Warehouse Floors: A Short Rulebook Part 2

Here’s the second part of my short rulebook on the “what and how” of creating a good (if not the best) warehouse for your business. This is just an overview of the leading techniques and practices used by revolutionary warehouse designers to obtain a standard and suitable warehouse floor profile throughout the region.

Let’s first discuss the issue of forklifts. Although a warehouse would rarely be designed solely as a forklift model, potential customers should also consider a few factors that would ultimately require forklift selection. The space for one, which is required for easy movement between the floor profile of the aisles, must easily accommodate forklifts, which in turn will affect the layout of the racks.

Going further, options like cold storage require the presence of forklift models made to cope with lower temperatures and the likelihood of a tighter area. Since goods are always at risk of being damaged, the quality of the fuel must be limited in the forklift.

Second is construction. The construction of a warehouse is generally affected by a number of factors, among which are: the height of the building, the size of the parcel, the service requirements of the building as a whole and the structural complexity itself. It may be surprising that aspects such as the height of a building not only affect the concrete profiles of the structure, but also the fire prevention system used.

The type of fire system installed will determine the cost of the project and the average time allotted for construction. In the case of in-rack sprinklers, for example, they can only be installed once the in-rack installation is complete. This nuisance typically delays building occupancy for at least two months, in stark contrast to the use of more conventional fire prevention options. The application of the VNA or Very Narrow Aisle options may also have some effect on the profile of the concrete slab, which must meet TR-35 specifications to make ‘super flat slabs’.

To save yourself the hassle and expense of unsuccessful construction, the site should always be assessed to ensure optimum floor flatness with respect to adjacent roadways. The developer must budget an approximate time of three months that allows him to calibrate the scope of the undertaking, receive prices for the scope of the work, preselect competent contractors, analyze said prices, award the work and prepare the designs in detail. Lastly, you need to obtain a building permit. Therefore, it is a good idea to start all these complicated tasks even before the construction period has started.

And then, there is the Flatness of the Ground. The need for a flat floor is one of the basic concrete profiles emphasized due to the fact that some truck manufacturers do not warrant new forklifts except if certain specifications regarding floor flatness are met. Since many forklifts lack suspension systems or tires to help absorb bumps in the road, warranty costs will be consecutively higher if the forklift is equipped with a substandard floor. As little as 1/116th of an inch in floor height variation is enough for the truck’s wheels to lift off the pavement when operating at full throttle, causing stress on the unit. Continuous stress on the unit will invariably lead to its failure, resulting in more expense for repairs, which is not something any driver or taxpayer would want. In addition to wasting time and money on repairs, these small mistakes can pose big risks to operators, causing possible damage and injury to the unit.

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