Thursday, October 30, 2014

How Can I Store My Stuff off the Ground?

Storing Things on the Ground Isn’t Always an Option

Here in Minnesota, like many parts of the country, it’s not always a good idea to store things on the ground, given the elements and limited space most of us contend with. Whether in your garage or somewhere else on your property, storing things on the ground can leave them susceptible to getting dirty, incurring water damage, or taking up an unnecessary amount of storage space.  Certain types of items, such as firewood, engines or automotive parts, various types of tools and machinery, as well as a host of other materials, would be best served not to have to endure the moist, dirty surface of a garage floor.  Firewood, for example, often cannot sit directly on the ground because it will eventually become too moist to burn.  Snowmobile and ATV storage can be tricky -- they can be stored on the ground, but will often take up an unnecessary amount of space. And, because of their oblong shape, you’ll be unable to stack or store anything on top of them.  There is, however, a convenient, cost-effective solution to your storage problems.

Pallet Rack for Personal Storage

Pallet rack isn’t the first thing most people think of when running through their personal storage solution options.  In fact, most probably wouldn’t think of it at all.  It isn’t readily apparent that those big metal shelves we see at Home Depot could be bought in the right size and quantity to fit in your garage and be used to store things off the ground.  It seems more likely they’d be sold to large companies who need them for storing inventory and stocking sales floors.  However, while they certainly do serve well in their more traditional roles, they work extremely well as a means of storing personal belongings.  One can store large, long items on racking without wire decking, or outfit their rack with wire decking for smaller items or to increase stability and provide a flat surface.

New or Used Pallet Rack – Which to Use?

If you’re wondering whether to buy new or used pallet rack the answer is that it is largely a matter of personal preference.  Because it is fresh from the manufacturer, new rack is guaranteed to be as strong as the manufacturer states it to be, and will not have endured any previous use or abuse.  Used rack, on the other hand, offers a cost-effective storage solution for those simply looking to convenient way to store their stuff off the ground.  The pros at Pallet Rack Now can supply you with as much new or used rack you’ll need to get your storage project underway.  Just give us a call at 888-578-1578 or shoot us an email at sales@palletracknow.com.  We’d love to hear from you.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Movember is Almost Here... What it is and Why We Do It

“Men’s health.”  To many of us, the term might seem oxymoronic.  There are some things a lot of us men would just as soon not address – the need to update our wardrobes, preparation for a visit from the in-laws, going to our significant other’s friend’s dog’s birthday party, and of course, men’s health issues.  Topics relating to prostate and testicular cancers, as well as men’s mental health, are frequently swept under the rug, or worse, people lack awareness of them in the first place.  The Movember Foundation is trying to change that, and they’re gaining momentum every year.

What Is Movember?
For those who aren’t yet up to speed on what Movember actually is, we’ll provide a quick primer.  Started in the early 2000’s in Australia, 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.  According to the official website, “The Movember Foundation is the leading global organization committed to changing the face of men’s health.”  Participants are encouraged to register with the official Movember website and form fundraising teams.  Here, Movember participants can show off their mo’s and compete with other teams in fundraising battles.  Of course, just growing out a moustache and telling others why you’re doing it contributes to the cause as well, and everyone is encouraged to contribute in whatever way(s) they can.

Why Do We Do It?

Really, once finding out about Movember and its efforts to heighten awareness of men’s health issues, it’s hard not to support it in one way or another – whether that means making a donation or simply growing out the gnarliest ‘stache one can muster.  The Movember Foundation is perhaps the most widely known men’s health awareness foundation in operation, and has the potential to improve the quality of life for countless men over the coming years. 

Part of our company culture at +AK Material Handling Systems  is our commitment to giving back to the community, and there are few better ways of doing so than to show our support for a foundation such as Movember.  Who knew simply growing out a moustache could help save so many lives?  At AK, we have a great time growing out our ‘staches and getting creative with our facial hair, and encourage anyone and everyone to join us in spreading the word by whatever means available.  Nothing beats having fun and contributing to an important cause at the same time.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

An Employee Celebration By: Al Boston

An Employee Celebration By: Al Boston

Recently, we were able to celebrate the the arrival of two employee milestones at +AK Material Handling Systems.  Senior Project Account Specialist Brenda Harrison and Systems Design Specialist Brian Koski celebrated their 25th and 20th anniversaries, respectively.  In celebration of these milestones, the AK team attended a Minnesota Vikings game together.  It was a fun event, and a great way to celebrate two AK employees who’ve been working hard for the betterment of the company for 2+ decades.  The recognition of Brian and Brenda got us thinking about our company culture.  To be specific, the value placed on members of the AK team, both as employees and as people.

