Drive-In Racking Systems

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Drive-In Pallet Racking Systems
Drive-in racking is a high-density pallet storage system where the outer sides of the pallet are supported on rails. The rails create a lane and the length of the rails determine how many pallets deep the system will be (typically 2 – 10 pallets).

The forklift aisle runs perpendicular to the drive-in lanes and a single aisle can service many lanes on either side, providing a very high pallet position-to-aisle ratio. The operator drives into the required lane to store and retrieve pallets.

Drive-In Pallet Racking is best suited for low mix, high volume SKUs

How does Drive-In Pallet Racking Compare to Other Options?

Drive-In Pallet Racking Systems

Advantages

  • Density: This system is designed to maximize the number of pallet locations in a given footprint.
  • Investment: Drive-in racking is more expensive per pallet position compared to selective or double deep racking but is the least expensive high-density system

Disadvantages

  • Selectivity: All pallet locations (depth and height) in a drive-in bay should be filled with the same SKU. Mixing SKUs within drive-in bays results in excessive material handling and is highly discouraged. In contrast to selective racking where every pallet position and every SKU is immediately available, withdrive-in racking only one SKU is available per bay with each bay storing many pallet positions.
  • Honeycombing:Partially filled drive-in bays create open pallet positions that may not be available oruseable due to: 1) there may not be more pallets of that SKU available to fill those positions, 2) The operator may need to deplete the existing inventory in the bay before adding any new pallets to achieve proper stock rotation. For example, the system may have a total capacity of 1,000 pallet positions with 200 open but not available.
  • Inventory Rotation: The system is designed to provide Last In, First Out (LIFO) inventory rotation, however FIFO can be achieved at a batch level if procedures are in place to support the process and the system is properly configured.
  • Damages: This system is highly susceptible to damage from forklift operators working inside confined lanes. Guarding and guides are essential to prevent destruction of the system over time and the system should be inspected and maintained regularly.
  • Flexibility: These systems are designed and engineered for particular load dimensions and weights. Reconfiguration is possible but can be time consuming and expensive.

Layout and Equipment Considerations

  • Material handling equipment: Standard forklifts and reach trucks can be used but the system must be designed to accommodate the equipment or vice versa.
  • Pallet construction and condition: It is important to ensure that pallets are in good condition and capable of supporting the loads from the side. Pallets should be stable and without product overhang.
  • Slab: Due to the density of the system it is possible to have higher than normal load requirements for the slab.

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