How to increase productivity and worker safety with Push-Back Storage
Push-back pallet rack is a high density storage solution using nested wheeled carts that move along slightly inclined rails attached to standard pallet racking. Pallets are loaded and unloaded from the same side for Last-in, First-Out (LIFO) inventory rotation. Push-back pallet racking is typically designed to store pallets from 2 to 6 deep, more than doubling storage capacity over standard selective rack.
To achieve optimal productivity and ensure worker safety, your warehouse team should be fully trained on proper push-back racking operating procedures. We can help – Apex has created a brief but comprehensive Push-Back Pallet Rack Training video found under the Resources tab on our website. Some of the topics that are covered in our video are: Operating Procedures, System Loading and Unloading, Purging hang-Ups, and Safe Debris Removal.
When operating a push-back pallet rack system, here are some basic procedures that personnel should adhere to:
- Ensure that all forklift operators are OSHA trained
- Conduct a pallet quality check
- Use quality GMA-style wooden or plastic pallets
- Ensure there are no loose or missing boards
- Review product load to check for load overhang & fix loose cartons, flaps or shrink wrap
- Make sure load weight is under the rated capacity
Loading and unloading, freeing pallet hang-ups and dislodging debris are all common procedures that are also outlined in our customer service video, but for now, let’s review the basic steps:
Proper Push-Back System Loading:
- Forklift – lift the pallet load approximately 3 to 4 inches above the first cart – enter the system and place the pallet centered on the first cart. Slowly back out of system.
- Line up the bottom boards of the 2nd pallet with the bottom boards of the first, just above the exposed cart and gently push-back the 1st pallet as you center the 2nd pallet over the 2nd cart, and so forth, until you get to the last pallet of the system.
- The last pallet will not sit on a cart- It will sit directly on the push-back rails. Ensuring once again that the load is centered in the lane, lower the last pallet onto the rails ensuring it lies behind the pallet stops.
Proper Push-Back System Unloading:
- Center forklift with the front pallet of the system and slowly enter the lane. Lift the front pallet 3-4 inches, so that it clears any pallet stops or obstructions.
- Slowly extract the pallet allowing subsequent loads and carts to glide forward at a controlled speed to the aisle face.
- Follow the first step to unload the remaining pallets of system.
Our video also goes over trouble-shooting techniques for clearing cart hang-ups (purging the system) and safe removal of debris found in the lane. If you need help training your personnel and or maintaining your push-back pallet racking system, call Apex Warehouse Systems today – our trained storage and material handling experts are ready to assist you and keep your system on track.