Under the roof

Under the roof – Product Info

As the variety of building materials creases each year, dealers need even more space-efficient storage. One way to maximize available space is to install rack-supported buildings custom-designed for each yard’s specific needs.

“New products come out every single month,” says Jerry Ritz of Auto-Stak Systems, maker of the Auto-Stak automated retrieval system (circle 106) and designer of rack-supported storage buildings. “With all these products, a lot of lumberyards are dealing with space shortages.”

In a rack-supported building, cantilever or pallet racks hold up the siding and the roof. The systems can be less expensive than freestanding racks in freestanding buildings, while offering an efficient system that incorporates storage with sales, centralizing the yard’s operations. The systems can be designed as drive-through, drive-in, and single- or double-sided. One drawback, however, is that once the racks are installed, they’re fixed and cannot be rearranged to accommodate expanding SKU lists.

“A rack-supported building or T-shed [double-sided] allows the building materials to be stored out of the rain, snow, and sun and utilizes the vertical storage of the yard,” says Clint Darnell, vice president of building material sales for Sunbelt Material Handling (circle 107), a designer of rack-supported buildings. “This will lead to less damaged or warped material, and allow for time savings in pulling orders”

Rack-supported buildings designed for drive-in customers also can reduce manpower needs and overhead. And, by centralizing a yard’s stock in a rack-supported building, merchandise becomes more visible to customers. “In the old days, you’d have a building for siding, a building for pine, a building for plywood,” says Andy Bruno, regional sales manager for National Store Fixtures (circle 108), which manufactures, designs, and builds rack-supported buildings nationwide. “But those days are coming to an end, because the drive-through lumber yards and buildings allow the customer to see every product you carry. There’s more visibility to everything you sell, increasing the chances that you’re going to sell it.”

Companies like Sunbelt, Krauter Storage, Auto-Stak, and National Store Fixtures first evaluate their client’s needs on an individual basis, taking into consideration customer base, the type of materials to be stored, the space available, budget, and local building codes to design, engineer, and build a storage or warehouse building that solves each yard’s particular problems.

Frequently, rack-supported buildings are constructed near property lines to make the most of a yard’s total space. “In today’s modern lumberyard, you want to maximize your storage space. You want to push the wall as far as you can,” says Chris Krauter, owner of Krauter Storage (circle 109), which designs and builds fully integrated rack-supported warehouses. “You’ve got to be aware of maximizing the internal space of your yard by pushing the storage to your property line.”–S.L.M.

COPYRIGHT 2003 Hanley-Wood, Inc.

COPYRIGHT 2003 Gale Group