Traditional pallet rack is a great storage solution for a wide variety of warehouses and distribution centers. However, if you have a lot of inventory that shifts on a regular basis, drive in or drive through rack is a high density space saving storage solution you may want to seriously consider. While traditional static rack storage allows for many rows of pallet racking with aisles between the individual rows, drive in and drive through racking allows for a much denser arrangement of your stored product. Both drive in and drive through rack systems allow more efficient use of available space than traditional multi-aisle selective racks systems.
What is Drive In Pallet Racking?
Drive in pallet rack is a high density storage system used in warehouses to store pallets on a first in/last out (FILO) basis. Pallets are loaded and retrieved from the front side of the rack and forklift trucks drive directly into the rack's bays to get to the stored product. The last pallet loaded becomes the first pallet accessible, creating a more dense and uniform load in a confined storage area.
High density storage racks work by utilizing standard pallet rack uprights in conjunction with rail beams or more simply, rails to store the pallet loads in a very dense configuration. The key difference between these racks and selective pallet racks is that the forklift truck operates inside the rack itself and there are no specified lanes between the rows. The forklifts enter into the individual bays of the rack and the bays themselves can be as long or as short as needed.
When compared to conventional selective rack systems, the same amount of storage can be achieved in a much tighter area with high density drive in or drive through systems.
What is Drive Through Pallet Racking?
Drive through racking works similarly, but stores pallets on a first in/first out (FIFO) basis. Pallets are loaded on one side of the rack and retrieved from the opposite side.
Benefits of Drive In and Drive Through Pallet Racking
Drive in rack and drive through rack systems decrease storage and retrieval time while increasing efficiency and productivity among workers. Not only do they benefit your operations, they can also decrease your bottom line by giving you more storage room per dollar spent on racking. Because these racks create a more uniform load in a confined storage area, your forklift operators working in the system become more skillful drivers. In addition to these benefits, consider this – drive in & drive through systems are very energy efficient. Since the product is so densely loaded in this type of system, there is less air to be heated or cooled between your pallets and your forklifts don't need to drive as far to pick or place loads, thereby using less fuel.
If you'd like to read more about drive in racks or drive through rack, please view our Drive In Rack Basics Guide or our Advanced Drive In Rack Guide. Both guides contain information on determining capacities, assembly instructions and other safety information for many types of warehouse racking.
SJF is an authorized distributor of Interlake, Mecalux, W.C. Cardinal, and Bulldog drive in racks. We can provide other brands at your request. Whether you're storing several thousand pallets, or several dozen, SJF's solutions specialists can help you find the drive-in pallet rack that's right for you.