Pallet Rack Types & Configurations
Selective racks are the most commonly used pallet system where pallets are accessed from the main forklift aisle and is the most common pallet system where the beams provide the support for the pallets. It can also be used for narrow aisle racking, standard and deep reach systems.
Narrow aisle racking requires a specialized narrow lift truck and is used to create optimum space, as the structure allows for large storage capacity. Standard systems allow for single deep loading, whereas deep reach systems allow for double the storage amount (of the former unit).
Drive-in racks and Drive-Thru racks are structures capable of high density storage. These systems are typically constructed from steel and allow space for a forklift to move into the structure’s bay, which is essentially a lane of stacks.
While drive-in rack structures feature one entry/exit way, drive-through racks have entry access on both sides of the bay. The entryway differences typically affect the way materials are stored in these systems. For example, items stored in drive-in racks are typically loaded via the last-in, first-out process, also known as LIFO. Drive-in systems are suitable for nonperishable products and slow movers, as storage is not readily accessible. The drive-through system requires the FIFO (first in first out) system. Both drive-in and drive-through systems operate in floor-to-ceiling structures.
Push back racking systems are fabricated in roll or structural form. They are ideal for bulk storage of products that occupy/run several pallets deep (2-5) and typically measure several levels high. When a pallet is placed or loaded on the structure, it “pushes” the next pallet back on the rails where it rests. When the pallets are unloaded from the rails, they are pushed to the front of the structure.
These structures typically feature inclined rails and sliding carts, and are often constructed with double lanes.
Flow racks are also known as gravity flow racks and are generally ideal for high-density storage. Loads are stored at the higher end and removed at the lower end point, employing the FIFO loading system. As the products are loaded, the rotation becomes automatic due to the flow of the racks.
These systems feature a gravity roller that generates movement based on the rack load, as items are moved on a sloped plane. The lanes feature brakes, or speed controllers, which control the movement of the objects. The rails are generally powered by gravity, so no electric operating system is required.
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