Facilities with pallet racking systems and mechanical handling equipment in use run a considerable risk of damage to one or more components of the pallet racking system over the course of their use. Pallet rack systems are designed for high performance and to support product loads many times their weight. The systems are built to standards that ensure they perform within designed load applications corresponding to the configuration for many years. However, the design specifications and safety factors issued by even the best pallet racking manufacturers typically cannot take into account the loss of capacity once the pallet racking system has been damaged. Nothing affects the integrity of a pallet rack system like a forklift impact. Forklift operators are not likely to report a collision involving pallet racking structures, so the damage can go undetected. Most common components involved in damage are beams, upright columns and foot plates/anchors. This emphasizes the importance that pallet rack systems be routinely inspected and maintained to manufacturer and standard specifications to maintain original designed capacity.
In addition to a properly scheduled maintenance and inspection schedule, warehouse operators can utilize a wide variety of pallet rack column protectors and other safety accessories to help improve the durability and longevity of their storage systems while helping to minimize safety risks to employees, equipment and product. Hannibal Industries, a global leader in pallet rack technology and the largest U.S. producer of pallet rack west of the Mississippi, offers a plethora of such rack safety accessories.
Hannibal’s line of pallet rack safety accessories focus, for the most part, on impact protection. One notable exception is their Pallet Backstop, consisting of square tube steel bolted to the back of a rack bay. They are a safe and convenient way to inform the forklift operator that they have reached the back end of the bay of racking. As for the other collection of rack safety accessories, main differences include how and where such protection is applied. For instance, their Bolted Column Protector, constructed from either tube or structural steel, provide a safe way to inform forklift drivers that they have reached the back of pallet racking. Designed in a V-shape, these protectors bolt directly on to columns near their base, (usually on the aisle face) and offer great protection from direct or glancing blows or impacts. Side Column Protectors work in much the same way but are attached via 3-pin teardrop connections just like load bearing beams. They are affixed to the sides of columns and feature a similar triangular shape to absorb impacts. End Row Protectors again offer similar protection in that they consist of structural steel tubing design that reinforces the cross-bracing’s durability on structural and roll formed upright frames. They can be bolted on at any height, depending on the facility and use case.
Another set of pallet rack safety accessories Hannibal is proud to offer are bolted to the warehouse floor, rather than rack itself. Bollards are heavy-duty welded steel tubing in a 5” round with .134” wall thickness. They come in at 40” tall and are mounted to the floor via a 7” square footplate. Nearly identical to the bollards one would see protecting many public places like parking lots and pedestrian thoroughfares, they absorb all of the damage and impact something like a forklift might impart while transferring none of the energy to the racking system itself. End Row Guards operate much the same, but on a lower level. End Row Guards feature a rail leading up into a curved half-tube section forming an arc around a column footing. Its heavy-duty welded design can be bolted to floor for maximum protection. Standard and custom sizes are also available to suit individual applications.
As a Master Dealer of Hannibal Industries, Conveyor & Storage Solutions offers all these fine products and more. Designing density with efficiency and safety in mind is at the core of C&SS’s business, and is ready to make your next project a reality.