Drive-In Pallet Racking is a high-density storage solution for warehouses and distribution centers. They have a last in, first out (LIFO) designed system of storage. Due to their design, they are best suited to accommodate large quantities of similar products that do not require a lot of time to load.
Drive in racks can provide up to more than double the storage space of traditional selective pallet racking. They are able to store anywhere from two to ten pallets at a time, depending on the placement and position of the pallets. This allows for optimal use of warehouse storage space, as the design enables you to use the maximum area and height storage that you have at your disposal.
In order to make the most out of drive in pallet racking, workers must follow the correct order of operations. Since the pallets are positioned one after another, the ideal method is to keep like-products kept in a bay, accounting for the last in, first out (LIFO) system. Forklift operators must enter internal lanes (drive-in) to begin depositing products into the correct positions on the pallet racking. The depth of each lane depends on how many pallets there are for each product and how long they will be stored for. Each pallet needs to be loaded from the back to the front and from the bottom to the top. When unloading, the pallets must be removed in reverse of the loading process (from front to back and from top to bottom). This methodical arrangement results in the drive-in system being able to hold up to 75% more pallets than a selective pallet rack.
Components & Layout Options
The system as a whole contains a frame, a top tie beam, an arm, shims, a foot plate, horizontal bracing, vertical bracing, anchors, a cant leg, a setback leg, and a guide rail. The guide rail is located on the floor, acting as a guide for the forklifts, keeping them in their internal lane. The horizontal rails above hold the pallets, and they are available in varying types for different types of pallets. A structural rack is what is typically used for its durability. Drive-in pallet racks are usually placed up against a wall or closed off at one end of the racks.
Because of the entrance and exit points are the same for a drive in pallet rack system and multiple aisles are not necessary, drive-in racks are fully customizable. Multiple heights and depths of racking are available depending on what the products that need to be stored.
With all the benefits of these drive in pallet racking storage systems, comes a few safety precautions. Forklift operators have to be highly trained individuals capable of maneuvering through the narrow storage lanes while carrying pallets and they must know how to place them in the racks correctly. Also, workers need to calculate and be aware of correct measurements needed to operate safely. Workers must be positive that the forklift that will be used is going to fit the dimensions of the rack system. Each forklift has to enter the lanes slowly, but deliberately, so as not to hit the system’s upright frames. Due to the high-density packing design and the forklifts constantly driving in and out of the bays, the Drive-in system requires regular and frequent checks for damage. What needs to be checked for most is any damaged frames, loose anchors, or damaged pallet rails.
- Nearly endless depth of storage
- Fewer aisles
- Maximizes space and saves money
- Typically lower in price than other high-density storage systems such as the Pallet Flow and Push Back.
- Cant-leg or set-back leg designs can help protect against damage to forklifts
- Column guards can also be installed in order to shield frames from potential forklift collision damage
- Can be integrated with pushback pallet racks for even more selectivity and storage density.
- Not suitable for specific kinds of inventory
- Doesn’t allow for rotating of stored inventory
- Must have quality working forklifts and professional training for forklift operators
- More costly than selective pallet racks
- “Honeycomb” effect is a possibility by not utilizing enough of the racking if you do not ship enough truckloads of the same or like-products.
Stein Service & Supply carries a large selection of drive in pallet racking. Let us be your one-stop material handling equipment provider, contact us today!