Better Pushback Pallet Rack Calls for Better Forklift Training

Proper training prevents forklift damage, pallet rack damage on pushback rack systems that maximize warehouse storage and selectivity.

(PRWEB) July 10, 2007 -- To maximize storage and selectivity, savvy warehouse managers are increasingly turning from traditional techniques like floor stacking and selective racks to advanced methods such as the pushback pallet rack, which offers up to 90 percent more product storage than selective storage rack systems and up to 400 percent more selectivity than drive-in racks. Yet while warehouse facilities are significantly ramping up productivity and reducing operating costs with pushback systems, proper training is required to achieve full safety and effectiveness.


"Forklift operators used to static storage systems need to shift their thinking when using a dynamic pushback system," says John Calkins, Vice President of Sales at Meyer Material Handling, a national reseller and installer of material handling and storage systems with considerable experience in pushback systems. "While the upside of using a dynamic pushback system is huge, failing to do so properly can compromise safety and lead to product damage, forklift damage and pallet rack damage."

Unlike static, single-pallet deep selective racks, a dynamic pushback storage rack system allows storing pallets two to five deep while providing easy access to a variety of different SKUs. Pallets are stored behind each other in a series of nested carts and are loaded from the same side of the system, eliminating separate aisles for each function. Composed of a stable rack along with a series of inclined carts and rails, when one pallet is pulled, the one behind it rolls forward.

To quickly get forklift operators up to speed on the key differences between traditional static loads and the dynamic pushback system while avoiding forklift damage or pallet rack damage, proactive warehouse managers are training staff with the help of a free "Pushback System Safe Operating Procedures User Handbook," offered by Steel King Industries, of Stevens Point, Wisconsin, a leading manufacturer and provider of pushback systems. The pushback safety handbook highlights best practice procedures, and illustrates them with easy-to-understand graphics.

"Using the Safety manual should cut forklift operators' learning curve in half, while helping them operate more safely and productively," says Calkins, who's familiar with the manual and plans to use parts of it to train at pushback installations he's involved with. "It captures the best practices we've learned from years of experience. It covers the three main points that every forklift driver must master to get the most out of a pushback system: controlling the load when it comes forward; properly positioning pallets; and avoiding 'cross stacking,' or the placing of pallets on multiple carts."

By employing a pushback pallet rack system and principles covered in the safety manual, Meyer Material Handling helped one wire-manufacturing customer implement a warehouse system that essentially doubled storage in about 60 percent less space, compared to a previous selective rack system, according to Calkins. "That lowered long-term overhead costs, while enabling expansion possibilities," says Calkins. "Many pushback systems can generate ROI in just over two years."

For a free copy of Steel King's "Pushback System Safe Operating Procedures User Handbook," contact Donald Heemstra at Steel King, 2700 Chamber St., Stevens Point, WI 54481; call 800-826-0203; or visit the website

Courtesy of PR Web: