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Push Back vs Drive In Pallet Racking: Which is Better?

What is Push Back Racking?

Push Back Racking is a last in, first out (LIFO) method in which pallets are loaded and unloaded from the same end. As pallets are loaded onto a sloped storage lane, those at the front are pushed back, and as they are removed, those at the back move forward. This creates a high density, low selectivity system, which only requires one aisle to be accessible. It can be formed using either rollers or shuttles to move the pallets and holds between two and six at a time.

It is an ideal system for storing medium-turnover products and goods of the same type. Push Back Racking maximises warehouse capacity and reduces need for transport routes, thus saving time and space and increasing efficiency.

What is Drive In Racking?

Drive In Racking is another high density, low selectivity system which allows the use of forklifts to load and unload products. This storage method can significantly increase storage capacity of warehouses operating on an LIFO basis for homogenous products. Drive In Racking requires only one access aisle, reducing forklift traffic and eliminating the need for multiple aisles. Due to its accessibility for forklifts, it is a system that utilises both cubic and floor space, making the most of warehouse height.

It is most appropriate when space optimisation is more important than selectivity of loads. Drive In Racking can be stocked from six to eight pallets deep and is also easily upgradable to continually increase capacity.

Which Solution is Right For You?

While there are similarities between the two different types of racking, the specific requirements of your warehouse can greatly affect which is the better option for you. Despite both being high density, in low selectivity LIFO systems, the largest difference stems from the accessibility of each racking type.

Drive In racks take longer to load and unload due to the expansive nature and height of the racking, and the need to use forklifts to shift goods. Push Back racking allows for faster material handling due to the automation of its pallet shuffling.

Drive In racking has no limit on its depth and remains flexible to later expansion, while Push Back racking is fixed in its original design.

Properly loaded Push Back systems will be unable to jam and maintain their efficiency across time periods, while the human error possible when placing pallets with a forklift means this is not the case.

The use of forklifts also means Drive In racking is at greater susceptibility to damage than Push Back racking. Push Back racking is likely to need less maintenance or rack repairs, particularly when formed with shuttles rather than rollers.

No matter your individual needs, you can rest assured that here at DC Space & Storage Solutions, we understand the importance of finding the right pallet racking for your company, and are always on hand to help find the best and most affordable outcome for you.

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