Pallet racking is essential for storing pallets safely and in an organised manner. When you choose your own pallet racking, you will have a number of decisions to make, and one of the most important is whether to buy new or used. Although some people opt for used pallet racking to save money, is it really worth it?
Pallets are large and heavy, and they are often stacked high. If pallet racking collapses, the results can be devastating. Safety is paramount, and opting for new pallet racking is often the best way to ensure that safety is always the primary concern. With that in mind, here are some factors to keep in mind when making your decision.
Know Where It Came From
When you invest in new pallet racking, you will know exactly where it has come from. Pallet racking is at its safest when it comes straight from the manufacturer in its original condition. The beams and fixings will all be to the manufacturer’s specification, and you will be able to see this from the markings on each item.
Of course, if you do not know who manufactured your racking, finding out in order to ensure that you are using the correct fixings can cost both time and resources, especially if there are no markings on the beams or the uprights.
By buying your pallet racking new, you will know that it has never been used, so there is no chance that it has sustained damage in the past. Even though damage in used pallet racking could be very slight, it could still be serious and compromise its load bearing capacity.
Enjoy a Warranty
New pallet racking will come with a warranty, which can give you peace of mind that if anything does go wrong, you will be covered. Replacing faulty pallet racking can be expensive, so it is good to know that you are financially protected for any potential issues.
Possible Problems to Look Out For
If you do buy used pallet racking, there are a number of potential problems that you will need to look for to ensure your racking is safe. These could include:
- Loose components in the system
- Broken planks and stringers
- Support blocks missing
- Joints that have been improvised
- Beams that have been welded together badly
- Diagonals that have been bent
- Components that are rusted or otherwise damaged
- Parts that are made up of different brands
It is important to make sure that you get your pallet racking inspected by a qualified inspector on a regular basis, and this is especially important with used racking. Just because it looks okay, it doesn’t mean there are no problems. An inspector will be able to spot problems that could present safety risks, helping you to avoid any issues.
Due to the chance that used racking is more likely to have problems that new racking, you may well find yourself spending more on repairs and replacements following inspections, which could become a significant cost for your business.
Take a look at the videos below which show what can happen when pallet racking systems fail, or warehouse safety guidelines are not adhered to
Consider the Real Cost
When it comes to purchasing a pallet racking system, cost is an important factor for the majority of businesses. Whilst second hand systems can initially appear to offer value for money, in the current competitive market new systems can often be purchased for only a small additional premium.
However a new system offers additional benefits over a used system such as a full warranty, peace of mind that the components haven’t been damaged or worn and professional design and installation (helping to really get the most out of the space available).
It is also important to remember that a new system will likely outlive a previously used system by some way, offering better value for money over the lifetime of the equipment.
Buying a new system from a reputable supplier also means that if your racking needs to be extended or reconfigured in the future, parts will be available, with professional help on hand as required. If you are buying a used system, the availability of additional parts can be an unknown factor which may mean the whole system needs to be replaced sooner that thought as your business grows
Make the Right Investment
If you are considering investing in used pallet racking simply to make an immediate saving, consider whether it is really the right investment for your business. You should ensure that you find the best pallet racking for your purposes, and although price is always a concern, remember that there are serious safety issues involved with pallet racking, as well as the fact that used racking may need to be inspected and replaced more frequently.
Employers have a duty of care to all employees which includes providing a safe working environment and providing equipment that is fit for purpose. This is something that a new, professionally installed racking system will offer. However, when installing a used system the history and therefore safety of the equipment may be a little more uncertain.
Perhaps the best investment for your business is to choose new pallet racking from the start, so consider the benefits of doing so, and make the decision that is right for you.
The time lapse video below shows a new pallet racking system being professionally installed from start to finish.
Avanta are a leading UK specialist in the design, supply and installation of pallet racking systems. To discuss your specific requirements, get in touch.