Help & Advice: FAQs on Storage and Equipment

Help & Advice

We’re here to help…

At Allstore, we’re committed to helping our clients to get the most out of their storage solutions and warehouse equipment in order to secure them competitive advantage. By taking the time to understand our customers’ business needs, we are able to design bespoke solutions that maximise the potential of their warehouse space and resources.

Browse through our list of FAQs below and don’t hesitate to contact us with any specific questions you may have.

How wide should my racking aisles be?

The width of the aisles in a warehouse has a critical effect on its storage capacity and space utilisation. The answer to this question depends on the storage capacity you need to achieve within your warehouse and, if you have existing handling equipment, what type of trucks you are using. Some fork-lift trucks require more space to operate than others and that means wider aisles. Standard counterbalanced trucks (yard trucks) generally operate in aisles wider than 3.4m. Narrow Aisle trucks – such as reach trucks – operate in aisles about 2.8m wide. Very Narrow Aisle (VNA) trucks, however, work in aisles less than 2.1m wide, often using wire, rail or optical guidance systems. Generally, the narrower the aisle width, the more expensive the fork-lift truck required to service it but the greater the storage capacity for any given racking footprint.

Which pallet racking layout is right for me?

The most common type of racking layout is selective, which gives instant access to each stock-keeping unit (SKU) from aisles each side of the racking. With double-deep racking, pallets are stored two deep and accessed from the same aisle using trucks with extending forks. Reducing the number of aisles allows up to 33% additional storage capacity over conventional selective pallet racks. However, your pallets are now handled according to LIFO (last in, first out). An extension of this concept is push-back racking, which uses wheeled carriers on each beam level to store pallet loads in LIFO format up to five deep. Loads are accessed by a standard truck, with each pick face having its own SKU, and this system gives up to 75% more storage capacity compared to conventional selective racking. With drive-in racking, loads are stored on runners in the depth of the racking for very high density storage. The first pallet in each lane is the last pallet out, so this system is best suited to loads stored as batches. In pallet live storage systems, loads are stored in lanes of inclined gravity rollers, allowing the next load to roll down when the pallet at the pick face is retrieved. Replenishment stock is loaded into the system at the other end of each lane, making this a dynamic FIFO (first in, first out) system with extremely high storage density. The ideal solution for the safe storage of long and heavy loads – such as timber, steel stock or carpet rolls – is cantilever racking. Often, a large warehouse will need a mix of these racking types to suit its various operations.

Is pre-owned racking a safe option?

It can be a safe and economical option, but – as with any used equipment – you must take precautions before making a purchase. Only buy pre-owned racking if you know its history from new. Beware of racking described as ‘refurbished’, as this may simply mean that the rust has been painted over! Most importantly, only buy second-hand racking if it has been kept inside; rust can be an issue if it has been kept outside for any period of time, affecting the load-carrying capacity. A good indication of the quality of the racking is whether the supplier will put SEMA load notices on it. Also, remember to check that new spares are still available for repairs. Finally, compare the cost with the price for new – the difference might be less than you would think! All pre-owned equipment supplied by Allstore is checked for structural damage or deformities, as well as for suitability for your products and your operational needs. Rack loading boards are supplied to ensure that the system is not overloaded and installation is undertaken in line with the SEMA code of practice.

Can you dismantle and remove my old racking?

We are happy to dismantle and remove your existing racking, shelving and mezzanine floor systems; we may even be able to offer you a buy back value for them, depending on their condition and specification.

What permissions do I need to install a mezzanine floor?

In most cases, planning permission is not necessary, although you should check any conditions attached to your building’s original planning consent. You will, however, need building regulation approval but we can prepare the necessary drawings and arrange this for you. If you have a landlord, you will also need to obtain his approval before commencing any building work. Generally, storage mezzanines do not affect the rateable value of a building but mezzanines used for administrative purposes may do.

Do you sell material handling equipment?

No, we don’t but, with many years’ experience in the industry, we are happy to make recommendations of trusted suppliers to you.