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Drive In Pallet Racking

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Drive in racking system, also called drive through racking or corridor racks, is whole-building rack that is not separated by aisles. Compared with ordinary beam type racks, the reduce of forklift channels makes the space utilization rate is higher. Compared with other intensive racks, the supporting forklift or counterbalanced forklift is used, which makes the cost of the system is relatively low.

1. What is drive in racking system/what is drive through racking
2. Drive in pallet racking dimensions
3. Drive through racking system structure
4. Drive in racking system design
5. Classification of drive-in racks
6. Capacity of drive-in shelf 
7. Drive in pallet racking advantages & disadvantages
8. Drive in racking system access operation
9. Precautions for the operation of drive-in racks
10. The best way to use
11. The application of drive-in racks
12. How to install drive in pallet racking
13. Daily maintenance of drive-through storage racking
14. Precautions for warehouse drive-in rack procurement
15. Drive through racking video
16. Conclusion

1. What is drive in racking system/what is drive through racking

Drive in pallet racking system is one of the racking systems for high-density storage. It adopts the pallet storage and retrieval mode, which is suitable for the storage of small varieties and large quantities of goods. The system adopts a multi-door type connected by a lattice column and a continuous way, and the pallet unitized goods are stored one after another on the cantilever beam in the depth direction.

Drive through pallet racks are assembled racks in which forklifts drive in and out of the racks to store goods in pallet units. It is composed of continuous shelves without aisles in the middle, and the storage and retrieval of goods is operated by forklifts entering the shelves. According to the shelf arrangement, it can be divided into single-side driving-in and double-side driving-in.

2. Drive in pallet racking dimensions

1) W is the width dimension of the pallet oriented by the forklift. It is one of the important parameters of the drive-in rack design, which directly affects the other dimensions of the rack and the operating space of the forklift.
2) W1 is the effective travel distance of the forklift, which directly determines the width of the forklift body (usually the width of the forklift body is less than W1-100mm).
3) W2 is the distance between the centerlines of two adjacent pillars of the channel.
4) W3 is the effective length of the cantilever. The greater the length, the greater the bending torque of the column piece, and the smaller the bearing capacity of the column piece of the same specification. That is, it affects cargo capacity, generally W3≥210mm.
5) W4 is the loading size of the pallet on the cantilever beam. This is related to the safety of the tray access process, generally W4≥130mm.
6) W5 is the gap between the cargo and the column piece. It affects the safety of the cargo on the pillar piece. Generally W5≥75mm.
1) The distance between the load and the cantilever, C1≥150mm
2) The distance between the tray and the pillar, C≥80mm
3) The width of the tray and the cantilever, E=C+50mm
4) Cantilever length, L=C+E

3. Drive through racking system structure

1) The composition of the drive-in pallet racking

The main structural components of the drive-in racking system include the column frame, the rear cross beam, and the top cross beam. Because the stored goods are denser and require very high stability, relatively more shelf accessories are required. Through the connection of the accessories and the shelf pillars, the goods can be safely and densely stored on the corbel beam, which can maximize the use of space.

The accessories of the drive through racking include: corbel (the main connecting piece between corbel beam and shelf column, single-sided and double-sided), corbel beam (the main supporting shelf for storing goods), top beam (connecting and stabilizing fixtures of shelf columns), top pull (connecting and stabilizing fixtures of shelf columns), back pull (connecting and stabilizing fixtures of shelf columns, used for one-way arrangement of shelves), foot guards (protection parts on the front of the shelf), guard rails (when the forklift enters the roadway, it is the protective parts of the shelf) etc.

2) Schematic diagram of drive-in rack structure

3) Structural characteristics of drive-in racks

① The drive in pallet racking system is a door structure. To ensure its stability, the column slenderness ratio should not be too high. Usually should be controlled within 10 meters. And 4 floors, 3~5 rows or more are suitable.

② The layer spacing of the upper and lower adjacent cantilever beams can be adjusted according to the height of the pallet unit goods. The layer spacing should be an integer multiple of 50 mm, 75 mm or 100 mm.

③ In order to strengthen the stability of the entire shelf system, in addition to larger specifications and selections, it is also necessary to install a tensile structure device.

④ Single consignment should not be too large or heavy. Usually the weight is controlled within 1500KG, and the pallet span should not be greater than 1.5 meters.

4) Precautions for shelf structure

① The upright piece should be fixed to the ground to prevent the displacement of the base from affecting the traffic of the forklift and the overall stability of the shelf.


② There should be a guide track to prevent the forklift from snake-like movement. The track spacing should be determined according to the width of the matched fork wheel track.


③ The cantilever beam should have a limit structure to prevent the pallet unit goods from falling when they are cut in the direction of the row mouth.


④ In order to enhance the stability of the shelf, a vertical pull rod should be provided on the back of the shelf, and a horizontal pull rod should be provided on the top of the shelf.


⑤ Shelves should be equipped with necessary shelf safety devices. The surface color of the safety device should be a warning color.

4. Drive in racking system design

1) Data you need to know before design

① The specific model and parameters of the forklift:

By understanding the model and parameters of the forklift, you can know the depth of the forklift and the size of the forklift, so as to determine the specifications of the unit drive-in drive through pallet racking system and the overall length, width and height.


② The direction and requirements of goods entering and leaving the warehouse:

The entry and exit of the goods should be prepared for measurement. Scientific and reasonable drive through storage rack design also needs to understand the direction of goods in and out. This can effectively design the layout of the shelves, so that the shelves can be more effective after installation.


