How To: Loading and Unloading a Pushback Pallet Racking System


Prior to loading the pushback system:

  1. Check the quality of your pallets – If using standard Lo-Pro Pushback your pallet should have 5 left to right bottom boards in good condition and properly fastened. Double check to make sure there is no overhang from a pallet because this could cause the cart to hang up.  Improperly stacked boxes, slip sheets, carton flaps or loose shrink wrap could also cause the cart to get hung up in the system.  Plastic pallets or wood pallets with no bottom boards should only be used in a full support pushback system.
  2. Check to make sure your load is banded or shrink wrapped correctly – This will help secure the load to the pallet to minimize the potential for shifting of your products when loading/unloading the system.

Loading the pushback system:

  1. When loading the pushback system:
    • Slightly lift up the forks and lift the pallet 3-4” above the top cart. This puts the pallet in line with the upper slope of the pushback system. 
    • Load the pallet into the system by carefully placing the pallet on the first cart until it contacts the rear vertical support.
    • Center the pallet on the cart and line it up to the front angle which gives the pallet the most support and minimizes stress on the bottom boards. This will help the system flow more effectively.
    • Remove the forks from the pallet slowly and do not tilt the forks forward because the system slopes uphill and this action may damage the pallet or the pushback system.
  2. When placing additional pallets in the system:
    • Raise them up 4” above the cart so that it pushes back the previous pallet.
    • Center the load and align the pallet with the front angle or skid stops.
    • When loading the final pallet be careful to load on the front load beam and rails. If the load is not pulled forward, then the pallet will not be fully supported, and the bottom boards could get damaged.
    • Push only one cart back at a time. If more than one cart is pushed back then pull the pallet out until the latching spring resets.  More than one pallet on the cart can cause pallet damage, system failure or cause loose boxes to be jarred from the pallet.

Unloading the pushback system:

  1. When unloading the cart pick the pallet up 4” above the cart. Control the speed of the remaining pallet loads by removing the pallet from the pushback system slowly.  The appropriate speed is never faster than the remaining pallets sliding forward in the system.  If the speed is not controlled, then pallets could slide forward into the aisle.  If this happens and product ends up in the aisle it is very important to immediately correct the misplaced load.  Check your surroundings before backing up from the system and remove the product from the front pallet position.
  2. If using pushback for a picking operation, make sure you have pallet stops attached to the front beam or welded to the rail frame prior to operating. The weight of a full pallet can push lighter front pallets forward causing them to slide towards the aisle and picker.  Double check to make sure pallet stops are in place to keep your team safe.

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