Are you considering adding additional storage capacity to your warehouse or distribution facility? Would you like to save 30% to 50% compared to buying new? Well, you're in luck - used pallet rack is a great way to save money.Used pallet rack is a great alternative to new pallet rack for numerous reasons:
- It's basically just rolled metal, so it has a rather long useful life
- Designs and the technology behind them haven't really changed in the last 10 years
- It's cheaper (after freight, you could save nearly 50% on smaller orders and ~30% on larger orders)
But, there are a few things you should ask before handing over your credit card.
First: Used Pallet Rack Stored Outside Could be Dangerous
Why is this important? While it may seem like the weather shouldn't really affect steel, the way pallet rack is formed leaves holes in uprights and beams. This probably isn't as big a deal in Arizona or Texas where it doesn't rain for month's on end, but in Michigan our weather can change in a heartbeat.
The holes in the pallet rack accumulate water during storms and dew each morning. The water just sits inside the uprights and beams, rusting the material from the inside - out. Just think of what snow and ice do to the roads in Michigan. That's not what you want to see happen to your pallet rack.
This is particularly concerning because you may not see the rust and therefore might not know that your pallet rack has been compromised.
(used uprights that have been stored outside)
Second: Mixing Manufacturers Can Void Your Warranty
There are numerous pallet rack manufacturers in Michigan. If your entire system was manufactured by only one of them, you likely still have some sort of warranty coverage by the manufacturer in the event that it were to collapse or otherwise fail. But, the moment you introduce a beam or upright from another manufacturer, the warranty on both products is typically void.
This isn't really that big of a consideration for most distributors or warehouse managers, because you're likely already using a mix of manufacturers, but if you just built a brand new warehouse or distribution facility, it is something you should consider.
Third: Used Pallet Rack Takes Longer to Install
Because used pallet rack has gone up and been taken down, there is likely some wear and tear. This wear and tear can make it more difficult to install the used rack.
Also, while teardrop pallet rack from different manufacturers is typically interchangeable, that doesn't mean it always snaps together effortlessly. Therefore, you should plan on the installation of used pallet rack taking 10% to 15% longer a similar pallet rack system consisting entirely of new rack.
This is especially important in Michigan since most distributors are trying to squeeze any new builds in during the nice Spring and Summer weather. Add Michigan's unpredictable winters in to the equation and you may have a rather long project on your hands.
Fourth: Colors Won't Match
If you're lucky, the used pallet rack you buy will be from the exact same manufacturer and have the same coat of paint your existing rack has. But, if you're like 90% of buyers for used pallet rack, you're going to struggle to find an exact match.
Therefore, you need to be ready for the pallet rack in your warehouse to start looking a little bit different. With used pallet rack you're prioritizing return on assets over aesthetics. For those with money to burn, that won't be important, but for those looking to build a sustainable business in today's corporate environment, keeping an eye focused on return on assets is very important.
(orange pallet rack beam)
(also orange pallet rack beam)
These two pictures illustrate how 'orange' may differ between various types of rack.
If you keep these four ideas in mind while shopping for used pallet rack in Michigan, you're likely going to end up saving quite a bit of money without risking the integrity of your current system or the safety of your employees.