Tips on Selecting and Installing your Pallet Rack

pallet rack installation, pallet rack design, pallet racking

Pallet racking is a common and popular storage solution in distribution centers, manufacturing facilities, and warehouses of all sizes. With a wide range of pallet racking choices, it is essential to understand the flow of your pallets to and from the racks, the type of pallets you are using, and the type of loads or SKUs you are storing. This will allow you to choose the style of rack that will provide you with the best solution for your needs. Read more

Choosing Wire Decking for Your Storage Rack

Storage Rack System

For decades, pallet racks have played an important part in increasing and maximizing the storage capacity of distribution centers and warehouses. An essential part of pallet racking design is the rack decking. This decking serves as a base for storing non-palletized items or cases in conjunction with palletized products. Read more

Why Should I Schedule a Pallet Rack Inspection for My Warehouse?

Warehouse Pallet Rack

Pallet racking is an integral part of warehouse operations and material storage throughout a plant. Damage can occur to your racking at any time and when it happens, it compromises the safety of your employees. No matter the type of business or product you store, it is important to have an inspection and maintenance plan in place for your pallet racking.

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Gorbel Workstation Crane System for Ultimate Granite of Pittsburgh PA


The Client

Ultimate Granite has been transforming the interiors of Pittsburgh-area homes and offices since 2002. Lead by the son and father team of Chris and Dwight Morrow, with over 35 years of combined industry experience between them, Ultimate Granite is Western Pennsylvania’s premier supplier of counters and tabletops. They pride themselves on their ability to offer a wider selection of countertop materials, more personalized service, and more competitive pricing than the rest of the local market.

With business continuing to grow and prosper, Ultimate Granite had the opportunity to upgrade their operations and needed help. They turned to Cranston Material Handling Equipment Corp. (Cranston) of Pittsburgh to develop a solution.


The Challenge

For years, Ultimate Granite had just one machine to cut their stone tops. The process required lifting and loading slabs of stone that could weigh well over 1,000 pounds. Their business, however, had grown to the point that they needed a way to safely speed up the process of moving the stone slabs in order to support the additional production of counter tops their new water jet and saw blade combo machine was capable of producing.

In practical terms, the solution would require a crane system to fit in a very congested work area with limited headroom, while providing unobstructed access from the staging area to the existing and new saw.

The Solution


Cranston was able to provide a crane that enables the employees to pick up a stone from the staging area and then almost effortlessly move the slab to one of the saws. The 50’ span of the header beams allow the crane’s columns to be nestled along the wall creating unobstructed access throughout the work area. The precise positioning of the runway on the header beams allows for loading both the old and new cutting machines, which are on either side of the 50-foot-wide room. Incorporating the Wood’s Powr-Grip Vacuum Tilter into the system allows Ultimate Granite’s employee’s to easily and safely lift and position the slabs of stone onto and off of both saws.

The Equipment used:

  • Gorbel 2,000-pound capacity workstation crane with two bridges
  • Gorbel 2,000-pound low headroom hoists
  • Wood’s Powr-Grip Vacuum Tilters

The Result

Ultimate Granite is very pleased with the enhanced workflow created by combining a vacuum lift with the workstation crane system. The new system has dramatically improved the speed and ease of loading while increasing safety throughout the cutting and finishing process.

Find Out More

Cranston Material Handling Equipment Corp. looks at your material handling or storage application through the lens of decades of experience. Whatever you’re specific needs we can help you sort through options to maximize your workspace. Contact us for more information today or call us at 412-741-8060.

Repairing Damaged Pallet Rack Uprights

Curbell pallet rack damage after

The Client

In business since 1942, Curbell Plastics, Inc. (Curbell) is one of America’s premier suppliers of plastic sheets, rods, tubes, films, tapes, adhesives, sealants, and prototyping materials. Headquartered in Orchard Park, New York, with locations across the U.S., Curbell offers custom fabrication, exceptional service, and next-day delivery of high-quality plastics nationwide.

