Buying used pallet racking guide

Used pallet racking can offer several benefits for your business. However, before you spend any money, there are a few things to be aware of to ensure you get value for money. Our buying used pallet racking guide gives you some tips and pointers on what to look out for so you can make the right choice for your warehouse.

Use a trusted supplier

When it comes to used pallet racking (this also applies to new pallet racking) you can’t afford to cut corners as the risks are too great. It pays to use a trusted, experienced supplier when looking for second-hand pallet racking, one that has a good reputation and won’t disappear as soon as you have handed over your money.

You’ll likely come across websites that offer a bigger range than they actually stock and the description may not be entirely accurate. To avoid any confusion, do you initial searching online, but always buy offline and ensure you go to inspect the racking to see it with your own eyes.

Confirm the system’s suitability

The pallet racking needs to be a good fit for your warehouse processes, as this will ensure you are getting as much out of the system as possible. Using a reputable supplier should mean they can offer advice on the type of racking system you need, so be sure to ask as many questions as you can about it and let them know what you intend to use it for.

It may be the case that you are recommended a different type of system than the one you need, which can make all the difference in the end. The more suited the system is to your operations, the more efficient and cost-effective your spend will be. Before you go to see a supplier, take time to understand your floor plan as this will make the process easier. Take measurements of the warehouse and always have space efficiency in mind, as once operations are up and running and the business starts to grow, you’ll need to make the most of your storage.

Check the racking meets industry standard

You have to take extra care when buying used pallet racking, as the system has to meet industry safety standards and be secure to use. Safety is paramount in every warehouse and storage facility, so even if the price is affordable, you should carry out some basic checks.

This includes looking out for loose components, damaged or missing support blocks, badly wielded beams, improvised joints, damaged or broken plants and rusted components. All of these can threaten the structural integrity of the entire system and could pose a safety risk for anyone using it.

Always choose strength over aesthetics

While you want the racking system to look good and not appear messy or disorganised, you should always prioritise the strength and structural integrity of the system over aesthetics. Pallet racking offers practical, functional support for your business and its appearance isn’t the most important thing to be concerned about. If it is structurally safe and can store the items you need without being compromised, that ensures you get the most from your investment in the long run.

Used versus refurbished

There is a key difference to note between ‘used’ pallet racking and ‘refurbished’ pallet racking. While they sound the same, they mean two different things. Used pallet racking means it is being resold in the same condition it was received in by the previous owner. When you buy refurbished pallet racking it will have undergone some repairs and part upgrades to bring the quality of the system up to standard.

Ask about replacement parts

If you are buying an older system, the manufacturer’s warranty will likely have already expired. This could make it harder to source replacement parts, which you will probably need at some point in the future. To avoid being caught out, check the availability of spare parts for the system you are interested, including average delivery times and costs. Systems that are deemed obsolete will probably make it harder to find the right replacements, which will limit the length of time you will be able to use the system.

Check the manufacturer’s documentation

You will already have a good idea of the type of stock you want to store on the racking unit and there will be a limit to how much can be stored on an individual system. This is known as the uniform distribution load (UDL) and every storage system will have its own weight limit. The second-hand supplier will be able to provide this information about the system and they must also tell you if any repairs or maintenance has been carried out on the unit.

Buy heavy duty barriers for added protection

Most warehouses will use a forklift to help move items around the facility. Given the constricted nature of a warehouse even the most experienced forklift drivers will knock or scrap against the racking from time to time. This does pose a risk to the racking and the goods stored there and with too many knocks the entire system could become comprised. The best way to avoid this is to invest in heavy duty barriers that can protect the rack ends. You can fit these onto the end of the racking so you have an additional line of defence against any potential crashes or knocks that could happen.

Install a camera system

This is more useful for larger warehouse with racking systems that have multiple levels of storage. Items stored in the upper levels can be difficult to view, which requires staff to climb up the racking to get a clearer view of the products stored there. While it may not be an official policy, it does happen for convenience, and it puts staff at greater risk. Of course, you may be able to refer to WMS or paperwork, but with cameras installed you get an instant idea thanks the positioning of the technology.

Ask the Experts

If you still need help choosing and buying used pallet raking, contact us and we can point you in the right direct. 2h Storage Solutions have been supplying pallet racking in the North East for over 25 years.