To work over 20 years for the same company is nothing to sneeze at.  It takes diligent work and loyalty on the part of the employee, as well as faith in and appreciation of the employee by the company for whom they serve.  Brian and Brenda have served AK Material Handling in exemplary fashion over the previous decades, and it was truly an enjoyable experience to be able to to celebrate their years of service with a group of 40 people, consisting of AK employees, family and friends.  At AK Material Handling Systems, we firmly believe that our success is due to the tireless efforts of our employees.  Without our awesome team of loyal employees, we’d be only a fraction of the company we are today.  Many companies say similar things, but at AK Material Handling Systems, we do our best to actually show it.

Below is a picture of the AK Material Handling Systems team at the Minnesota Vikings game on Sunday, October 12th.  It was a beautiful day, and a wonderful opportunity celebrate two of the employees we’re proud to have as a part of our team.

By: +Al Boston 

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Pallet Rack Capacity Labels - A Safety Minute with AK President Al Boston

Safety – It Matters

As much as everyone and their dog touts the importance of safety in the workplace, it can easily become something that gets overlooked. Most of the time, this is unintentional. Work gets busy, and things need to get done. All too often, we take for granted the fact that workplace injuries are less common than they used to be, and simply assume we’re being safe. If nobody’s getting hurt and no inventory damaged, safety precautions might be placed on the back burner. It goes without saying, however, that this approach can lead to some disastrous outcomes, including regulatory infractions/fines and, worse, harm incurred by employees. While it might be a hassle sometimes, it’s always important to take the necessary safety precautions. If there’s one area in life to sweat the small stuff, it’s safety.

It’s Not Always Obvious

Notice we mentioned “sweating the small stuff” up above. Sometimes, it’s the little things that make a world of difference when it comes to creating a safe workplace environment. While these things may seem unnecessary or common sense, they can have a huge impact on the safety of your warehouse, so it’s wise to take heed and include them in your precautionary steps.

Pallet Rack Capacity Labels

Pallet Rack Cross Beam Label
Among the steps that may go overlooked in the safety process is the placement of pallet rack capacity labels. Warehouse managers often either don’t know that pallet rack systems need capacity labels or, just as frequently, aren’t aware that it’s actually they’re responsibility to place the pallet rack capacity labels on the rack system. According to RMI standards, “The owner is responsible for displaying in one or more conspicuous locations a permanent plaque(s).” That means, of course, that once you purchase your rack, it is indeed you that needs to place the capacity label on your racking. How, exactly, do you go about doing that?

Labeling Your Rack System

You might be wondering, “So, how do I do it, then?” Outfitting your pallet rack with capacity labels isn’t as daunting as it might sound. Simply place a label on your rack with the following specs:
End of Aisle Pallet Rack Capacity Labels
  • No less than 50 square inches
  • In “clear, legible print”:
  • “The maximum permissible unit load and/or maximum uniformly distributed load per level”
  • “The average unit load of applicable”
  • “Maximum total load per bay”
  • “Storage levels with multiple stacking of unit loads”
Readers should also note:
  • “Load application and rack configuration drawings shall be furnished with each rack installation. A copy should be retained by the owner for future reference.”
  • “If a pallet rack or stacker rack system is designed for more than one shelf configuration or profile, the drawings are to include either all the permissible configurations or limitations as to the maximum number of shelves, the maximum distance between shelves and the maximum distance from the floor to the bottom shelf.”
That’s it. Label your pallet rack with the above information, and you’ve both met regulations and taken a step towards making your warehouse that much safer. We hope the information provided has been helpful. We encourage you to give us a call at 800-722-5908 if you’ve got a pallet rack question or are looking for pallet rack products or pallet rack capacity labels – we’d love to help.

By: Al Boston

Friday, September 26, 2014

How to Install Tennsco Heavy Duty Shelving

When it comes to industrial shelving, it’s hard to beat the value that’s brought to the table by Tennsco’s Z-Line heavy duty line. Holding up to 2250 lbs. per shelf, “heavy duty” is really an understatement. If you can fit it on the shelf, there’s a pretty good chance the shelf can hold it. But before you start using your Tennsco Z-Line shelving for whatever storage tasks might come your way, you’re going to have to get it assembled. The word “assembly” strikes fear in the hearts of many who’ve had nightmarish experiences assembling products, so we’ve taken it upon ourselves to create a step-by-step guide to help you through the assembly. Fortunately for all of us, it turns out it’s a fairly simple process.
  1. The first step in any assembly is to organize the components, and Tennsco heavy duty shelving assembly is no different. When you organize your components, you won’t have to search for them when you need them, and don’t have to worry about mixing them up.
  2. The next step will be to connect two EUR upright posts together with the LRA shelf supports. This step is fairly straightforward; simply insert the pegs of one end of the shelf support into the slots of one of the uprights, and firmly hammer into place with a rubber or rawhide mallet. Repeat this with the other end of the shelf support and the other upright. Start with the bottom shelf support, then move on to the top, to form one end of the shelving unit. Then, repeat these steps to form the other end of the shelving unit.
  3. After step 2, you’ll want to connect the two ends of the shelving unit with two LRA left-two-right shelf supports. You’ll execute this step just like step 2, hammering in the left-to-right shelf supports at the same level as the end supports in order to form an even shelf level.
  4. Once all of the shelf supports have been installed to form the bottom shelf level, attach the SDS shelf reinforcement to the rivets on the inside of the left-to-right shelf supports and hammer into place. Now your shelving level will be equipped to hold maximum weight.
  5. Now that the shelving level is ready, you’ll place the board on top of it, forming the complete bottom shelf.
  6. Repeat the previous steps with the next two shelving levels, and your shelving system will be complete and ready to use.

