If you own or manage a warehouse and your inventory seems to be quickly outgrowing your warehouse space, then you may be considering moving your business to a new, larger space. However, you may be dreading that move due to not only the hassle of moving, but also the fact that you will likely pay much more every month for that larger space, and that cost may eat more into your business profits than you would like it to.

Before you decide to make a move, make sure you are getting the most out of your storage space and consider finding a way to increase your storage density, such as installing pallet racking. Read on to learn about the types of pallet racking systems and other important things you need to know about pallet racking. 

Types of Pallet Racking Systems

Even if you already have mezzanine flooring and/or shelving in place at your warehouse, then realize that switching your storage system to, or combining it with, pallet racking could help you maximize your storage density even further. 

If you looked at one pallet racking system and didn't think it would work for your warehouse, then realize that there are many types of pallet racking systems, and a system that differs from the one you ruled out could work perfectly for your warehouse. 

There are actually 13 types of pallet rack systems, but they all fall into two main categories: roll-formed pallet racks and structural pallet racks. 

Roll-formed pallet racks will be best for your warehouse if you store goods of many shapes and sizes, and much of your inventory is relatively lightweight. The beams on roll-formed pallet racks can be adjusted easily on a frequent basis, since they secured with clips instead of permanent bolts. This allows your staff to adjust your system as the shape and size of the items you are storing fluctuates. 

If you store heavier items, then structural pallet racks will be a better option for your warehouse. These pallet rack systems are made of more durable metal than roll-formed racks, and their beams are secured with strong bolts. These racks are designed to stay in one configuration without frequent movement of beams. 

What You Need to Do Before You Invest in Pallet Racks

To determine if a pallet racking system is right for your warehouse, have a pallet rack installation expert inform you of whether your storage goals can be met with a pallet racking system and the type of system that will work best for your needs. 

However, before you have a pallet racking system installed, you will likely need to obtain a pallet rack permit (also sometimes called a "piled high storage" permit)for your business. Most cities require business owners to obtain permits before installing storage systems that exceed a certain height. After you and your pallet racking system designer determine which system will work best for you, be sure to check your local building codes to see if you must obtain a permit before having your pallet racking installed. 

If the expert who designs and installs your pallet rack system offers assistance to business owners who need to obtain pallet rack permits, then be sure to allow them to help you apply for your permit. There are typically many documents that need to be included in your permit application, including:

  1. A drawing of your warehouse and all of your dedicated fire-safety devices, including your sprinkler system. This information is important for ensuring your warehouse will still be fire-safe after the pallet racking is installed. 
  2. Your pallet rack design and details of the materials it is made of. This helps the city determine if your pallet rack system will be safe for your employees to work around. 
  3. Seismic structural calculations. These calculations help ensure that your system is as earthquake-safe as possible (only some cities require this calculation). 
  4. A detailed outline of your warehouse flooring design and materials. This information is important to ensure your flooring can support the weight of your pallet racking. 

Along with these documents, the city will need your business name and license number, the contact information of your pallet rack designer, and other information that can vary from city to city. 

Plan to wait at least three weeks for your pallet rack permit to be approved, although how quickly you are granted your permit will vary. However, when your permit application is filled out correctly the first time with the help of a pallet rack permit expert, you can look forward to it being processed in a speedier fashion than if you were to complete it yourself and accidentally omit important documents or make other application errors. 

If your inventory is outgrowing your warehouse, then realize that you may not have to move your business to a larger building if you invest in a good pallet racking system. Hire a skilled pallet rack system installation expert to not only install your pallet racks, but also help you obtain pallet rack permits you need. For more information, contact companies like Certified Handling Systems.

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