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What are Pallet Racks?

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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 23 August 2016
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    2003-2016
    Conjecture Corporation
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For anyone who has worked in a textile factory, warehouse, or been involved in the transport business, pallet racks are a common sight. Here are some basics of the pallet rack, as well as some examples of how pallet racks work in various situations.

As the name implies, pallet racks are a structure or framework that are built to house pallets. Often, the pallet racks are made of steel piping, and may include cast iron netting on each level. Typically, the racks are open on all sides. This design makes it easy to store empty pallets as well as pallets that are loaded with supplies or finished goods. Pallets can be stacked on top of one another, and then inserted into each section of the racks for storage. Usually a pallet truck or forklift will be used to slide under the bottom pallet and transport the stack to its destination.

Along with basic forklifts, some pallet trucks are equipped with squeeze lift blades that have the ability to rotate. When goods are properly secured to the pallets, the squeeze lifts may be used to gently grip the pallet and materials and lift them into an open slot in the pallet racks framework.

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Textile plants use pallet racks for a number of storage solutions. Raw materials may be housed in pallet racks as they await processing. Finished goods, such as yarn that is packed into shipping crates, may be stacked onto pallets and housed in pallet racks until the materials are purchased by customers. Pallet racks may also be used in the shops or supply areas for a textile plant. Many larger pieces of machinery used in the plants are delivered attached to pallets and may be stacked in a pallet rack until they are needed on the plant floor.

Pallet racks can also be help in transporting goods from one location to another. Outfitting the interior of a trucking container with a pallet rack allows for the goods to be firmly secured into place. This will mean that the goods will not shift during transit, which will mean the goods have less of a chance of being damaged, or shifting to a point that they could tumble from the container when the rear doors are opened. As both a safety measure for people handling the goods and the protection of the products themselves, pallet racks are well worth the time and money they cost to install.

While the landscape of manufacturing may be changing, pallet racks have been around for well over a century and show no signs of becoming obsolete. Because they are such an easy means of protecting goods and also keeping work areas safe for employees, many manufacturers would not be without pallet racks in their storage areas.

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