How to Choose the Right Pallet Drop Gate
5 questions to ask to ensure a proper fit for your mezzanine safety gate
Pallet drop safety gates help ensure that employees and material will be protected from falls and injuries while materials are loaded and unloaded from mezzanines and other elevated platforms.
There are a wide variety of pallet drop gates in the market; however, many of the devices are better suited for specific applications and environments. It’s not always easy to pick the right design, so Aaron Conway of Mezzanine Safet-Gates has answered a few questions about the process for us.
Questions to answer before purchasing a pallet drop gate in order to ensure you select the right device for the job:
1. Is the pallet drop opening in an opening in guardrail or in a doorway?
Guardrail openings and doorways have many differences, including the issue of foot traffic coming in and out of an opening in a door. Due to this, there are pallet drop gates that are designed to fit within a doorway, some which can even take advantage of the door itself. Guardrail openings also have their own nuances. The design depends on an the opening–and if it’s connected to rack or shelving.
2. Is a lift truck used to load pallets up to the area, or is an overhead hoist/crane used?
Consider how the material is loaded; many pallet drop gates have parts that can impede the material handling process if it’s done with an overhead device. The areas which use overhead devices will need pallet drop gates that have an open area at the top to allow for the use of the crane or hoist.\
Read more: Options for Vertical Pallet Movement
3. What happens to the material when it is lifted up to the area?
Every facility has a different process for material handling. Sometimes, the material is left in place after it’s been dropped into the area; in these instances, pallet drop gates must ensure that the employees working with the materials are not exposed to risks like falling. If the material is taken to another area for work after the drop, a pallet drop gate with enough room to move the material while reducing the safety risks is required.
4. What is the width of the opening? What is the available depth? What is the available height? What about the material width, depth and height?
Width, depth and height are key measurements in the selection of a safety gate model. Also consider the height and depth of the pallet and material, as some gates are better suited for extra tall or extra deep loads.
5. What is the environment in the area of the opening like?
The environment of the area where the safety gate will live is a key factor in the determination of what material that gate must be made of. If it’s a clean environment, such as one in a food manufacturing facility, the gate will most likely need to be constructed out of stainless steel. Corrosive environments in chemical manufacturing facilities may also require stainless steel.
Keep in mind that some areas may be much more complicated, and more questions may need to be asked to determine the right pallet drop gate for the facility. The manufacturers of the gates – like us – can help you determine the right fit, and it may require a custom build. However, by answering these five questions you can rest assured that you are well on the way to selecting the right pallet drop gate.
Aaron Conway is President of Mezzanine Safeti-Gates, Inc., a provider of pallet drop safety gates