What Pallet Rack is Right for Me?

Have you acquired a warehouse that needs a pallet rack system installed? Are you part of a growing company and responsible for selecting the rack system that will best meet your space’s new requirements? Are you completely new to warehousing and pallet rack, and just want to learn the basics? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you’re in the right place.

At AK Material Handling Systems, we strive to help people trying to learn more about material handling and industrial storage.  That’s why we decided to put together a six-part series covering various types of rack systems, the different ways they’re utilized and what type of applications they are best suited for.  This article’s focus will be on drive-in pallet rack, a unique type of high storage density pallet rack.

Pallet Rack Guide: Drive-In

The Essentials: Drive-In Pallet Rack

Whereas traditional selective pallet rack consists of upright frames, cross beams and wire decking, drive-in pallet rack is made up of upright frames and horizontal rails upon which pallets can sit. These rails are oriented depth-wise in the rack system, and are situated at both sides of a pallet rack lane. This allows forklifts to completely enter the pallet rack system. In a selective rack system, this would be prevented by the presence of cross beams. This, in turn, makes for very high storage density, or the amount of product in a given space. This is considered a positive attribute, as it makes for a more efficient use of space. However, because product is loaded and unloaded from the same side of the rack system, drive-in pallet rack operates with first in, last out (FILO) inventory retrieval. This means that the products stored within a given pallet rack lane should be like-product, and should not be sensitive, as one would have to move several of the front pallets out of the way to access one of the rear pallets. Also, attention must be paid to drive-in rack maintenance, as driving into the rack system increases danger for the forklift operator and can increase the possibility of damaging the rack.

What Is Drive-In Pallet Rack Best Used For?

Drive-in pallet rack’s primary advantage is its storage density. More so than any other rack system, it allows a comparably large amount of product to be stored in a relatively small area of warehouse. As mentioned, though, drive-in rack systems have pretty poor selectivity, meaning you’ll only have immediate access to a small portion of the total product. Ideal drive-in applications, then, should meet a couple of general criteria. One of these is that they should store like-product. Because it will likely be a while before you’ll have access to the pallets at the back end of the rack, it’s important that it doesn’t matter which pallets are picked first. Because immediate access will be available for only a small number of pallets, it’s imperative that only a small number of SKU’s will be stored. Again, because drive-in pallet rack systems are FILO, the product being stored cannot be time-sensitive — product at the back of the system may stay there for extended periods of time. Drive-in rack is commonly used in cold storage applications because of its ability to store large volumes of products in a small area of freezer space.

a close up of pallet racking with a wooden pallet sitting on top that has a cardboard box on top of that

Drive-In Pallet Rack Pricing

More Questions? If we’ve left any of your drive-in pallet rack questions unanswered or you simply want to learn more about pallet rack and which type is right for you, let AK Material Handling Systems help. Give our rack systems experts a call at 800-722-5908 or send an email to [email protected]. We look forward to hearing from you!

Know What You Need?

Shop In Stock and Quick Ship Systems at Pallet Rack Now

Want to View Our Catalog?

Shop Our Material Handling & Industrial Supplies Catalog

Let’s Talk

Ready to get started? Or have questions about any of our products or services? Fill out the form and a representative will contact you promptly.

About AK Material Handling Systems

We deliver value to our customers by providing the absolute best combination of quality products, helpful customer service and competitive pricing. We specialize in warehouse layout & design, pallet rack systems, engineered sales, mezzaninesmodular offices and completed turn-key warehouse systems. For more information email us or call (800) 722-5908