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 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

+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 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.

Monday, September 8, 2014

AK Launches NEW Website

Ever spend a couple of hours searching online for a product you need, only to find that nobody has it, or that it takes 3 months to ship?  It’s a rhetorical question, because we’ve all been there at least once, and it’s endlessly frustrating.  In the material handling products world, most of the products people would search for are readily found.  There are an abundance of manufacturers and distributors around to meet the majority of customer demand.  Not included in this category of readily available products, however, are replacement clips for pallet rack and industrial shelving.

Pallet rack systems require safety clips to keep cross beams from being dislodged, and many industrial shelving systems require clips for the shelves to rest upon.  Like most products, these clips don’t usually last forever, and eventually most people will have to replace them.  But that can prove problematic, because searches for these replacement clips usually yield inconsistent and unreliable results, making for long and arduous search sessions, often to no avail. aims to provide a solution to that problem.

Launched in 2010, the mission of is simply to provide customers with the replacement shelving and pallet rack clips they need.  So far, they’ve been successful in doing just that.  But, like any adept business, they’re constantly on the lookout to provide customers with more value.  Because of that, is proud to announce the launch of a new, revamped website. 
Don’t let the new logo throw you off — the new and improved website still offers pallet rack clips and shelving shelf clips, all shipping within 24-48 hours of service.  The revamped is simply a more informative, comprehensive, and user-friendly version of the old site.  The new site’s features include 3 multiple-angle pictures for each clip, as well as a brief informative video and descriptive paragraph, so customers know they’re getting the clips they want. Plus its mobile, so your able to take the ultimate tool with you right into your warehouse. No more printing out a picture then matching it up.

The new offers an easy-to-use alternative to the often long and frustrating traditional experience of trying to find replacement clips online, and presents an opportunity for warehouse managers and other users to make replacement clip ordering a more efficient process. Try out new updated clip search box as well.
Search for industrial shelf & pallet rack clips is based in Maple Grove, Minnesota.  To contact them, reach them via phone at 855-289-2547, or email them at

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Drafting the Winning Team: Combining Pallet Rack & Fantasy Football

By: Brian Koski

At +AK Material Handling Systems one of our team building exercises is participating in a Fantasy Football league as a company. We choose a night after work, order some pizza and enjoy selecting our favorite players for a chance at winning the coveted AK Fantasy Football Trophy. 2014 Represented our third year participating in a league together, and we were able to get 13 employees and a special guest to participate. We have found that this league strengthens relationships within our company and creates some good, clean competition within the walls of the company.

The goal of a Fantasy Football draft is to maximize the value of every draft round, or every dollar for those of you in auction drafts. The early rounds are made up of elite players that should deliver consistently and have minimal risk. As the draft proceeds, the cost of the player is less but the risk is generally higher, as the player may be injury prone or unproven. After having a blast at this year’s AK Fantasy draft, I started to wonder how our company would get drafted in a Fantasy Pallet Rack Draft. Well, I started thinking about the same terms that are used in the Fantasy Football world: value, risk, upside, tiers, handcuff, vulture, flyer, etc. As a company that specializes in pallet rack system projects, I thought it would be fun to define these terms and relate them to the process of choosing a partner for a warehouse project.

Value- Fantasy Football drafting is all about value. When it is your turn, you try and select the player with the most value to improve your team. When choosing your pallet rack supplier, value means getting higher performance from your provider than what you paid (drafted) them.

Risk- You’ve heard the phrase “Risk for Reward,” right? Well, in Fantasy Football, it may be ok to take some risks late in your draft in hopes of some late rewards, but that’s not the case when choosing a pallet rack supplier. Not knowing if you will get the performance needed to complete your project correctly, safely, and on schedule is not a risk worth taking when selecting your pallet rack supplier.  Does your partner have BTS?  (see below)

Sleeper- A fantasy football “sleeper”, is a player that drafters seem to pass over while drafting because they do not see his value. In a Pallet Rack Project, products that may be over looked by a rookie supplier while trying to keep costs down are considered Sleepers. Proper rack protection and safety products would be considered “sleepers,” because they hold great value for a small investment.

Bust- These are also the type of fantasy football players you want to try and avoid — they look good on paper, but are expected to have declining statistics from the previous years. In the pallet rack industry, “busts” can be compared to companies that look good on the internet, but whose actual facilities are merely fluff. They don't have the inventory advertised, or are not actually located at the locations they have listed. BUSTS.

Deep Bench- Drafting a deep fantasy football team is very important, because injuries happen and it’s necessary to be prepared for the worst. In the same sense, having a stocking distributor as your pallet rack supplier is also important, because when you need rack systems in your warehouse immediately, a 4-5 week lead time just won’t cut it.

Bad Team Syndrome-
In Fantasy Football, “BTS” happens when there is a talented player stuck on a bad team — typically you want to stay away from these players. You will also find BTS in the material handling industry. Certain companies are not set up to handle pallet rack projects. They specialize in other products, such as forklifts, docks, doors, etc., and are not prepared to provide you with the service needed to complete the project.  The team in this case would be salespeople, project managers, rack manufacturers, installers, and so forth.

