The forklift separator (FL-300) is a friend for deep-lane, multi-level, high-density pallet flow systems. Why do we say that? Deep-lane systems are highly efficient and productive uses of warehouse space and resources, as long as they are properly designed to accommodate for pallet back pressures… that’s where the forklift separator springs into action.
Back pressure is the force of gravity in a downward pitched flow lane. The combined weight of all the pallets resting against each other adds a potentially hazardous amount of force behind the pallet at the pick face. When the pallet is extracted, it can get hung up from the pressure and endanger your workers, equipment, even the inventory. However, all that pressure is removed simply and easily with the forklift separator. Here is an example of how to calculate the force of the back pressure in your pallet flow system:
Calculating Back Pressure
Multiply the combined weight of the rear pallets by .06, i.e. for a 10-deep flow system with 2,500 lb. loads = .06 x 2,500 lbs. x 9 pallets or 1350 lbs. of extra pressure.
Now that you realize how much pressure you need to alleviate, let’s help you design your pallet flow lane most effectively. We’re sharing our answers to the 7 most frequently asked questions regarding the forklift separator, but feel free to contact our team with additional questions or to schedule a simulated pallet flow test in our in-house testing lab.
7 FAQs – Is the forklift separator right for my application?
How do I know I need a forklift separator?
Forklift separators are ideal for deep-lane, multi-level pallet flow configurations. Isolating the front pallet and removing back pressure of the rear pallets is critical in deep-lane systems and particularly at higher elevations where forklift mast capacity is reduced.
- Can I retrofit my existing pallet flow system with the forklift separator?
Existing pallet flow lanes can be retrofit with forklift separators; however, an additional rail length of at least 12” would have to be spliced into the lane to account for the pallet separation. In addition, speed controllers would have to be added if they were not already installed in the lane. Your Mallard sales representative will review your existing lane design and provide the best options for your custom separator retrofit.
- Can I use the forklift separator in cold storage and freezer applications?
The forklift separator is ideal for cold storage and freezer applications. It combines the efficiency of deep-lane storage and productivity of pallet flow’s automatic pick face replenishment to increase productivity and improve operator safety in otherwise harsh conditions.
How are the rear pallets released?
The pallet separator is automatically triggered once the front pallet is lifted by the forklift. The rear pallets release and gently glide forward while the hold-back device engages to stop the rear pallets approx. 4”-6” from the front pallet.
- How deep can the pallet flow system go when equipped with the forklift separator?
Pallet flow lanes up to 10 pallets deep is recommended for the forklift separator.
- What pallet flow rack options are available for use with the forklift separator?
Mallard offers split roller, Magnum wheel and steel skate wheel pallet flow that can all be used with the forklift separator. Roller systems require split rails at discharge end where the separator is installed. The application is versatile regarding pallet weights, inventory type, pallet style and it is also washdown compatible for food safety compliance.
Are there additional lane accessories recommended for use with the forklift separator?
As noted above, the deep-lane pallet flow system should be equipped with speed controllers to regulate the flow of the pallets down lane, but we also recommend the use of ramp stops at the end of the lane. The ramp stops provide an extra measure of security for holding the pallet in place until the forklift removes it from the lane. Mallard ramp stops are unique in that they bolt onto the pallet flow rails (as opposed to being welded in place) and can therefore be easily replaced if damaged without replacing the entire rail… minimizing downtime and expense.
Forklift Separator Series Advantages
- Increases productivity with easier forklift handling
- Improves forklift and operator safety
- Designed for deep-lane, multi-level pallet flow systems
- Use with all track types
- Automatic pallet release and reset
The Mallard gravity flow specialists are available to review your pallet flow system needs and provide design consultation and requirements. Contact us today!