How to Best Protect the Truck-Aisle Column

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Straddle Protector - 2 Anchors

Fork truck traffic down the aisles can be the biggest threat to pallet rack uprights. The bottom portion of the truck-aisle column is the area of the pallet rack structure that is most likely to be damaged. An excellent option, particularly when the fork truck has outriggers is a welded bottom column straddle bumper. If racking is already installed, there are also many available bolt-on options for rack column protection. This option can be improved upon by making the wise decision to install a second anchor for the truck-aisle column.

If there is only the one anchor and the bumper (or column) is struck from the side or a diagonal direction, the entire bottom of the column will want to twist or spin about the single axis that is the lone anchor. The installation of a second anchor helps the column resist this tendency to twist. For this reason, a more complete and recommended solution to adding a bottom front bumper is to also add the second anchor to the front column.

In some applications, such as higher seismic regions, there may already be a requirement for more than one anchor in the aisle column. In these applications the two (or more) anchors used should be adequate to resist bottom column twist. However, in non-seismic areas, you should always consider adding a very cost-effective extra anchor even though local building codes do not require it. It is “cheap insurance.”