How to Repair Warehouse Racking 

Damaged racking prior to pallet rack repair service
Damaged racking prior to pallet rack repair service

Damaged racking is a hazard in a warehouse. It poses a variety of safety risks and can impact efficiency and workflow. So repairing damaged rack as soon as possible is crucial. This article will provide a guideline for spotting and fixing damaged racking.

How do you know if racking is damaged?

The best way to determine the condition of racking is to perform a safety inspection. These should occur at least once a year and preferably every six months. It is uncommon for racking to become damaged quickly, but interactions with material handling equipment may cause increased wear and tear over time. 

For example, reach trucks can cause damage to unprotected racking during storage and retrieval events. The base legs of the truck will sometimes maneuver too close to the upright column of the vertical frame. This applies pressure to the column, changing its shape and damaging the anchors attaching racking to the concrete floor.

Minor damage can result in dimpling and slight denting of the column. However, severe damage may cause changes in the shape of upright columns skewing the shape of the rack. When this happens, the column loses its load-bearing strength, which poses safety concerns and may inhibit the use of the racking.

Racking should be reviewed during inspections. Damage to look for includes:

  • Torn metal
  • Anchors are bent or damaged
  • One of the four corners of the column is no longer straight

Repairing vs. replacing

Damaged racking can be fixed in two ways: repairing or replacing. Repairing is typically the popular choice, but the decision depends on the warehouse’s needs.

Repairing rack is the more straightforward and cheaper option. For example, replacing an upright frame involves disassembling the racking on either side. If there are three or four beam levels in the racking, then 12 or 16 beams must be removed before tackling the upright frame. This is a lengthy process and can incur substantial labor costs on top of other expenses, such as the replacement upright frame, equipment rentals, etc.

Replacing rack also requires the shutdown of a large area in the warehouse for an extended period, disrupting other warehouse activities. The racking area will need to be shut down and racking technicians will need to move components in and out of the building. This can challenging in a busy facility, so shutting down the whole operation may be necessary.

Repairing rack is a less disruptive operation. Only a small area needs to be shut down (e.g., an aisle), and repairing rack does not require dismantling the whole column. This makes the process quicker and more efficient, which reduces labor costs and financial loss due to a shutdown. However, rack replacement has its advantages.

Replacement may be beneficial if the warehouse has a surplus of pallet racks and frames. It is also useful when a warehouse is reconfigured rack is moved. Since disassembly is required for this task it is a good time to schedule repairs as well. 

Rack Repair with Lean Inc.

Lean Inc., WarehouseIQ.com’s parent company, offers services and products to assist with rack repair and protection. Below is a step-by-step guide to the repair process.

Step 1: Inspection

Before being able to repair racking, businesses must first be aware of what needs replacing. Workers should be inspecting equipment regularly, but a qualified rack repair specialist should perform annual or semi-annual inspections. Therefore, the first step in repairing damaged racking is to invite Lean Inc. to the warehouse to assess the damage.

The inspection involves filling out a survey, taking detailed measurements and photos, and checking for paint matching. Appointments can be booked using our online calendar.

Step 2: Creating Repair Kits

After the inspection, engineers will analyze data, including:

  • Rack Style
  • Size of column
  • Baseplate size
  • Height and length of rack struts
  • Height of the first beam
  • Height of the rack damage
  • Color of the racking

The data will be used to engineer specialized rack kits that will also be color-matched to blend into the existing beams and uprights.

Step 3: Installation

Installation begins with removing pallets stored on either side of the damaged upright. Next, the upright is secured using Lean Inc.’s hydraulic jack by attaching it above the damaged area for support. The area can then be measured, marked, and cut. Original anchors are also removed from the floor.

Step 4: Replacing the damaged area with the rack repair kit

After the damaged components have been cut and removed, the repair kit is ready to be bolted into place. The original rack is moved to the side, and the upright frame and base are fitted into the existing racking section.

Step 5: Secure the rack repair kit

Next, the rack repair kit is secured to the origin upright using bolts. No welding is necessary. A different anchor pattern is used, making it possible for the repair kit base plate to be anchored to the floor.

Step 6: Protection and Prevention

One of the best ways to avoid damaged racking is to protect it from damage before it occurs. Below are examples of rack protection sold by Lean Inc.

PALLET RACK PROTECTORS FROM RACK ARMOUR

Rack Armour Protectors are guards for racking uprights. Rack Armour is designed to deflect and absorb impact to racking uprights.

You can purchase Pallet Rack Protectors on our website:
Pallet rack protectors from Rack Armour – Upright Protection for Racking

COLUMN AND RACK GUARDS

Column and rack guards protect against forklifts, outriggers, and product impacts. Below is a list of guards available on our website:

What Rack Protection Products Can I Use to Protect My Pallet Rack in My Warehouse? 

damaged racking

Pallet racking in a warehouse is particularly vulnerable to damage from forklifts, so it needs protection so as to minimize damage if it is hit by a truck. 

To that end, learn about rack protection products that can reduce damage by up to 80 per cent.

