Used Pallet Rack: Which Type Is Best for You?

May 23, 2017

Used Pallet Rack: Which Type Is Best for You?

Whether you are opening a new warehouse, adding on to your existing used pallet racks due to business growth, or moving into a new facility, you have decisions to make about your warehouse storage system. There are several options to choose from, starting with the most basic: floor stacking. Obviously, as used pallet racking distributors, we will advise you against this! From there, you have selective pallet rack, drive-in and drive-through pallet rack, pallet flow rack, and push back pallet rack. We will briefly discuss each option, highlighting their advantages and disadvantages.

Floor Stacking

As simple as it sounds, floor stacking would be your most basic option, where pallets would be placed on the floor in rows. If your pallets are holding material that is stackable, you could stack pallets in long rows, covering as much floor space as you can afford. This is commonly used in a LIFO (last in, first out) application, which is fine for some businesses.

Advantages:

No investment needed
High Storage Density

Disadvantages:

You cannot access every pallet
Takes up a lot of warehouse space

Selective Pallet Rack (Used Pallet Rack)

Selective pallet rack, or pallet rack, is the most basic and common style of rack seen in warehouses across the globe. Pallet rack features uprights (or frames) and pairs of cross beams (or beams) to create levels of storage for pallets. Wire decks or pallet supports are added to each pallet position for added capacity and safety. You can purchase pallet rack uprights that go all the way up to the ceiling (be mindful of sprinkler systems if you have them).

Advantages:

Low-cost investment in comparison to other storage options
Ability to access all pallets
FIFO or LIFO applications

Disadvantages:

Lower storage density because of aisles needed between your rows of used pallet rack

Drive-In Pallet Rack and Used Drive-Through Pallet Rack

Drive-in rack is a type of pallet rack that allows the forklift driver to drive straight into a bay of the rack. The pallets rest on side rails that go front to back, rather than cross beams as traditional pallet rack, leaving the front of the bay open for forklift access. There is usually a top tie (similar to a cross beam) at the very top of the bay to add stability and rigidity to the rack system. Drive-in racks are used as a LIFO inventory system, while the drive-through racks are used as a FIFO system. This style of pallet rack is best for large quantities of the same inventory/product.

Advantages:

High Storage Capacity/Density
Lower cost compared to a flow rack system

Disadvantages:

Poor accessibility to every pallet
More opportunity for damage since the forklift is driving inside the rack system

Pallet Flow Rack

This rack system has the same structure as pallet rack, but its cross beams support gravity roller conveyor within the rack (from front to back). The rollers are set at a pitch to allow the pallets to flow naturally toward the front of the rack. Once a pallet is unloaded, the pallets behind, using gravity alone, all move forward and the next pallet is ready to be unloaded. Like drive-in racks, pallet flow rack is ideal for large quantities of the same inventory, using FIFO inventory management system.

Advantages:

High Storage Capacity/Density
Can store many pallets deep
No need to drive in the rack system

Disadvantages:

Poor accessibility to every pallet
High investment compared to other options

Push Back Pallet Rack

Push back pallet rack is similar to flow rack, however, the pallets are both loaded and unloaded from the front. The pallets are typically rested on nested carts or gravity rollers. Pallets are loaded from the front, placed on the cart, and push the other pallets to the back of the lane.

Advantages:

High Storage Capacity/Density
Only a single aisle is needed for loading/unloading

Disadvantages:

Poor accessibility to every pallet
Limited to 4-5 deep


With all the options of pallet rack out there, while this guide is helpful, your best option is to call our sales team and go over your warehouse needs with them, and they can help provide you with the perfect pallet rack system for your business. We have been providing used pallet rack solutions across the country for over 25 years; give American Surplus a call today! 800-876-3736