What is Drive Through Racking and How Does it Work?

If you are planning to set up a storage facility, it will be important to choose a rack system that will best suit the nature of your proposed operation. If your need will be for a high-density storage facility, mounting the goods on pallets will offer the most practical solution. However, to ensure meeting your operational requirements as effectively as possible, it will be necessary to choose which of two similar types of installation will meet those requirements most effectively. The choice will be between drive-in and drive through pallet racking.

The difference between these alternative systems lies in the manner in which the pallets are loaded and unloaded, and each of them has its own use. Both consist of uprights, to which the rail-like beams are attached. The uprights serve to provide the vertical support, enabling the pallets to be stored on the beams. The design permits floor-to-ceiling storage of back-to-back pallets by both systems. Best suited for handling fast-moving products, a drive through racking system allows a forklift truck to be driven into the racks themselves. New products are then loaded on one side of the system, while picking is performed from the opposite side.

A series of rollers arranged along a slight slope ensures that, once loaded, a pallet will move down the slope, coming to rest on the opposite side of the rack, where it can later be unloaded. The resulting first in, first out (FIFO) operation means that a drive through racking system offers warehouse owners the perfect choice for storing perishable items with relatively short shelf lives, such as groceries, where observing sell-by and best-before dates is crucial.

That said, it is also a system that is popular with other types of businesses, such as mail-order companies, cold storage facilities, and the manufacturers of automotive parts. Both easy to assemble and flexible enough to be reconfigured, should this prove necessary, it is unlike the drive-in type of installation, which is better suited to slower-moving items, where shelf-life is not an issue and a last in, first out (LIFO) operation is quite acceptable. By contrast, installing a drive through racking system will provide the benefit of high-density storage while being better adapted to those situations in which a rapid turnover of stock is essential.

With the loading and unloading activities separated, any disruption is avoided. Furthermore, this type of system can also reduce running costs. The shorter travel distances for forklifts while picking and packing mean that less power is consumed in the process. If you are thinking about drive through racking, the quality products, expert installations, and professional support from Krost Shelving are unbeatable.