Let’s Talk Pallets and Liability

Automated Parking System Design

Pallet vs Non-Pallet Systems

A major factor in the reduction of product liability for Robotic Parking Systems is the use of pallets as one of the key components of the company’s automated parking system design and technology. Pallets prevent the dripping of oil, acids, a/c condensation or salt water onto cars from either the parking system machinery or the cars on upper levels. It also guarantees that no machinery or other people ever touch the vehicle. This design feature ensures one of the highest standards of product liability protection for automated parking facilities.

The Robotic Parking System pallet is 2235 mm / 88 inch wide by 5791 mm / 19 feet long. This pallet size accommodates standard as well as wide sedans and very large SUVs. These include vehicles such as Escalade, Yukon X, Chevy Tahoe, Nissan Patrol, Bentley, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Land Rover, Range Rover, Land Cruiser, Chevy Suburban, Navigator, Maserati, Aston Martin, Porsche, Alfa Romeo, Ford Excursion, and Nissan Armada.

Disadvantages of non-pallet systems

A number of automated parking manufacturers utilize a non-pallet automated parking system design. These companies use dollies that travel underneath a vehicle and clamp onto the tires in order to move the cars around in the automated garage.

The non-pallet system may appear cheaper; however, dollies used in this type of system represent a major technical design flaw that can cause serious damage to low lying cars or a chassis altered by the owner. Vehicles with their base close to the ground can be scratched, dented or have components underneath the car ripped off as the dollies attempt to grab onto the car. Additionally most electric cars that are manufactured today have a low center of gravity to accommodate a battery pack. This means that most electric cars will have a low clearance from the bottom of the floor.

What do the non-pallet system designers do to remedy their many years old design defect? They publish lists of vehicles that can’t be parked in their garages.

A frank discussion of pallet versus non-pallet systems is important in the scheme of the daily operation of an automated parking garage. We advocate for pallets because we want to assure developers and owners that a) we can accept the maximum sizes and types of cars and SUVs on the market, and b) the automated parking system design protects vehicles by ensuring that machines never touch the car or come close to the chassis of a car.

Lower Insurance Rates

Robotic Parking Systems are viewed by insurance companies as lower hazard / less risk and therefore, may be considered for lower insurance rates. Insurance underwriters reviewed the design and processes of our automated parking system design and were very favorable. In a detailed review by Best Underwriting Guide, the Robotic Parking System was assigned a low hazard risk in several categories.
Workers’ CompensationModerate hazard due to exposure to traffic and crime.Higher hazard due to exposure to traffic, falls from elevators, crime.Lower hazard due to low traffic exposure, lower crime exposure.
Garage KeepersHigh hazard – thefts, traffic, driver records.Moderate hazard due to building security.Historically was a higher exposure due to ineffectiveness of the driverless elevator now considered low risk due to technology.
General Liability Low hazard due to open space, good visibility but subject to trip and fall in
potholes, etc.
Higher hazard due to elevator. Security
breaches, and assumption of liability as operator.
Low hazard due to better security from no outside access.
Property / Inland MarineHigh hazard – damage to vehicles
left in open lot. Wind / hail / theft.
Moderate hazard due to protection from building. Theft still an issue.Low hazard due to limited access and protection of the building.
Learn more about the automated parking system design of Robotic Parking Systems. If you are an architect or developer with a project, our engineering experts can develop initial parking design plans for your review and consideration at no cost or obligation.