Based in Maple Grove, Minnesota, +AK Material Handling Systems offers high quality pallet rack products, shelving, and personalized warehouse consultation. No matter how big or small your project is, we’ve got the rack and the know-how to make it a reality. Give us a call today at 800-722-5908, or email us at sales@akequipment.com. We look forward to working with you to create your storage solution.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

How to Assemble Tennsco Low Profile Shelving

You’ve successfully completed stage one in your journey to storage success: purchasing your Tennsco shelving. You’re ready to get your shelving assembled and put it to use, but you’re not sure where to start. After all, there are a lot of components to Tennsco shelving systems, and things can get a bit confusing, particularly if you’re not accustomed to shelving assembly. No matter though, the team at AK Material Handling Systems has put together a simple, step-by-step instructional blog and video detailing how to assemble Tennsco’s low profile shelving. For you visual learners, we’ve got the how-to video posted below. If you’re ready to get started, read on!

Your first step when assembling your Tennsco shelving unit will be to organize the individual shelving components. This may seem like a given, but it’s a step that’s frequently overlooked. Failing to organize the individual shelving components prior to assembly can lead to a cluttered mess, as well as confusion about which parts are which. In addition, organizing the parts of your shelving will give you a better visual as to how they’ll eventually be put together.

The next step will be to connect two (EUR) upright posts together with two (DRS) end supports. To do this, you’re going to need two people. One person will stand holding one EUR upright post in each hand. The other person will start by inserting one side of the DRS end support into the slots at the bottom of one of the EUR upright posts. Then, they will do the same with the other side of the DRS end support and other upright post. After that, they will repeat the process at the top of the upright posts. At this point, one end of the shelving system will be complete. The entire process will then be repeated with the other end of the shelving.

The third step in the Tennsco shelving assembly process will be to connect the two ends of the shelving system with your left-to-right shelf supports. This step is similar to the first step; simply line up the end of the shelf support at the same height on the upright post as the end support to ensure an even shelf. Then, do the same with the other left-to-right shelf support. At this point, each left-to right shelf support will be connected to one end of the shelving. After this, you’ll want to do the same at the other end, so you’ll have the frame ready for your bottom shelf level.

Repeat the previous steps with the top shelving level to stabilize the unity, and then with the remaining shelving level. After that, place the shelving boards on the level.

Just as simple as that, you’re done assembling your Tennsco low profile shelving. We hope this video has helped you get your shelving installed. To see our full inventory of shelving, pallet rack, and custom warehouse services, check us out at www.akequipment.com.

+AK Material Handling Systems has the experience and professionalism to help you with whatever storage needs you might have. Let us prove it to you – give us a call at 800-722-5908, or send us an email at sales@akequipment.com. We look forward to hearing from you!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Pallet Rack Wire Mesh Decking

Often times conversation about pallet rack centers around two components: upright frames and cross beams.  This comes as no surprise, considering these two components comprise what would be considered the “rack” itself.  However, it’s important to keep in mind the other, smaller components that contribute to the strength, safety, and functional quality of pallet rack.  Among these is w

As an alternative to wood or corrugated steel decking, wire decking offers a number of advantages.  One of the most important of these is that it allows overhead light to be better dispersed, giving forklift drivers better visual identification of the products and pallets they’re loading and unloading from the rack system.

Another unique advantage is wire decking’s ability to allow overhead sprinkler systems to take effect if a fire were ever to occur in the warehouse, which not only makes the warehouse a safer place, but can reduce insurance rates and help in the compliance of local fire codes.  This aspect makes wire decking a “dual threat,” adding both convenience and safety.

Last, but certainly not least on the list of advantageous features is the versatility that accompanies using wire decking.  By simply utilizing wire decking, one can store both full pallet loads and less-than-full pallet loads on the same rack system.  This gives warehouse managers an added flexibility not seen in warehouses using wood or corrugated steel decking.  And, wire decking is incredibly simple to use as well; simply set it on the beams and enjoy the benefits.

AK Material Handling is a major stocking distributor of pallet rack wire decks, carrying multiple sizes, brands, and styles of wire decking.  To order or get more information on wire decking, give us a call at 800-722-5908.
ire decking, the wire mesh platform which is situated atop the cross beams in each pallet position.