Friday, December 19, 2014

How to Get the Most Money for Your Used Pallet Racking

Pallet Rack Now is one of the largest online distributors of new and used pallet racking on the web. Our goal is to stream line the buying process to make purchasing pallet rack as easy as possible. Another goal of ours is to make selling used pallet racking simple and easy for our customers, so that we can continue to purchase racking from across the United States.

We want our customers to understand how we value racking and how they can maxmize their profit when they're selling the racking to us. We have created a simple infographic to help our customers understand how they can maxmize profit on their racking. If you are interested in selling your used pallet rack call 888-578-1578 or use our Sell Your Pallet Rack Form.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

AK Welcomes Shipping Specialists Peter Harms

Today, we continue “Meet the Faces Behind the Brand,” our blog series offering a more in-depth look at the people who contribute each day to the success of AK Material Handling Systems. As our warehouse continues to grow and positions change within, we have been able to add another team member to our warehouse crew. Meet Peter Harms.

How did you first hear about AKMHS?
Through Matt Johnson and Eric Dutcher

What interests you most about AKMHS?
How they strive to be such a fun company and how they continue to grow.

What interests you the most about the material handling industry?

How there is always so much product coming and going. The way you have to make room for new inventory, it keeps the brain active.

As you know, we are pretty big sports fans here at AK, so the next big question is what are some of your favorite sports teams?

The Vikings, Wild, Twins and Patriots.

OK now tell us something fun about yourself
I'm recently engaged, for three years now :) we’ve been together for 10 years now and we do everything together. We love to go camping, hunting, fishing and anything to get out of town to get up north and we both love sushi.   

Thank you Peter. We are very fortunate to have you apart of the team and we look forward to the years to come!  

Monday, December 8, 2014

Project Spotlight - Miner's Distribution Warehouse

At +AK Material Handling Systems, we take pride in the work that we do.  Whether it’s providing a small company with quality used pallet racking, or consulting, planning and designing a warehouse layout for a large operation, we get a sense of fulfillment when we’re able to provide the goods and services our clientele has been searching for. 

Every once in a while a job comes along that we want to share with our community.  It may be a job that’s unconventional in some way, has a particularly happy outcome, or is simply a large scale undertaking that took a calculated team effort to complete.  It so happens that we’re currently working on one of those very jobs at the Miner’s, Inc. distribution center in Duluth, Minnesota.

Situated in West Duluth within view of the shores of Duluth-Superior harbor, the Miner’s warehouse is a food distribution center serving 33 supermarkets in the Upper Midwest, the majority of which are Super One Foods stores.  The Miner’s distribution center is the second largest warehouse complex in the Twin Ports – no small feat, considering the highly industrialized environment of the Duluth-Superior metropolitan area.  Currently, Miner’s is in the process of completing an 85,708 square foot warehouse addition, roughly doubling the size of the current complex.  As a food distribution center, quality pallet rack is an essential component of Miner’s daily operations systems.  That’s where we at AK come in.  Miner’s has recruited our efforts to supply and install the pallet racking in both the new warehouse addition and the existing warehouse space.

At 9,000 pallet positions, it’s a project of considerable size, and one we’re excited to be involved in.  The installation crew began assembly on the 17th of November, and has already installed much of the addition’s new racking.

We will continue to update our followers on the project’s progress with blogs, pictures and video.

Be sure to check back for updates, and thanks for reading.

By: +Dave Sewich

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Pallet Rack Dictionary - 1st Edition

Pallet Rack Dictionary - 1st Edition
If you’re a seasoned warehouse veteran and you’re highly familiar with pallet rack, you know there’s certain jargon used to describe various parts, features and topics associated with racking.  An expert on all things pallet rack might know this special vocabulary like the back their hand and use and understand these words without second thought.  A person who’s newer to their industry or has had limited experience working with pallet rack, however, might find this lexicon to be a jumbled, confusing mess of made-up-sounding phrases.  If you fall into this latter category, fear not; we curated a mini dictionary based off RMI standard nomenclature to help you understand some of the basic and not-so-basic terminology surrounding pallet rack.  Without further ado, the list:

Applicable Code: Applicable code simply refers to the code, enforced by the local government, for which a given structure is designed to comply with.  While this isn’t used exclusively with pallet rack systems, it will come into play frequently in the design process.

Beam: In pallet rack terminology, “beam” is a fundamental word.  It refers to a horizontally-oriented pallet rack component upon which the load of the pallet rack directly rests.  Beams are also commonly referred to as “cross beams.”

Beam Locking Device:
A beam locking device is used to prevent pallet rack beams from becoming disengaged from the upright frame.  Also known as safety clips, beam locking devices most often come in the form of a pin, clip or bolt.

Buckling Strength: The concept of buckling strength is fairly straightforward.  Buckling strength is easiest described as the upper threshold of weight that pallet rack can hold before susceptible to buckling or collapse.

Case Flow Rack: Also known as carton flow rack, case flow rack is a rack system in which the horizontal components are organized in a way that allows cases to be loaded onto one end of the system and picked from the other end.  These rack systems are gravity-driven, first-in, first-out systems.  They’re frequently used in warehouses and distribution centers with a high volume and fast turnover of product.

Connection: When used within the context of pallet rack, “connection” refers to any point at which two components of the pallet rack are joined together.  A common usage is “beam-to-frame connection.”

Drive-In Rack:
Drive-in-rack” refers to a first-in, last-out pallet rack system in which pallets are loaded into the system by maneuvering a lift truck into a bay of the rack system and placing the load at the furthest back position, thus giving “drive-in rack” its name.  Instead of cross beams, drive-in rack has support rails mounted to the upright frames.  These rails are able to hold pallets without interfering with the path of the lift truck.