Curbell takes its role as a leader in the plastics industry very seriously. Committed to doing the right thing for their customers, the environment and their employees – many of whom have been with them for decades.

When a safety issue occurred in their Cranberry Township, Pennsylvania location, they wanted an effective resolution and contacted Cranston Material Handling Equipment Corp. (Cranston) of Pittsburgh for a solution.

Curbell before

The Challenge

A forklift driver inadvertently damaged one of the rack uprights within their warehouse. The bent twisted post jeopardized the integrity of the rack and they wisely wanted to repair the damage. Curbell did not want to disassemble, replace, and reassemble due to the effect it would have on their operations, not to mention the cost of purchasing a new upright and the expense of shipping it to their location.

To resolve this situation, Cranston needed to fix the safety issue and improve the rack’s damage resistance, while causing as little disruption to Curbell’s operations as possible.

The Solution

Cranston used a heavy-duty tubular post splice kit that is designed specifically to repair damaged rack uprights. The price of a replacement splice post with shipping was substantially less compared to shipping in a brand new upright. The time and disruption to operations resulting from the repair was minimal – certainly it was far more convenient for the customer than it would have been had the rack been partially disassembled in order to replace the upright.

In addition to the repair, Cranston added bull-nosed post protectors to each upright. The bull-nose design protects the posts by working to deflect pallets or forklift forks when they accidentally hit the rack uprights. This helps minimize the likelihood of damage from a forklift or any other equipment in the future.

Curbell after

The Result

With very little downtime needed to install post protectors and fix the rack uprights, the rack is now less likely to be damaged, safety in the warehouse is improved, and Curbell is very pleased with Cranston’s work.

Find Out More

Cranston Material Handling Equipment Corp. looks at your material handling or storage application through the lens of decades of experience. Whatever you’re specific needs we can help you sort through options to maximize your workspace. Contact us for more information today or call us at 412-741-8060.


Mobile Pallet Rack System for JSP International

pallet rack installation

The Client

JSP International has been a pioneer in foamed plastic materials since its founding in 1962. Their products are engineered to take advantage of plastic’s full potential and can be found in virtually every industry around the world, with a particular focus in the automotive, construction, civil engineering, material and food packaging markets.

Their core business is centered around the development of new products that break the mold of existing concepts to supply their customers with the best solutions today, while working toward future innovation.


The Challenge

At JSP’s Butler, Pennsylvania manufacturing center, they needed to increase the number of pallets stored without increasing the amount of floor space used for storage.

At this location, JSP manufactures foamed plastic component parts and bumpers for the automotive industry. Their facility houses a large number of parts in a variety of sizes and heavy weights, all of which are in a constant stream of movement from the creation process through packing and shipping.

To accommodate this flow of goods, JSP has a system of Steel King tubular pallet racks. Designed for the storage of heavy loads and providing greater damage resistance, these racks are ideal in manufacturing environments.

JSP needed more storage, but this time, they did not have the floor space available that installing pallet racks with traditional aisles would require. So to increase their pallet storage, they choose a mobile racking system.

The Solution

JSP had previously worked with Cranston Material Handling Equipment Corp. (Cranston) of Pittsburgh on the initial design of their existing tubular pallet racks. JSP looked again to Cranston, a third-generation business founded in 1957, to supply the rack for the mobile rack system.

“We have decades of experience in this industry and understand that a mobile storage system needs to be designed to meet the customer’s specific application,” said David Cranston Jr. “And we knew from working with them in the past, the type of pallet racking they required.”

Cranston worked with Spacesaver, specialists in high-density mobile shelving, to design the racks to go on their carriage and rail system. Cranston’s racks installed onto Spacesaver’s bases created a highly functional system for JSP, while keeping the footprint of the storage area to an absolute minimum.


The Result

JSP has increased their Pennsylvania location’s storage capacity. The new mobile racks not only allow for a higher density of storage in the same space, but they are safe, easy for staff to move, and provide excellent access to the material stored in the racks.

“JSP is very happy,” said Cranston, “and we look forward to partnering again with Spacesaver on any mobile rack systems our customer’s would bring us in the future.

