Pallet Flow checklist
Mallard pallet flow systems are engineered to perform and built to last in the toughest of warehouse environments.  But even the “hulk” of gravity flow storage requires routine maintenance and safety checks to ensure optimal system performance and worker safety.  Your pallet flow system should be inspected for structural forklift damage, pallet or product damage and system misuse on a regular basis.  We’ve developed the following maintenance checklist to help guide you through the process.

Step 1:  Develop a Maintenance Log & Schedule

  • Conduct a visual inspection of the system within a few days of installation
    • Check for proper connections, debris and extra hardware on the floor
  • System review at one month and then quarterly after installation
    • Use review criteria provided below and give close inspection to prior repair work

Step 2: Conduct Full System Visual Inspection

  • Check for forklift damage to rack and/or support rails
  • Test speed controllers
    • Make sure all springs are intact for controllers with springs
  • Scan impact zones for damaged or missing rollers or wheels

Step 3: Implement a Manual Inspection

  • Test speed controllers – turn to test resistance
  • Check fastener connections
    • Beam to uprights
    • Row spacers to uprights
    • Floor anchors
    • Flow rails to beams or mounting tabs
    • Entry guides secured

Step 4: Create a Pallet Review Program  

  • Check for the following pallet conditions
    • Missing/splintered boards
    • Protruding nails
    • Even flow surface and board thickness for repaired pallets
    • If plastic, check that all pods are intact and runners – no plastic should be hanging below the pallet flow rollers
    • Ensure that pallets comply with the design parameters of the original system. i.e. same pallet/style and weight range

Step 5: Document All System Inspections and Repairs

Chep Pallet Remember – Good Pallets = Good Pallet Flow! We say this with each and every project.  New or like-new GMA wood pallets, similar to CHEP and PECO, are manufactured according to industry standards and designed for optimal load stability and consistent reliable flow.

The SAFE way to handle a Pallet Hang-up

Pallet hang-ups happen– most are caused by everyday warehouse conditions; weak/broken pallets, debris, pallet loads that settle on tracks, temperature changes, etc. The pallet, typically deeper in the lane, will get stuck or won’t restart when the front pallet is extracted.  Luckily we have an easy fix.  In the field we call it “Plugging the Pallet Flow“.  It relies on simple physics, or inertia, to get those stubborn pallets moving again.

Mallard Pallet Flow Plugging the System videoHere’s How:

  1. Lift the front pallet 1″ above the rollers
  2. Firmly push or bump the rear pallets back into the lane, about 4″
  3. Back out, extracting the front pallet and gently “plugging” the rear pallets forward

Simple, right? Plugging may not be necessary in every system or situation, but we highly recommend using the approach for all pallet extractions to avoid unnecessary, time-consuming hang-ups.

More Hang-Up Methods & Safety Tips

  • Never enter a loaded pallet flow lane from the CHARGE end
  • If a lone pallet is hung-up, put another pallet in the lane at the CHARGE end and see if the stuck pallet will dislodge with the force of the new pallet
  • If not, continue to load the lane from the CHARGE end until full or pallet releases
  • If unsuccessful, remove last pallet loaded in lane
  • Remove all pallets from adjacent lane
  • Enter empty lane following facility safety requirements (tie-offs, etc.)
  • Diagnose reason for pallet hang (debris, bad pallet, etc.)
  • Manually free the pallet if possible
  • If unsuccessful, have forklift operator load pallets from DISCHARGE end until hung pallet can be pushed back
  • Operator in rack can provide guidance so lift operator knows when stuck pallet is contacted by stack

If you have any additional questions regarding pallet flow maintenance or system design, call our experts.

 1-800-243-6694 US Only