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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Roll form drive in rack is the preferred storage rack for light and medium storage due to its bolt-less design and lighter overall weight.
Structural drive in rack is preferred for heavier loads when storing loads that weigh 1,500 lbs. or more. Structural drive in rack is made from hot rolled c-channel structural steel. It uses additional hardware (nuts and bolts) for assembly. It is inherently heavier, stronger and can hold heavier loads than roll-form rack. It is more impact resistant than roll-form rack.
While roll form drive in rack is the rack of choice for light and medium storage, structural drive in rack is often the preferred solution for higher density applications. Structural racks are thicker and the heavier construction offers improved resistance to impact from forklifts entering and exiting the racks.
You should consider using structural drive in racks:
- When heavier capacities (1,500 lbs or more per shelf) are being stored.
- When storing traditionally heavy and bulky items such as plywood, lumber, pipe, bar stock, steel sheets and coils, sheetrock, etc.
Due to its heavier weight, structural drive in racking prices show it's more to ship than roll form. Roll form rack is less costly to ship because it's lighter than structural racks with the same drive in rack dimensions.
Due to its heavier weight and nut and bolt connections, structural drive in racking may take longer to install, which could effect cost. Roll-form drive-in rack traditionally installs faster due to its bolt-less connection design, which allows for a fast and easy connection of the arms to the uprights.
- What is Pallet Racking?
- Rack Type Identification Guide
- Rack Quote Tool
- Pallet Rack Systems
- Storage Rack Systems
- What is Push Back Racking?
- Pallet Racking Basics
- Advanced Pallet Racking
- What is Drive In Racking?
- Drive In Rack Basics
- Advanced Drive In Rack
- What is Double Deep Rack?
- Top Storage Rack Systems
- Should I DIY?
- Pallet Rack Accessories Guide
- Pallet Design & Storage
SJF offers complete refurbishing services for all rack systems we sell. After the refurbishing process, the drive in racks look brand new. These photos also demonstrate the differences between used drive in arms and refurbished arms. After SJF's refurbishing process, the arms are almost indistinguishable from new.
SJF can refurbish any and all storage racks and other warehouse equipment. Contact your SJF Solutions Specialist for more details.