Common Types of Pallet Racking

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The use of vertical space is extremely important for those who want to maximize storage capacity, because it allows them to make the best out of any space. Although this is very useful for homeowners, it plays a crucial role when it comes to industrial warehouses. For this reason, after the Second World War, various businesses use pallet racks as their main storage system. These are assemblies made of several skids (this is how an individual pallet is called) which are incorporated to create a system with multiple levels in horizontal rows. Depending on their purpose and utility, the racks are made of different materials (such as wood, plastic or metal) and have different configurations. In order for the shelves to be stable and resistant, the base is normally more solid, supporting the objects that are placed on the skids. There are many types of pallet racking and because of the great height of the shelves, all of them require the use of forklift trucks for the loading process. These have to match the design of the racks in terms of dimensions, cargo capacity and even speed.  Here are the most common types and configurations of standard pallet rack:

Selective racks

According to logistic experts, these represent the most common type of pallet used in modern warehouses, manufacturing and distribution facilities, retail centres and other storage spaces. The pallets are installed in rows, with aisles between them, and can be accessed from the structure’s aisle. Beams are the main support element for these structures, which are very versatile and can also be associated with deep reach systems. If you want to take advantage of as much space as possible, you can choose to install narrow aisle rakings, but remember that these require the use of specialized lift trucks – the larger the storage capacity, the smaller the manipulation space.

Drive-in racks and Drive through racks

This type is very similar to the first one, except that the systems are more resistant, thus being suitable to high density storage. Given the fact that they often have to support heavy duty loads, the racking structures are normally made of materials such as steel or wood. In addition to this, they leave enough space for the forklift to move into the system, hence the name. However, there are some differences between the drive in and drive through structures: while the first one features only one exit/ entry, the second one has entry access on both sides of the bay.

Push back racking systems

These are designed in a structural or roll form, because they focus on depth and are mostly used for bulk storage. They are made of many levels and constructed from resistant materials. The loading system is slightly different from the one used for the first two types of racks: the forklift truck actually pushes the cargo into the shelve, so that it can reach the next pallet. Taking into consideration that the “push back” structures are considered suitable for large storage, they feature inclined rails, sliding carts and double lanes.