WHY DO PALLET RACKS NEED PROTECTION?

Pallet racks are used to store large amounts of materials on pallets. Therefore, mishandling or a substantial impact on a pallet rack can cause dents and weaken the integrity of pallet rack uprights and beams. Left unprotected and unrepaired this damage can eventually lead to weakened racking and may result in a catastrophic failure.

Forklifts are typically used or required to move loaded pallets onto the racks. However, forklifts pose several risks in the workplace due to factors such as their large size or decreased visibility when carrying loads in the front. These concerns are prevalent when working with pallet racks, so adding an extra layer of protection can minimize damage to forklifts, workers, and merchandise.   

PALLET RACK PROTECTION PRODUCTS:  

Here is a series of various pallet protection products that can help make your pallet rack collision-resistant.

Pallet protection guards

Rack Armour is a guard for racking uprights. Racking uprights are vertical components at the bottom of racking systems or frames. They are equipped with holes or slots to attach equipment and allow load-supporting beams to be fixed or mounted. Rack Armour is designed to deflect and absorb impact to racking uprights (see image below).

rack armour rack protecion

Rack Armour is made from low maintenance High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE), which is fully recyclable and non-toxic. It also comes in various colours and sizes and is suitable for use in temperatures as low as -40 degrees F (-40 C).  

Contact us for a P.O. or to request more information: [email protected].

Color options include:

  • Hi-Vis yellow (original)
  • Colourfast yellow
  • Safety yellow
  • Glow in the dark
  • Green
  • Orange
  • Red
  • Grey

Learn more about racking upright guards from Rack Armour from the product’s datasheet.

End of Aisle Single Rail Barrier

The End of Aisle Single Rail Barrier is designed to protect racking against multiple impacts while minimizing floor damage and saving maintenance costs. It is beneficial for pallet rack areas to reduce impacts from forklifts and other machinery.

End of Aisle Single Rail Barrier is made from durable HDPE plastic that flexes on impact and reforms shape. As a result, barriers are long-lasting and only need to be replaced after frequent, major impact indents.

End of Aisle Single Rail Barriers come in three colours, including:

  • Colourfast yellow and grey
  • Hi-Vis Yellow and blue
  • Safety yellow and grey

Learn more about End of Aisle Single Rail Barriers at the links below:

End of Aisle Double Rail Barriers

End of Aisle Double Rail Barriers provide the same features and benefits as the single rail barriers but help improve visibility for machine handling equipment operators with the addition of a second rail.

To learn more about this product, below:

What is Protection Bollard?

Bollards are protective posts designed to get the attention of drivers in designated areas. This helps prevent accidents and protect workers and property. Rack Group’s Protection Bollards add strength and presence to corners, structures, and entryways in warehouses and other storage and distribution workplaces.

The Protection Bollard is made from HDPE plastic, with a steel core for long-lasting protection. It helps absorb impact while minimizing floor damage. The bollards come in three colours:

  • Colourfast yellow and grey
  • Hi-Vis Yellow and blue
  • Safety yellow and grey

Check out the links below to learn more about Protection Bollards:

OTHER INDUSTRIAL IMPACT PROTECTION PRODUCTS:

What is a Bumper Barrier?

Bumper barriers provide a layer of protection between warehouse machinery (e.g., forklifts) and equipment (e.g., shelving and racking). Bumper barriers come in two varieties:

Both types are low-level barriers designed to minimize impact from the bumpers of machinery. The Double Bumper Barrier also improves visibility with the second bumper.

The bumper barriers are made from strong and durable plastic (HDPE) that flexes on impact and reforms its shape. Each variety has three colour options:

  • Colourfast yellow and grey
  • Hi-Vis Yellow and blue
  • Safety yellow and grey

What is a Pedestrian Barrier?

Pedestrian barriers separate and protect workers on the floor from machine handling equipment and operators. These barriers are designed to alert operators of pedestrian areas and negate or minimize accidents or impacts before they happen. The Rack Group has three pedestrian barrier varieties. These include:

All barriers are made from durable plastic (HDPE) and come in three colour options:

  • Colourfast yellow and grey
  • Hi-Vis Yellow and blue
  • Safety yellow and grey

What is a safety gate?

Safety gates provide easy access to floor workers and pedestrian areas and are a protective addition to pedestrian barrier systems.

The gates are made from durable plastic (HDPE) and come in three colour varieties:

  • Colourfast yellow and grey
  • Hi-Vis Yellow and blue
  • Safety yellow and grey

Learn more about this product at the links below:

What is a Floor Rail Bumper?

Floor Rail Bumpers provide a subtle layer of protection to the bottoms of shelving and racking. These bumpers are strong, durable, and designed to minimize impact from the bumpers of machine handling equipment.

The Floor Rail Bumpers are made from HDPE plastic and come in three colour options:

  • Colourfast yellow and grey
  • Hi-Vis Yellow and blue
  • Safety yellow and grey

Learn more about Floor Rail Bumpers below: