Tier-Rack Corporation, a leading US manufacturer of stack racks, warehouse rack and returnables issues a customer advisory on how to protect your company from unscrupulous portable rack dealers.
When getting a quote or buying stack racks for your company, how do you know for sure that you are getting the right product?
It all starts at the quoting process. You will want to start with a reputable company with an on-staff engineer who can properly design a rack that will safely store your actual product based on your usage. Then make sure to call out all specifications in your quote request including load ratings, stack heights, all tubing gauges, rack design details and empty rack weight. Also make sure to specify domestically produced racks to avoid inferior overseas tubing, manufacturing and 10-12 week or longer lead times.
Be sure to compare the design, rack weight and pricing to make sure the quotes are comparable. Lastly and most importantly, remember to clarify in your quote request that racks will be tested and weighed randomly on receipt and racks not meeting specifications will be rejected. Some companies will price out racks just below 14 gauge pricing to get the order and then switch to lighter 16 gauge steel in order to maximize their profits. Others will use a domestic FOB point like Memphis to make it appear that the racks are being produced domestically but will ship them in from Korea or China and ship them out from there. Ask about warrantys and if you are buying racks that have no manufacturer's label stating load ratings or stack heights...beware! Once you buy from a manufacturer in China, you have NO legal recourse should someone be hurt due to inferior product failures or any other problems.
To be sure you are getting the best value and dealing directly with a portable rack manufacturer, inquire about the physical address of their manufacturing location and check them out online.
Some of the most common pitfalls to avoid are:
- Dealers or distributors posing as actual rack manufacturers
- Inferior overseas material and workmanship
- Quoting lighter gauge tubing
- Quoting the correct gauges but then delivering lighter gauge racks
- Omitting rack tags indicating manufacturer and safe load limits
- Using a domestic FOB (shipping point) to make it appear the racks are being produced in the US.