Much like any other products, not all pallet racking systems are made equal. In fact, there is a wide range of pallet racking systems available on the Australian market, from cheap imported racks to quality racking made in Australia and everything in between. When comparing the costs of pallet racking systems it’s not enough to simply compare the purchase price.
As an essential part of any warehouse, you can expect a pallet racking system to last for a long time, and during the lifetime of the racking system there will be additional costs such as maintenance, repairs, inspections, etc. Low quality systems will often cost less to purchase, but much more to maintain throughout the lifespan of the system and vice versa with quality made racking. So, in order to make the right decision for the needs and budget of your warehouse, you must take into account the lifetime cost of a system rather than just the initial price tag.
Estimating The Lifetime Cost Of A Pallet Racking System
When estimating the lifetime cost of a pallet racking system it’s important to look for hidden costs that could end up increasing the overall cost of a rack including:
Racking Damage & Repairs
In a warehouse where pallets are loaded and unloaded from a pallet racking system everyday, racking damage is unavoidable. When a load bearing component of a pallet racking system is damaged, the structural integrity of the rack becomes compromised and the load capacity of the rack is reduced. Unfortunately, parts for repairs as well as professional labor often costs more than the parts in the original racking system.
This means that saving on upfront costs, by choosing a low-cost racking system of sub-par quality, will often cost you more money over the lifetime of the racking system for repairs. In addition to repair costs, you must also take into account the workflow disruptions and downtime caused by damaged racks that can no longer be used until repairs can be made.
Conversely, a quality pallet racking system that is designed for the specific layout and processes of your warehouse will require less repairs due to racking damage, which will also save on unexpected downtime and workflow disruptions over the lifetime of the rack.
Pallet Racking Inspections & Maintenance
All pallet racking systems are required to be inspected at least once every twelve months in accordance with Australian Standard 4084:2012. However, racking that is of a lesser quality or that sustains frequent damage may also require more frequent racking inspections to ensure that the racking is up to standard and safe for use.
This can increase the estimated lifetime of the cost of a pallet racking system as it will require more maintenance and repairs than other racks that are more durable and designed with their intended environment in mind.
Lifetime & Warranty
When estimating the lifetime cost of a pallet racking system it’s important to consider the expected lifespan and warranties that come with the system. You can expect a pallet racking system with a shorter lifespan or warranty period to be cheaper than a quality made and durable system. However, with the former, you may need to replace the racking system long before the quality made racking system would reach the end of its useful lifespan, driving the lifetime cost of the low quality system higher than that of the durable racking.
For example, a pallet racking system with a 10 year warranty may need to be replaced multiple times in order to match the performance and durability of a racking system with a lifetime guarantee, such as a Macrack pallet racking system. This means that when comparing the two racks, you will need to take into account the cost of multiple replacement racking systems in order to accurately compare the two.
Some areas of a warehouse are more prone to damage than others, such as cold room or freezer storage. This is because the low temperatures affect the concentration and accuracy of workers and forklift operators. Additionally, in cold storage, floorspace is always at a premium which results in denser product storage. This can mean smaller aisles and workspaces leaving less room for error and leading to more forklift collisions.
For this reason, it’s important to take the intended environment of the pallet racking into account when estimating the lifetime cost of your pallet racking. If you’re not sure how your warehouse environment will impact a pallet racking system, talk to your local pallet racking experts at Macrack.
Manufacturing quality, Australian made pallet racking systems for over 35 years, Macrack can answer all of your pallet racking questions. In fact, call us today on 1800 048 821 for expert advice as well as a free quote and warehouse design plan.