The Over-Dock Pallet Storage Rack

Put more product in your warehouse without a bigger building by turning wasted space over dock doors into storage for empty pallets

The Over-Dock Pallet Storage Rack by Steel King may be the best-kept secret in material handling. As a solution to empty pallet storage problems, it can not only help warehouse/logistics managers and shipping/receiving supervisors put more product in their warehouse without a bigger building but also enhance safety, aesthetics and operational efficiency.

The problem: empty pallets can clutter up the loading dock area, occupy pallet rack positions better used for higher value finished goods/incoming materials, and are susceptible to tipping or damage when stacked on the floor.

The solution: like a kitchen cupboard for the kitchen, the Over-Dock Pallet Storage Rack keeps empty pallets safely out of the way until they're needed, when they're conveniently at hand in a specially designed over the loading dock storage rack that'll accommodate empty pallets, skids or returnable shipping containers.

With typically two shelves installed above an average 12-foot wide dock door, almost 100 sq. ft of additional floor storage space can be added above each dock door. That's floor space freed up for storing higher value items than empty pallets. The empty pallets are kept safe and secure above the dock door, right where they're needed, ready to rack incoming materials or ship outgoing goods.

The Over-Dock Pallet Storage Rack is available in three standard configurations, and can be customized to the specifications of each facility with input from Steel King material handling experts or engineering staff.

For the greatest capacity over each dock without attaching to the building or roof, heavy-duty conventional uprights can be used. Typically, these are designed to be freestanding with two support legs on a cement floor. This configuration is advantageous when no load should be added to the building wall or ceiling.

A single-leg design allows more clearance for forklift traffic, while adding no load to the building's roof structure. This configuration uses an upright frame with a special offset and a single upright column that clears the dock door height. Heavy-duty wall ties stabilize the frame, and wall tie and beam length are varied to clear the dock door. Wall ties need to be secured to a solid, concrete type wall. A sheet metal walled building would not work for this type of installation.

For maximum clearance of forklift traffic, a ceiling supported design is suitable for buildings of any wall type. "In this configuration, no lower legs interfere with forklift traffic, and rack frames are bolted or welded to the roof trusses of the building," explains John Ellis, a Steel King regional sales manager. This configuration, however, must be designed in conjunction with the building architect, who must verify the building's ability to support the additional weight of the racking and pallets.

For sufficient strength with economy, the Over-Dock Pallet Storage Rack can be built with SK2000 boltless tubular uprights. For added strength, it can be built out of structural tube or SK3000 structural channel uprights. For beams, Over-Dock Storage Racks generally use channel load beams with bolted connections. To prevent pallets from falling between beams, two bolt-in pallet supports are installed under each pallet position.

For extra security, Steel King recommends either safety netting or bolt-in steel restraining straps be used at the back of each rack bay to secure pallets. For post protection, especially of single leg racks, it recommends a protective system such as its Steel Guard system.

For more info, contact Donald Heemstra at Steel King, 2700 Chamber St., Stevens Point, WI 54481; call 800-826-0203; email: or visit the website

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