It is safe to say that if you have pallet rack in a warehouse where product is moving on forklifts or pallet jacks, you have lower level pallet rack damage. In my travels around the country I have seen many different types of rack repair. Some repair kits seem almost over-designed for the application and I definitely do not have a problem with that. However, some “homemade designs” by local fab shops are welded and bolted nightmares. Pallet rack repair kits are not to be taken lightly. It is important that the replacement parts attached are, at a minimum, the same gauge steel as the damaged parts they are replacing and also compatible design. I have seen custom sloped-leg replacement rack repair kits with a little too much slope and welded straight-leg repairs with high-stacking shims to help level out a repair kit that is improperly sized. Pallet rack damage is bad enough, but far too often warehouses compound the problem with mismatched repair kits doubling the danger.
Repair kits should always be ordered from authorized dealers or the manufacturer. If you are in doubt, always contact the pallet rack manufacturer. Most rack companies fabricate pallet rack repair kits from their own standard components that can be welded or bolted. Either a welded design or a bolted design will work, but the bolted option is generally a less complicated installation. The harsh fumes from welding on-site can lead to OSHA violations and fire safety issues. If you are having local companies take steel scraps and make a repair kit, it is likely not the same steel chemistry or design as the existing upright. Money and time saved now will cost you more in the long run.
The pallet rack repair kit design and fabrication is not the only concerning matter I have witnessed. Some of the installations were dangerous as well. It is imperative that the kit not only fit properly but be installed by a trained technician. Do not let just anyone cut your racking system and install new parts. If you do not have a list of qualified rack repair installers you can contact the manufacturer. You do not want employees or anyone installing pallet rack repair kits who do not have training and experience. Again, your problems can go from bad to worse if unskilled people are cutting apart your existing racking system without unloading it and then trying to put homemade, fabricated parts in its place. If you have never seen how quickly damaged pallet rack can come down or you don’t understand how important it is to maintain the integrity of your racking system, there are hundreds of horror stories and even some videos on YouTube of falling rack.