I stumbled across a rack today where someone had loaded the network equipment from the top down. It’s a common enough mistake, but it’s also a safety hazard. By adding about 10RU worth of network equipment to the top of a 48RU rack, they had created a serious safety problem.
I could give the rack a gentle push and it would move about and if I were to give it a good whack, the whole thing could fall over. That sort of thing could ruin your day if you were opening the door and needed to give it a good pull because it was jammed. A rack landing on your head would be a very bad day indeed.
Image Credit Xiol
You see, top loaded racks often begin to warp under the load. That is, the process of adding equipment makes them stronger and less flexible because the act of fixing equipment creating horizontal stress members in the metal structure.
|Always load a rack from the bottom to top||The rack is less likely to tip which is good safety. It will also build structural strength as each item is screwed in. For cheap racks, they will have less twisting and buckling, making it easier to add more equipment later|
|Put the heaviest equipment at the bottom||This will make the rack less likely to tip over by putting the weight at the bottom. It will also make installation safer as attempting to lift a Nexus 7010 chassis over your waist can damage your back. I also wouldn’t want to drop one on my leg.|
|Consider using spreader bars at the foot of the rack when you can’t follow the safety tips.||Sure, cheap racks don’t have spreaders, but you can usually find something that will do the job. There nothing like a rack lying horizontally on the floor to focus your attention to the details.|
|You don’t need to put a screw in every hole in the mounting kit||The holes are there to allow the rack kit to fit different types of racks. It’s not a marathon test of how many cage nuts and screws you can install and prove your manliness. One screw every four or five RU is more than enough.|
|Put your cabling at the top||This is the reason that cabling trays and plates are always put at the top of the rack, they are relatively light.|