Find Out More

Cranston Material Handling Equipment Corp. looks at your material handling or storage application through the lens of decades of experience. Whatever you’re specific needs we can help you sort through the options to maximize your workspace. Contact us for more information today at or 412.741.8060.

Cubic Designs equipment platform for Byrnes & Kiefer Company


The Client

Founded 1902, Byrnes & Kiefer Company (B&K) started out as a baking supply business providing molasses, baking powder, flour and other products to customers in Pittsburgh and the surrounding area. A growing success, B&K steadily expanded over the decades to include an extensive array of baking supplies and baked goods under several brand names.

Today, B&K has become a national company headquartered out of a 60,000-square-foot facility in Callery, Pennsylvania where they have consolidated production of their over 300 artisan bakery products.

The Challenge

A family-owned business to this day, B&K stakes its long reputation on the quality of its baked goods. This means using the best ingredients and preparing them in a modern facility designed for easy cleaning and contamination prevention.


At their Callery facility they needed a new set up for one of their giant, industrial mixers. Surrounded by a mezzanine platform that just wasn’t cutting it, the mixer needed a better space for pallets of ingredients to be loaded that could be regularly accessible by personnel and, vitally, to be free of any contamination build up on framing components. Specifically, everything had to be easy to drain and dry after cleaning.

The Solution

Although a new customer, Cranston Material Handling Equipment Corp. (Cranston) of Pittsburgh had the perfect background to solve this problem

As a third-generation business founded in 1957, Cranston toured B&K’s facility and reviewed the issue with their decades of experience.

“They needed a platform that would minimize the opportunity for any contamination to build up around the mixer,” said David Cranston Sr. “I knew immediately that we could create perfect solution for them.”

Cranston took detailed dimensions and developed drawings to define exactly how the ideal platform would accommodate the utilities attached to the equipment, the pallets of ingredients and staff access.

The solution was a Cubic Designs equipment platform installed around the existing mixer. Easy to reach by the wide stairs and with forklift access for palettes of ingredients, the Cubic Designs platform makes it simple for staff to monitor the mixing process, add ingredients and, most importantly, thoroughly clean and dry the equipment.

Additionally, aluminum plating was added to the pallet loading gate and the platform support columns to prevent any paint from chipping and potentially contaminating the mixer.


The Result

Installed on time and on budget, B&K was very pleased with Cranston’s finished work. Not only is the mixer easy to access for personnel and pallets of ingredients, but both it and the platform itself drain perfectly for the end-of-production wash down.

Find Out More

Cranston Material Handling Equipment Corp. looks at your material handling or storage application through the lens of decades of experience. Whatever you’re specific needs we can help you sort through options to maximize your workspace. Contact us for more information today at or 412-741-8060.

Porta King Modular Office Systems for H&K Equipment Inc. of Pittsburgh PA.

H & K 2

The Client
H&K Equipment, Inc. (H&K) of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, has been providing a broad range of material handling and heavy equipment solutions to businesses and manufacturers since 1935.

With generations of experience behind their sales, rentals, remanufacturing, training and parts services, H&K is a single source for large capacity trucks and specialized equipment to fit industrial applications.

H & K 1
The Challenge
The problem they were experiencing involved a fit issue of their own, as their corporate office – which shares facilities with their operations center for forklift sales, service, and rental – was over capacity. Personnel were crammed into small office areas making it increasingly difficult to carry out responsibilities while at the same time, staff growth meant the already crowded conditions were getting worse.

Some years ago, H&K had worked with Cranston Material Handling Equipment Corp. (Cranston) to install their current office space. With this good experience in their history, H&K called Cranston back for help.

The primary challenge was how to add new office space within their facility’s existing footprint.

“We were desperately out of space for expansion of our operations. We needed to create a whole new sales center to allow our sales team to continue to grow our business,” said Patrick Koch, Operations Manager for H&K.

H & K 2
The Solution
In a previous project, H&K worked with Cranston to construct offices on a mezzanine. Space was found for the current office project underneath this mezzanine.

