • Levelling plates – On uneven ground, levelling plates must be used to ensure all racking is levelled following the FEM/SEMA design codes and tolerances.
  • Uprights – These must be fixed to the floor in the manner specified by the original manufacturer.
  • Frames – The frame should be assembled following the manufacturer’s instructions and consist of the upright, base plate, brace components, and joining splices (if the height of the racking installation dictates that more than one upright is needed). In double racks, the adjacent frames will be connected using stabilising row spaces.
  • Beams – The racking design will state where beams should be placed between the uprights of two frames. The beams are fixed using beam safety locks, which are designed to prevent beam dislodging.
  • Load notices – Ensure these are regularly spaced and fixed to the racking in highly visible and prominent positions. Failure to fix these will put your system in non-compliance.

The process begins with installing the first rack bay, which must be plumb cross-aisle and down-aisle. The racks are secured using baseplates, and special rack anchors are tightened to a designated torque and installed in line with the approved drawings.

Installation continues with the remaining bays with any back connectors tightened only once the entire rack row is fitted. Shelf accessories and column protectors are added in the final stage before a thorough inspection of the installation is completed.

Loading notices can be supplied once the installation is completed and should be fitted to the racking at regular intervals, in a position where they are visible to all operators. Once your pallet racking has been installed, you should not make any changes or adjustments without first contacting your supplier.

Checks to Follow

warehouse racking inspection should be carried out as soon as the racking installation is complete. A suitably qualified individual should carry out the racking inspection. The review will check all components, including:

  • Uprights
  • Diagonal bracing
  • Base plates and floor fixings
  • Column guards
  • Level plates
  • Safety Locks
  • Frame spacers, nuts, and bolts
  • Guide rails
  • Decking and shelf panels
  • Anti-collapse meshing
  • Supports and cradles
  • Load notices

Moving forward, daily checks should be made by an assigned member of your team with a schedule put in place for racking inspections conducted by a professional.

Once your pallet racking has been installed, you should not make any changes or adjustments without first contacting your supplier. Our price includes all elements of the pallet racking installation, from the initial site survey to producing detailed drawings, supply and delivery, and the hire of all safety and lifting equipment that is needed to complete the pallet racking installation. With over 40 years in the industry, we offer an expert service that you can rely on. Contact Pallet Racking Solutions today to find your ideal pallet racking solution.