Push Back Pallet Racking offers a high-density first-in, last-out (FILO) storage option for your warehouse to store a large number of pallets, while still allowing for ease of access to the pallet rack positions. These systems provide 2-6 deep storage, significantly increasing density over selective pallet rack. They also allow for faster product rotation and less handling time. This is why many warehouses including food distribution centers, manufacturing, third-party logistics services, pharmaceuticals, and more are starting to switch to Push Back Pallet Racks as their go-to storage solution.
With the Push Back Pallet Rack design, pallets are stored on rolling carts. Multiple rolling carts are positioned in each pallet row based on the depth of the rack system. These rolling carts nest into each other and sit on top of guiding rails. These guiding rails are set at a slight decline towards the loading and unloading end of the racks. The cart capacity is between 2,500 – 3,000 lbs.
The first pallet is loaded and set on the top rolling cart. The next pallet to be loaded will be used to push the first pallet and the top rolling cart backwards, exposing the second to top rolling cart. The second pallet will be set down on the exposed rolling cart. This process can continue until all the pallet positions have been filled.
To unload the pallets, the forklift operator will lift up the first pallet in line and slowly back away. Gravity will cause the next pallets in line to move slowly down the guiding rails and fill in the position removed.
Since Push Back Pallet Racks use independent pallet position lanes for storage, they are able to store multiple pallets of the same SKU, with a holding capacity of two to six pallets in each pallet position. Push Back racks are more versatile than Drive-In or Drive-Thru racks, which will generally hold the same SKU for the entire bay of pallet rack. In addition, the risk of damage to the push back rack system, and therefore maintenance is also minimized, as the lift trucks never has to enter into the racking area.
Push Back Pallet Racks can accommodate all different types of forklifts, including narrow aisle, swing reach, or counterbalance lifts.
System Components and Layout Options
The entire push back pallet rack system consists of wheeled nesting carts that are supported by frames and beams. They roll along the rails and have pallet stoppers at the end of them to prevent them from rolling too far.
They are typically installed against a wall or back-to-back. This usually gives you room to integrate various kinds of rack systems in with the push back racking, such as selective pallet racks.
Advantages & Disadvantages
- Saves time and limits repair costs due to forklifts not being required to drive into the racking system
- High-density storage for multiple SKU’S
- Saves a lot of space, as fewer aisles are needed
- Fast operating system
- Not appropriate for first out (FIFO) inventory systems
- Require undamaged pallets to be used
What You Need to Know Before Implementing a Push Back Pallet Rack System
There are a few things to be considered before deciding to make use of a push back pallet rack system. Sufficient space is required towards the ceiling, where the top of the pallet racking would be since each one inclines up slightly. It’s advised to account for this in the layout of your warehouse. Knowing things like how high the ceilings are, the presence of columns throughout your warehouse, and the exact size of the warehouse space you have to work with are all relevant. It is also a good idea to know what the measurements, in size and in depth, of the pallets you plan to store. Push Back Pallet Racking is a great option for high density storage, especially for facilities that do not have that much space.
When building out a warehouse space that will ultimately use push back pallet racking, it’s advisable to consult the experts and get a professional warehouse design. There are many factors that vary from other types of warehouse racking including the overall warehouse size, columns and pallet dimensions. Ceiling heights and pallet height also needs to be considered to accommodate the inclined profile of the push back pallet rack system.