Whether you're building a warehouse from the ground up and need pallet racks for the entire floor or you are simply looking to upgrade the storage area in your small business, choosing the right kind of pallet rack can be a daunting task. You might think that all storage tacks are essentially the same, but cantilever racks and pushback racks offer different advantages than flow racks or drive-thru racks. In any case, this article discusses some of the differences in various pallet rack designs to help you better select the style that best caters to your needs.
Cantilever pallet racks are ideal for those who need storage space for longer-than-usual inventory. This could be anything from bundles of lumber to oversized plastics. They are also utilized in the storage of odd-shaped inventories, as their adjustable arm-heights make for easy accommodation of materials that would otherwise require additional, specially constructed storage space.
Drive-thru racks are often the storage system of choice for individuals or business with substantial amounts of inventory. The primary advantage of drive-thru racks is their ability to house considerably more materials or products in a given space. This is accomplished by spacing racks closer together and piling materials and racks on top of and in front of one another.
The downside to this style of storage is that only the materials at the front of the driving path can be accessed. Ideally, you want this kind of storage if you have a lot of inventory that constitutes relatively little variety, i.e., a lot of the same products or merchandise.
Push-back racks are similar to drive-thru racks in that they provide significantly more storage capacity than traditional pallet racks. In fact, a configuration of push-back pallet racks provides even more storage than drive-thru racks as pallets can be stacked up to four or five deep. By comparison, conventional pallet racks may only have the depth to store single pallets side-by-side.
As with the drive-thru variety, push-back racks are great for storing significant amounts of similar inventory. However, they are slightly more versatile than their drive-thru counterpart since rearward pallets are sprung forward as the frontmost pallets are removed. In drive-thru systems, your access to pallets at any given level is contingent on the arrangement of pallets at other levels.
As you can see, your ideal pallet rack may vary drastically depending on the setup of your storage facility and the amount of inventory you have on hand at any given time.