Just because steel skate wheel pallet flow is considered a lower cost pallet flow solution, doesn’t mean that broken parts and productivity losses should be routine or expected. Mallard’s Buyer Beware blog series is here to help you identify the product features, design considerations and installation quality that you should expect from your skate wheel pallet flow. Using these standards should help you choose the most productive and cost-effective system for your facility.
Caution #1: Don’t be fooled by inferior skate wheel pallet flow products.
While a system can be rated to withstand the load capacity, inferior materials and manufacturing limit the system’s ability to handle extensive use. Dynamic systems are designed to move. Whether in pick modules or simply flowing pallets, they are in fairly constant motion and much more likely to get damaged vs a static system. Choosing a well designed and manufactured product will help prevent damage and enable the system to work most efficiently for you.
Mallard steel skate wheel pallet flow is economical… because it’s durable. Here’s the level of quality that you should expect from your skate wheel system…
Mallard Steel Skate Wheel Pallet Flow
- Manufactured with rugged ball bearing construction
- 1.9” & 2.25” wheel diameter options
- 100# or 300# wheel capacity
- Inline or staggered wheel rail options
Our skate wheels are available in several sizes and for a range of pallet capacities up to 2000# to ensure that your pallet flow system can be tailored to the specs of your application needs and the demands of your picking operation.
Caution #2: Skimping on system design will cost you in the end.
One of the most common mistakes we see is a system designed using 2 rails of skate wheels instead of 3. Now, there are circumstances where two rails are perfectly acceptable, but quite often the addition of a center rail is the most cost-effective solution given the demands on the average pallet flow lane. If your pallet capacity is over the limit for two rails (again wheel construction plays a big role here) it will stress the pallets causing splintering and stuck pallets leading to costly downtime and repairs. Three rail systems better distribute the pallet weight across the lane which reduces stress on the pallets and the wheeled rails to keep your system flowing.
2 Rail Lane Unsuitable for Pallet Capacity
Caution #3: There’s no substitute for experienced, quality installation.
Inferior hardware and incorrect brackets will cause the rails to underperform or break due to the natural course of a busy warehouse. Mallard recommends carriage bolt/whiz nuts for mounting our steel skate wheel rails and we offer mounting options including sturdy step beam mounts. An experienced installation team will follow manufacturer recommendation for installation and save you the problems that occur with installation short cuts… be choosy with your installation team.
Something else to consider are the accessories supplied with your skate wheel pallet flow system. For example, ramp stops installed at the pick end of the lane ensure a safe pallet stop and help keep the pallet in place until it is removed. Ramp stops that are not rated for the capacity of the load and/or not installed properly can fail and create a completely unnecessary safety and productivity risk.
We recently did an evaluation of a 2-deep steel skate wheel system for a busy food distribution facility. As you can see in the photos, the pallet flow product and installation were not up to the task.
Wrong (or Missing) Mounting Hardware and Bracket
Misaligned or Inferior Ramp Stop Mounting
The Good News
Now for the good news. As we stated from the get-go, steel skate wheel is a reliable, low-cost pallet flow solution. While the pictures above show a system in disrepair, the good news is that this is NOT a typical skate wheel system and certainly not a Mallard steel skate wheel system. Our gravity flow experts understand your warehousing system needs and productivity requirements and will design a system to fill those needs. Better than that, our in-house engineering test lab will test out your system before you purchase it to ensure it will meet your needs. The most simple way to get started on your pallet flow system design is to give us a call and we’ll take it from there.