In this space, which was being used as forklift and supply storage, an irregular seven-sided modular office was designed around the existing mezzanine and an employee walkway.

The Porta King modular system was proposed by Cranston Senior Account Manager, Greg Engelmeyer, “A modular building would provide the quickest, least disruptive and most cost-effective solution for H&K while providing a spacious, sound insulated, clean-looking professional space for their sales force.”

H & K 3
The Result
The new H&K sales office space was completed on time and on budget after just a week and a half of construction.

“The project went great! We now have a top-of-the-line, modern and spacious office environment for our sales staff,” said Koch. “We’re now positioned, more than ever, to grow our company to the next level.”

“We would definitely contact Cranston again, as we have in the past, to help us with our material handling and space solutions.”
Find Out More
Cranston Material Handling Equipment Corp. looks at your material handling or storage application through the lens of decades of experience. Whatever you’re specific needs we can help you sort through options to maximize your workspace. Contact us for more information today at or call us 412-424-0360.

Cranston Material Handling Installs Two free Standing Mezzanine Systems for Allegheny Millwork of Pittsburgh

Free Standing Mezzanine

The Client
In 1979, Allegheny Millwork of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania opened shop in an old stable. At that time, a growing restoration movement in this region had created a growing demand for high quality, custom millwork.

In the early days, Allegheny Millwork relied solely on word-of-mouth advertising, and as word of their high standards in quality, value and service spread over the next few decades, they flourished. Today, not only do they service an international clientele, they’ve traded in the old stable for an 80,0000-square-foot, state-of-the-art facility to become one of the largest and most respected manufacturers of custom millwork in the industry.

Free Standing Mezzanine

The Challenge

A company used to growing and growing pains, in 2017 they realized they were once again running out of usable space. Material flow was suffering and storage and staging spaces were at capacity.

Allegheny Millwork reached out to Cranston Material Handling Equipment Corp (Cranston) for help.

The Solution
Cranston started by sitting down with Allegheny Millwork and listening to their situation. Cranston took stock of their client’s needs, wants, budget and timeline.

When ready to start designing solutions, Cranston looked up. While Allegheny Millwork had filled up their floorspace, there was still unused vertical space waiting to be maximized.

Taking advantage of the high ceilings, Cranston installed two free standing mezzanine systems. Mezzanines can effectively nearly double a facility’s available space. When expanding a building is unavailable, and moving locations impractical, installing a mezzanine can be a real game changer.

Free Standing Mezzanine 2

The Result
Cranston’s experienced installation crew managed the full project, installing all design features from stairways and gates to column spacing and floor loading. All field and safety checks were communicated and the Allegheny Millwork’s installation was on time and on budget.

Cranston’s client was very pleased with the investment, project schedule and speed of completion. The new available space has made a wonderful addition to Allegheny Millwork’s facilities.

Find Out More
Cranston Material Handling Equipment Corp. looks at your material handling or storage application through the lens of decades of experience. Whatever your specific needs we can help you sort through options to maximize your workspace. Contact us for more information  or call us today at 412-741-8060 .

Why the Cranston Advantage

Service Truck


Cranston Material Handling Equipment Corp (CMHEC) has a brand new web site.

 You can now search for us on your smart phones and tablets at

CMHEC’s major product categories are cabinets, conveyors, cranes, dock equipment, hoppers, fencing, industrial curtains, interior modular buildings, lifts, mezzanines, racks, shelving, workbenches, and workstations. We supply and install material handling equipment in western Pennsylvania and northern West Virginia. We distribute products for over 200 different manufacturers in this geographical area.

The Cranston team works diligently to build personal relationships with each customer. This gives us a competitive advantage when the time comes for them to invest in material handling equipment because our customers trust our ability to provide and install the appropriate equipment for their application. Through this process, coupled with the manufacturers we have chosen to represent, Cranston Material Handling Corp. has built a reputation of being a distributor of quality products. Let Cranston help you with all your material handling needs. Visit our new web site at

Customer satisfaction is our most valuable product.