Drive In Pallet Racking

Drive In Pallet Racking is installed in warehouses and distribution centers that seek a cost effective, high density storage solution for their pallets and products. Because of its design, drive-in pallet rack is a first in, last out (FILO) storage system and is best used with a large quantity of like-products that are not time-critical in order to best utilize space. Warehouse access aisles are kept to a minimum with drive-in rack, often allowing users to achieve double or more storage capacity. Drive in pallet rack systems can be designed to store anywhere from 2 to 10 pallets deep per pallet position. If you are curious about how a Drive In Rack system can help maximize your warehouse or distribution center space, contact one of our Minnesota based pallet rack design specialists. We are based in Minnesota but we have manufacturers nationwide offering a national coverage for our customers.

How Drive In Pallet Racking Works

Drive In pallet rack systems store pallets that are driven into the rack system by forklift operators and loaded onto horizontal rails. Drivers then remove the pallets from the same entry point at which they were loaded when it’s time to move them. Drive in rack systems are typically placed against a wall or are otherwise closed at one end of the system. Drive Thru pallet storage systems are based on the same concept but are located in an open area so that forklifts can drive completely through the rack system.

Drive In rack storage does not come without its potential disadvantages, though. It is not the best option in terms of selectivity or accommodating the need to rotate inventory, because all of the product in a given bay must be unloaded to reach the last pallet.  The other potential downside is that, if you do not ship enough truckloads of like product, you can get a “honeycomb” effect by not utilizing enough of the drive-in rack.

Drive-In Pallet Rack System Optional Features:

Rails, Heavy Duty Supports, Cant Leg, Set Back Leg, 2 to 10 Pallets Deep Storage

Drive In Pallet Racking Safety

  • Safe Loading 

Safe loading of all types of pallet rack systems is necessary to protect your personnel, your product, and your racking. With forklifts entering and exiting the rack system, the importance of being attentive to safety when loading pallets from drive-in systems is even greater. Operators should enter the system slowly and deliberately, and carefully avoid hitting the system’s upright frames. Prior to system use, it should be verified that the forklift that will be used is compatible with the rack system dimensions.

  • Safe Unloading 

Safe unloading of drive-in pallet rack is similar to safe loading. Drive-in rack systems can be quite deep, and forklift operators must take great care when reversing out of the system. While speed is important in most operations, safety always takes priority, and colliding with an upright frame while underneath a system is decidedly unsafe by any measure.

  • Maintenance  

Because forklift operators are driving inside the rack system itself, it is extremely important to ensure drive-in pallet rack systems remain in stable condition. While drive-in rack systems generally require very little maintenance, it is highly recommended to perform regular safety checks in order to ensure no damage has been incurred that may compromise structural integrity or operator safety. When performing the check, focus on checking for damaged frames, loose anchors, and damaged pallet rails.

Advantages of Drive-In:

  • Maximum pallet storage
  • Virtually unlimited depth of storage
  • Limited aisles, resulting in more efficient use of space
  • Cant-leg or set-back leg designs can help defend against forklift damage
  • Utilizes density over selectivity
  • Custom-designed for your pallets & forklifts
  • Cost-effective storage strategy
  • Can be integrated with pushback pallet rack to form a combination system


Drive-Thru Pallet Rack

Also called “Drive Through Racks” this style of pallet rack features the same design as drive in pallet rack but instead of being closed off at one end, the rack system is open at both ends, allowing for forklifts to drive through it. This turns what would otherwise be a LIFO pallet storage system into a FIFO rack system as the pallets flow through the system. One side of the rack system is used most often to load product while the other side can be used to unload the product. Like drive-in pallet rack systems, the “honeycombing” effect is somewhat common among drive-thru rack systems.



Frequently Asked Questions

How can I protect Drive In Pallet Racking from forklift damage?

Because drive-in pallet rack requires forklift operators to drive the forklift into the system itself, these rack systems are particularly prone to incurring forklift damage. The risks can be mitigated, however, by following a few simple precautions. One these safety measures is to utilize reinforced or cant-leg frames — or both — to offer a more protective angle and a more robust frame structure. The other primary protective option is to install column guards in order to shield frames from potential forklift collisions.

What is the typical lead time for a Drive In Rack System?

Lead times for drive-in rack systems are typically in the 8 to 12 week range. The only real variable that may affect the length of a given lead time is the approval process being dictated by regulatory bodies or the customer themselves.

Can I reconfigure Drive In Pallet Rack?

It is possible, to certain extent, to reconfigure drive-in rack systems. However, there are going to be limitations, such as the adjustment of lane width.

Can I combine Drive In With other rack systems, such as pallet flow or push-back?

Combinations of drive-in rack with other rack systems, particularly pushback pallet racks are fairly commonplace, and can provide customers with a highly customized combination of selectivity and storage density.

Related Pages: Drive In Pallet Rack Installation, Drive In Pallet Rack Design

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