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Thread: Advice for strapping top barrels in a stack

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Location
    Alameda, CA
    Posts
    2

    Advice for strapping top barrels in a stack

    I was wondering if anyone had come across any standardized techniques or effective methods for strapping top barrels to racks when they are stacked. As of right now, we have standard 2-barrel steel racks, stacked 4 racks high. Some stacks have 53 gallon whiskey barrels, others have 60 gallon wine barrels, and some top racks are mixed with one of each. We just started using 400-lb test plastic strapping with a tensioner, 2 straps per top rack, looped underneath the barrels on the rack below (basically 4 barrels sandwiching a rack, double strapped parallel to the hoops). The reason we are not looping under the second rack is that the straps obstruct the path of the forks for when barrels need to be unstacked/moved. I recognize that the two barrel rack system is not the most seismically stable system overall and that in a big quake, the whole stack walk and collapse, but one would think that straps would at least keep top barrels from jumping/rolling and coming down on someones head if there is some minor shaking. Any guidance or advice would be much appreciated.

    Cheers,
    CJ

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Location
    Denver, CO
    Posts
    7

    Follow your heart

    Hey You Guy,

    I've had great success with using racket straps around individual barrels connecting to the single rack. But honestly just avoid having mismatched racks. I know that sounds sarcastic but it's not.

    Hopefully that help.
    Rocky Mountain Barrel Company
    Phone: 720-523-0361
    www.rockymountainbarrelcompany.com
    thomas@rockymountainbarrelcompany.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    Kent, WA
    Posts
    173
    The plastic strap sounds pretty good to me, as long as it doesn't tend to pull the barrels to the middle of the rack. But how do wineries in your area do it? I used to work in the wine industry around San Luis Obispo, and honestly can't recall ever seeing any of them seismically secure their barrel stacks...but that was a long time ago.

    If you were really paranoid, hang some unistrut up high on the wall behind the stack, and tie your top rack (with it's plastic strap) to the strut, or if you have back to back stacks in the middle of the cellar, strap them loosely together at the top between rows so they can't fall forward.

    Here's a tip for creating tiedowns with unistrut: Get a 1/2 inch unistrut nut, install in the channel. Get a 1/2" eyebolt, and thread into unistrut nut until it securely bottoms out in the channel. Voila! Instant tiedown.

    Regards,
    Mike Sharp

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Location
    Alameda, CA
    Posts
    2
    @Rocky Mountain Barrel, we thought about ratchet straps too, but we would need at least 250 of them if we were going to be securing each single barrel on the top racks, so it just became a little cost prohibitive. I totally agree about the mixed racks though. Not ideal, but space constraints make it necessary.

    @rdcpro, thanks for the suggestions. Most of the wineries around here don't strap at all from what I've seen, but the barrels rooms tend to be a bit tighter and they are usually dealing with only one size of barrel, where as we have several. I'm just hoping to give a little bit of added safety. Obviously haven't tested this in the Lab so it might all be for show, but hopefully not. I like the unistrut/rack hack idea. We can try to play with that.

    Cheers,
    CJ

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