Flexural Buckling: In laymen’s terms, flexural buckling refers to a situation in which a compressed component of the pallet rack structure bends laterally, without any other type of movement.  An example of a flexural buckling scenario would be a pallet rack upright that has insufficient strength to match the weight of its load, and subsequently buckles like a piece of uncooked spaghetti.
Flexural-Torsional Bucking: Flexural-torsional buckling is flexural buckling with the addition of a twisting motion of the affected pallet rack member.

Force: As you might be able to guess, the definition of force is fairly straightforward and intuitive.  As in most cases of literal usage, force refers to the amount of stress applied and distributed over a given area.

Gravity Load: Gravity load refers to stress that is put on a pallet rack structure by loads which have gravitational pull towards the ground.  In a real-world application, anything you put on your pallet rack will contribute to the gravity load. The gravity load comprises the “dead load,” or the self-weight of the rack, and the “live load,” which refers to the loads that will change over time, such as the loading and unloading of pallets.

Nominal Strength: Nominal strength is the strength of a pallet rack structure without considering other factors, such as the safety factor or resistance factor.  It is the strength of pallet rack without before being compromised by the inevitable deviations in actual strength that will occur.

Pallet Flow Rack:
Pallet flow rack is like case flow rack, but for pallets instead of individual cases.  Pallets are loaded onto one end of a pallet position and move along wheels or rollers on a slight downward plane until they’re picked from the other end, making for a first-in, first-out loading and picking order.

Push-Back Rack: Racking system in which pallets are loaded onto a pallet position from the front and subsequently pushed backward by the loading of additional pallets, all of which sit upon nested carts.  Pallets can typically be stored up to five deep in a push-back rack system.

Rack-Supported Platforms: A surface, or decking, that is supported by the pallet rack beams and upon which loads sit.  An example of rack-supported platforms is pallet rack wire decking.

Stability:  Stability is an immensely important feature in a pallet rack structure.  It refers to the ability of a pallet rack structure not to be disturbed by shifts in load placement.

AK Material Handling Systems is located near Minneapolis, MN and specializes in all types of material handling products for their clients. AK is one of the largest stocking distributors of new and used pallet racking in the United States. If you are looking for pallet rack pricing or availability contact us 763-493-5015.

That’s all for the 1st Edition of our Pallet Rack Dictionary.  We hope it’s been informative and has helped you gain a better understanding of pallet rack terminology.
Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

"GIVING MO THANKS" this Thanksgiving at AK Material Handling Systems

GIVING MO THANKS this Thanksgiving at AK Material Handling Systems

Part of our company culture at +AK Material Handling Systems is our commitment to giving back to the community and one of our annual traditions in that commitment is participating in the “Movember” campaign. (Visit the AK Movember Team Page)

Movember is a movement that encourages participants to grow out their moustaches for the month of November to help boost public awareness of men’s health issues and raise funding for programs directed at cancer research and awareness efforts. So this year for Thanksgiving we have decided to “GIVE MO THANKS” to all of you, our clients, friends and family in hopes of sparking conversations, generating donations and most importantly spreading awareness for Movember. So when you are enjoying Thanksgiving this year don't be afraid to spark conversations about these important men’s health statistics…

• Testicular cancer is the most common cancer in young men aged 15-35 years.
• 1 in 7 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime.
• A man with a father or brother who developed prostate cancer before 60 is twice as likely to also develop prostate cancer. Learn more here>>>

Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at AK Material Handling Systems.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

The Top 5 Warehouse Safety Resources Available Online

The Top 5 Warehouse Safety Resources Available Online

As technology continues to advance, the workplace changes along with it.  Things that were done one way since as far back as anyone can remember are suddenly done a different, usually faster and more efficient way.  Tasks that used to be time and labor intensive are now done quickly and easily, often without the help of humans.  But, even with the constant flux of technological innovation and other changes in the workplace today, there’s one thing that remains constant: the importance of safety.  Warehouse safety, in particular. Like most things, safety practices and procedures can change and are subject to updates, so it’s important to stay updated by checking in frequently with reputable safety information resources.  To help you get started on where to look, we’ve put together a list of some of the most useful warehouse safety resources on the web.

 If you’re a warehouse manager hoping to increase the safety of your work environment, check it out:

OSHA Law & Regulation

While OSHA has quite the controversial reputation, it is nevertheless a useful resource when it comes to making sure you’ve covered the basics when it comes to implementing the necessary safety precautions.  Also important, particularly for warehouse managers, is that by knowing and abiding by OSHA regulations, you’ll reduce the risk of costly fines that can accompany failure to comply with these regulations.

Workplace Safety Toolkit

The Workplace Safety Toolkit, found at, is an extensive resource dedicated to educating readers about workplace safety at nonprofits.  This knowledge, however, is just as easily applied to businesses of all types.

75 Free Warehouse, Dock and Forklift Safety Resource

This is sort of a meta-resource.  That is, it is a resource that is an aggregate of a bunch of other resources.  This is why we think it’s so helpful – it’s a site where you can find 75 online safety resources only a click away.  Many of these are convenient PDF files and, like the title says, they’re free.  It can be found at

Warehouse Safety Checklist: 8 Things Every Manager Should Review

This checklist provides warehouse managers with a downloadable platform they can use to make sure they’re taking the necessary safety precautions to keep their warehouses safe.  The checklist consists of eight general guidelines, such as providing training and ensuring proper emergency signage.  It can be found at


Seton Safety

Seton Safety is a Canadian online magazine dedicated to safety in the workplace.  They’ve got a ton of articles, videos and other cool resources available on their website for anyone who’s interested in improving safety.  They’ve also got a website design that makes it easy to navigate and search for articles, which is a major plus.  Find them at

That’s all for now.  As always, we hope you found the information useful, and encourage you to check back for updates and informational posts.