buying used pallet rack

There's no denying that used pallet racks are a great way to add storage to your warehouse at a lower price. However, not all used pallet racks are created equal. You must consider many things when purchasing so you buy a valuable piece of equipment rather than one that turns out to be a bust.

Here's an overview of what to look for when buying used pallet rack.

Where was the pallet rack stored?

Pallet racks are rolled metal. With proper maintenance and a little luck, they'll be in good shape for years. But you must be careful about those stored outside in climates like Michigan's. 

If you're buying a pallet in a climate with a lot of moisture, you have to remember that the holes in the pallet rack accumulate water from precipitation. Dew forms in the morning in those holes too. All that water is sitting inside your uprights and beams. It rusts the pallet rack from the inside out. And since it's happening on the inside, you may not see it before you buy it. 

Always be careful of pallet racks purchased outdoors, and find ones that are stored inside if possible. 

Variations in color

Speaking of outside storage, you need to look at the color of your beams on a used pallet rack. Lighter beams most likely have been in the sun longer than darker beams. If your beams have been in the sun, that means they've been stored outside. You already know how pallet racks stored outsides can be terrible purchases. 

Visible damage and safety clips

It should go without saying that when you are shopping for a used pallet rack system, you need to make sure there's no damage to the parts. Any rack that has damage is structurally unsound and should be avoided. You'll want to look for dents, rust, bends and cuts. 

Also, if your rack doesn't have safety clips, think about adding some. Safety clips are applied at the end of the rack beam. They ensure the beam ‘locks’ in to place on the pallet rack upright. 

Don't mistakenly void the manufacturer's warranty

When you purchase a used pallet rack system, you could have warranty coverage remaining if it is composed of parts from the original manufacturer. However, if you buy another manufacturer's part to replace or add to your system, the warranty will expire. So it makes sense to confirm you're buying a rack with parts from the original manufacturer. 

If you’re setting up a new system, you might ask the company you’re buying from if they offer a warranty on their used pallet rack. Some used dealers utilize a multi-step inspection process that allows them to offer a warranty on the used warehouse equipment you’re buying.

Watch for paint flakes

If the paint flakes off the rack system you want to buy, move on and find another one. It's possible that the rack was already modified and painted over with something cheap. Powdercoat paint doesn't flake off. You'll never know what other modifications were made, and there's no sense buying something and then being surprised a couple of months down the road when your system collapses and all your product is lying on the floor of your warehouse. 

Carefully look at the uprights

Another way to avoid surprises is to take special note of the uprights. Uprights that wave or bend are big red flags when buying a used pallet rack system. There are many reasons that can happen, including being hit by a forklift or sitting outside too long. Any damage to the uprights means it's time to find another rack.

Can you find the history?

When you are purchasing your rack system, your dealer should be able to trace back where they purchased it from. If they can't, it's a bad sign because poor records could mean poor processes elsewhere. 

For our customers, we can look up the SKU number and provide them with information on where we bought the rack, the condition it was received and when we bought it.

Get the return policy (if it exists)

What happens if you don't buy the right equipment? A dealer should stand behind their product and let you return it as long it is still in good condition. We let you buy what you think you need and then return it if you need to. You should be able to return your purchase. If you can't, you should probably be asking yourself why not? 

Do you need a used pallet rack system?

American Storage & Logistics is the largest stocking dealer of new and used warehouse equipment in Grand Rapids. We supplement our in-stock inventory with design, permitting and installation services to ensure your next material handling project goes as smoothly as possible. Reach out to us today, shop our catalog online, or give us a call at 616-246-8700!