Handcuff- Handcuffing means having the backup player on your team so that, if the starter gets hurt or under performs, you will have a quality player in their place. Our philosophy is the same, except we typically use 3-4 handcuffs with our projects. As we have grown, we have developed relationships with multiple suppliers in the pallet rack industry.  If a project takes a twist and the preferred vendor cannot deliver, we have a plan B, C, and D.  Again, the main goal is to mitigate risk.

Vulture- This is my favorite fantasy football term. Vultures are companies that come into a project late (“sure, I sell pallet rack”) and try to buy the project at a low price.  They are generally a one-trick pony (low price, low quality, and inexperienced). Be advised and stay away from the Vultures.

Obviously, I would expect most companies to choose (draft) a company that brings a quality performance every time at reasonable price. There’s no hype — just consistent results for every project. When you draft this team, you get elite results with minimal risk (see handcuff). Think of Peyton Manning last year in the 2013 draft: he had a reasonable cost (2-3 round), but provided elite results.

Hopefully this lightened up your day and provides a bit of guidance the next time you’re selecting a pallet rack supplier.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Pallet Rack Installations: Why Professional Installation Matters

In times of old, it was commonplace to do nearly everything yourself; from house maintenance and construction, to making clothes, to growing and hunting food, self-reliance was a must.  Then, with increasing availability of inexpensive services, came the trend of hiring others to do things for us, which resulted in a widespread lack of skills and unnecessary spending.  So, unsurprisingly, the winds have once again shifted, and people are taking to their tool sheds to engage in DIY projects. 

While there is worth in being able to do things without needing to hire others to do them for you, there are some things that simply should be left to professionals.  Gas appliance repairs, roofing work, checking for underground electrical wires are a few examples of things that should be left to professionals for safety reasons.  There are also jobs that should be left to professionals due to the standards of quality enforced by the professionals, which many amateurs may not be able to meet.  We can all probably think of a few things we’d rather leave to the pros because, put simply, they’re a lot better at it, and it shows in the end result.  Pallet rack installation is a combination of both of these categories.

Installing pallet rack may seem straightforward enough at first — “hook the beam into the upright slot, put the wire decking on top, whatever,” you might think.  However, it’s not quite this simple, and the stakes are extremely high when it comes to ensuring your pallet rack is installed correctly.

Pallet rack is made from steel for a reason: it’s generally used to hold a lot of weight — many thousands of pounds, usually.  When this type of weight is being stored on a tall, relatively slim structure, the importance of correct installation, down to every little detail, cannot be exaggerated. Even the most minute misplacement of a component or absence of a safety pin could spell disaster.  Professional installation means your pallet rack is attentively and deliberately installed by those who do so for a living, and can offer you the peace of mind that comes with knowing your pallet rack is assembled the way it was intended to be.

While safety is paramount, productivity is never far behind, and pallet rack installations done by professionals will deliver the results you want by ensuring the pallet rack system is installed to function the way you want.  If you have your pallet rack system designed by professionals (which we advise), then it stands to reason you would have it installed by professionals as well.  Even if your pallet rack isn’t designed by professionals, professional installation will all but guarantee that your pallet rack is installed correctly, and in the right position, in order to deliver optimal performance to your warehouse.

As it turns out, there are also more specific reasons why it’s important to have your pallet rack professionally installed.  Consider these points from AK’s own Rack Systems Specialist +Brian Koski:

“An improper rack installation will void the manufacturers’ warranty”

“Our crew will safely install rack 2-5 times faster than most customers who choose to install the rack themselves.”

“Professional rack crews are properly insured, and have the right equipment to safely install pallet rack.”

If you’re in need of professional pallet rack installation, or simply are interested in learning more about the process, give us a call at 800-722-5908 or email us at to chat with one of our friendly pallet rack design and installation specialists.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

AK Receives 2013 Baker’s Dozen Award from Ridg-U-Rak

There are a lot of elements that contribute to the success of a company, both tangible and intangible, and which can vary from business to business, and industry to industry.  Beyond these, and more specifically, there are factors that complement each other in the creation of a successful material handling outfitter.  Meaningful business relationships, quality product offering, and, of course, product sales all fall within this realm, and the opportunity to work each day towards goals such as these is one of the things that excites us about what we do at AK. 

August 13th, we were proud to be presented with the 2013 Baker’s Dozen award from Ridg-U-Rak.  The Baker’s Dozen is an award given annually by Ridg-U-Rak to its top 13 distributors, and is gauged both by sales volume and total activity throughout the course of the year. This is our fourth consecutive year obtaining the award.  

As one of the largest pallet rack manufacturers in the whole of North America, Ridg-U-Rak pumps out a staggering 100 million pounds of pallet rack each year.  They’ve been a force for innovation since their inception over 65 years ago, and continue to be one today.

We’re grateful to Ridg-U-Rak — It’s an honor to be ranked in the top tier of distributors for such a sizable company — as well as our loyal customers, without whom selling pallet rack would be impossible.  We hope it’s a positive indicator of our progression as a leader in pallet rack and material handling equipment.