How to Take Down Pallet Racking

Efficiency is king in the warehouse world. Any small change — or even a big one — that makes your warehouse more efficient is a step toward higher revenue. That means you may have good reason to make some changes to your warehouse setup, whether it’s a new layout or an entirely new facility. Either way, you may find yourself in the position of having to take down some pallet racking.

Let’s be clear right out of the gate: there is a right way to take down a pallet rack, and there are dozens of wrong ways. In this post, we’re going to walk you through how to take down pallet racking the right way, as well as some considerations to keep in mind before getting to work. Let’s get started.

4 Steps to Disassemble Pallet Racking

The team at East Coast Storage Equipment has broken down how to disassemble pallet racking into four major steps. Each of these steps contains multiple smaller tasks, but these are the four main categories:

  1. Remove Wire Decking and Other Accessories
  2. Take Down the Beams
  3. Remove the Anchors
  4. Bundle It Up
The basic components of a pallet rack are upright frames, beams, wire decking and baseplates.

1. Remove Wire Decking and Other Accessories

The first step in taking down a pallet rack is removing all the decking and accessories. Carefully remove every piece of wire decking, any shelf dividers and column and post protectors.

2. Take Down the Beams

Once you have all the accessories removed from your pallet racking, it’s time to take down the beams. These are the horizontal supports that hold the pallets. Remove the beams one by one, following the manufacturer’s recommendations for your specific type of pallet racking.

3. Remove the Anchors

Depending on the number of pallet racks you’re taking down, you may be left with dozens of anchors in your warehouse’s concrete floor. To complete the job, you’re going to need to remove these and repair any damaged concrete. 

It is extremely difficult to remove a pallet rack anchor without damaging the concrete. These anchors are designed to be permanently embedded and withstand massive forces. The good news is that you can remove the anchors and repair any damage or holes in the concrete. 

This process will depend heavily on the types of anchors you used to secure your pallet racking. Whether you used wedge anchors or strike anchors, you will likely end up leaving at least part of the anchors embedded in the concrete. 

First, remove the nut and washer. With the bolt nut removed, lay down the upright. If there is a deep enough hole beneath the remaining parts of the anchor, you may be able to pound it further into the hole. If that’s not possible, you can cut the protruding part of the anchor and pound down or grind the remaining nub until it’s flush with the rest of the concrete. Fill the remaining parts of the anchor hole with epoxy or concrete sealant.

4. Bundle It Up

If you’re planning to move the pallet racking to a new location or sell it, you will need to properly bundle each of the components and palletize them. Tightly bundle your wire decking, beams and uprights, and secure them with heavy-duty steel strapping. Make sure your bundles are tight and uniform to prevent shifting on the truck.

Pallet rack beams (pictured) should be tightly bundled and secured with heavy-duty steel strapping. Properly bundling these items keeps them from shifting and sustaining damage in transit.

Considerations Before Taking Down Pallet Racks

Now that we’ve covered the basics of how to take down pallet racking, we need to back up a bit and examine some important considerations for safety and efficiency before beginning the process.

Training and Insurance

You will more than likely need your employees’ help when you disassemble your pallet racks. This is a big job, after all. But are your employees properly trained to do this work safely and without causing problems in the process? And, perhaps more importantly, are they insured to do this kind of work so that they (and you) are covered in the event of an injury?

Taking down any large piece of warehouse equipment is inherently at least a little dangerous. Injuries can and do happen — especially when employees doing the work aren’t fully trained.

Lost Productivity and Higher Wages

Then, of course, you have the issue of lost productivity and higher costs. If your employees can do the job but take much longer than a professional, how much will you lose in additional wages and lost productivity on the floor? 

Do the math carefully to assess whether you would be better off hiring a professional warehouse equipment teardown team.

This is the wrong way. Please don’t do this.

Pallet Rack Damage and Lost Parts

Damage to your pallet racking and parts lost in the process of disassembly are certainly not the most serious of the concerns we have listed, but they are definitely expensive. Your pallet racks are some of your most valuable pieces of equipment. If your employees don’t know how to properly bundle beams and uprights, for example, these items might get damaged in transport. And a disorganized pallet rack teardown process may lead to lost parts, like bolts.

These costs can add up quickly, so it’s important to ensure your team knows not only how to disassemble pallet racking, but how to do it well. 

Pallet Rack Teardown and Liquidation from the Experts

Many successful warehouse owners don’t know how to take down pallet racking. That’s because they work with professionals for their equipment teardown, relocation and liquidation needs. 

At East Coast Storage Equipment, we have been tearing down pallet racks and other warehouse equipment for years. We know how to do this efficiently and safely without disrupting your operations. And if you plan to liquidate your pallet racks, we can leverage our nationwide network to get you competitive prices that are hard to beat. Taking down pallet racking? We can help with every part of the process. To work with us, give us a call at (732) 451-1808 or contact us online.

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