How to Reduce Pallet Damage in Your Warehouse Floor?
Warehouses are built to be productive. A pallet received per hour, a pallet stacked per hour, or a pallet loaded per hour are among the metrics used in reporting. As a result, facilities and teams are assessed on their throughput, and pallet damage is simply considered a cost of doing business.
It is true, however, that times have changed. There is a shortage of pallets and higher pallet prices for companies. Instead of simply fulfilling orders on time, they are now seen as assets. The supply chain is also becoming increasingly aware that pallets damaged in the race for throughput speed can have other costly consequences downstream.
Pallets with damaged bottom boards may be hung up during a critical time of the day in storage equipment, or handling equipment may be damaged by pallet debris. Worker injuries and product damage are also increased risks. When it comes to pallet handling, it is easy to make false economies by taking shortcuts to save time.
Make sure you slow down before picking up a pallet
When a forklift contacts a wood pallet with force, it damages the lead boards, which are the first line of defense against the forklift.
Make sure the forklift is placed precisely
As well as reducing the force of impact, slowing down immediately before entry allows for more accurate placement. Pallet blocks and stringer ends can be damaged by misaligned forklift tips
Keep forklift level horizontally.
Make sure you pick up unit loads with horizontal forks whenever possible. If the pallet’s top deck boards are stressed unevenly by forks on an incline, damage is more likely to occur.
Depending on the load, adjust the forklifts spread
To ensure safety and minimize pallet stresses, operators should adjust fork spread for facilities using multiple pallet sizes.
Avoid short forking
When the forks enter the pallet only partially, it is called short forking. The uneven stresses caused by short forking can lead to pallet damage, just as in the case above.
Instead of spinning pallets, lift them to turn them
Pallets are often spun by employees using a forklift or pallet jack on a busy loading dock rather than lifted and turned. During pallet spinning, localized pressure can weaken or damage the stringer’s end.
It is not a good idea to move multiple pallets at once
It might seem like a great idea to use a forklift to move multiple unit loads across a warehouse floor. Moving five unit loads is faster than moving one. As a result of pushing multiple loads, the bottom boards of the pallets as well as the forklift transmission are placed under undue strain. It is also possible to increase safety risks by pushing multiple pallets at once. By obstructing the operator’s view, loads may obscure the operator’s view of other workers and equipment.
Correct placement with on pallet jacks
Load wheels on double pallet jacks can damage the bottom deck boards when the forks are not properly positioned when lifting a single pallet. Forks can be painted with a line to indicate how deeply to enter a pallet, which will help prevent this problem.
Loads should be lowered before being pushed against adjoining loads
It is important that the operator lowers the load before making contact with the adjacent load when loading a trailer or staging a row of unit loads on the warehouse floor. Having the load make contact with the adjoining pallet before it has been fully lowered can damage it.
Pallets don’t have to be casualties of your daily operations in warehouses. You can prevent pallet-related supply chain disruptions by ensuring proper equipment operation through training and daily supervision.