③ The construction situation of the storage area:

In-depth understanding of the various construction conditions of the warehouse, including the position of the ceiling beams, the warehouse's fire hydrants and important import and export. In this way, a reasonable reserved channel can be designed for the drive-in storage rack to facilitate the circulation of goods and personnel in the future.


④ The lifting height of the forklift and the available net height of the warehouse:

The total height of drive-in storage shelves and effective storage units are related to the lifting height of the forklift and the net height of the warehouse. The designer must learn from the user the maximum height that the forklift used by the warehouse can be lifted and the height of the customer’s warehouse.


⑤ Pallet cargo properties (pallet size and cargo size):

The design of unit racks needs to consider the situation of pallet goods, such as pallet size, weight, bottom structure, etc. And the size and weight of the cargo should be considered. These requirements must be measured and estimated clearly before design.

2) The design of drive-in racks needs to meet the following requirements

① Load bearing. It depends on what goods are stored and what are the load-bearing requirements.

② Channel width. The drive-in type generally uses a forklift, and the convenience of forklift loading and unloading and access should be considered when designing.

③ Shelf span. Since the forklift must drive into the shelf, considering the safety, generally do not exceed 4 spans.

④ Anti-collision foot protection. This is to prevent the forklift from hitting the shelf and affecting the stability of the shelf.

3) Design of drive through shelves

In the design process of the drive through pallet rack, the standardization of the pallet unit products is first necessary to determine the size, stack height, and rated load of the pallet. Only then can the overall structure of the drive-in rack and key dimensions such as the span, depth, layer spacing, and height of the storage unit be planned. And the design and review of the rack structure and parts can be carried out.


When designing, design verification or test verification should be carried out for key parameters. Establish a corresponding simplified mechanical model based on the case structure. According to the actual force (including seismic load, etc.) and load distribution of the rack, combined with the corresponding geometric parameters and quality characteristics of the component section, the design and verification of the strength, stiffness, and stability are carried out. If necessary, it can be verified by experiments to ensure that the design results are consistent with the actual situation.

5. Classification of drive-in racks

Drive-in racks can be divided into three structures: one-way drive-in, two-way drive-in and through-type according to the pick-up direction. It is best to control the total depth of the one-way drive-in type (area against the wall) within 7 pallets. 

The total depth of the two-way drive-in type (the middle area can be used for storage and retrieval of goods on both sides) is best controlled within the depth of 14 pallets to improve the efficiency and reliability of forklift access. 

Through-type racks need special consideration for the bending stability and cost-effectiveness of the rack door structure, and it is generally not recommended to use them. Unless there are special needs for site logistics planning.

6. Capacity of drive-in shelf 

Drive-in pallet racks are whole-building racks that are not divided by aisles. It is stored as palletized goods, and there is no special forklift aisle. Forklifts need to drive into the shelves to pick up and store goods. As for the bearing capacity of a layer, it is designed according to the weight of the pallet cargo that is loaded and unloaded.

Usually, the single pallet of the drive-in rack should not be too large or heavy. Usually the weight is controlled within 1500KG, and the pallet span should not be greater than 1.5 meters. The total depth of one-way drive-in racks is best controlled within 7 pallets. The total depth of the two-way drive-in racking area is best controlled within the depth of 14 pallets. 

In this way, the load capacity of the first floor of the drive-in rack is controlled within 9 tons in one direction and 18 tons in both directions. The specific load can be determined by storing the characteristics of the pallet cargo.

7. Drive in pallet racking advantages & disadvantages

① High utilization rate of warehouse: Drive-in pallet racking system do not require too many forklift channels, which can greatly reduce the non-storage area in the warehouse and improve the utilization rate of warehouse area.

② There are many cargo digits per unit volume: Since each channel can be arranged on both sides of the channel with different depths, more stock positions can be arranged.

③ Flexible and variable track can be adjusted: the track height can be adjusted according to the size of the goods to meet the requirements of different storage sizes.

④ The overall structure is high in strength: Compared with beam racks, the drive-in racks form a whole after they are installed. Stability has been improved several times. There is almost no hidden danger of collapse.

⑤ Low cost of cargo space: Because more goods can be stored per unit volume, the cost of cargo space is greatly reduced.

① The drive through shelf is suitable for the storage and retrieval of bulk goods, but it is not suitable for goods with high first-in first-out requirements, small batches, and many varieties.

② There are restrictions on the choice of forklifts. Generally, the width of the forklifts is small and the vertical stability of walking is good.

8. Drive in racking system access operation

1) Put the goods on the shelf (from inside to outside)

① Forklift pick up the goods, to the front of the shelf corridor
② Carry the goods to the drive-in rack and lift the fork to the appropriate height above the corbel shelf
③ Enter the drive-in shelf
④ Put down the goods to the target position
⑤ The forklift exits the shelf

2) Take out the goods from the shelf (from outside to inside)

① The forklift enters the drive-in rack
② Fork to pick up the target cargo
③ The forklift moves the goods out of the shelf

9. Precautions for the operation of drive-in racks

① Raise the fork to an appropriate height to prevent the mast from hitting the upper cargo.
② Keep going straight in and out of the shelves to avoid the forklift from hitting the shelves.
③ The goods are stored layer by layer from the highest level to the lower level of the shelf.
④ The storage of goods (cardboard) shall not exceed the corbel beam.
⑤ Make sure that there is at least 5 cm of area on both sides of the pallet to store on the corbel beam.
⑥ Strictly operate in accordance with the operating rules of drive-in racks. After the goods are firmly placed on the corbel beam, it is strictly forbidden for a forklift to push or slide the goods on the corbel beam.

10. The best way to use

Although we all already know how to use drive-in shelves can help companies improve economic efficiency. However, just paying attention to this is not enough. What we need to pay attention to is how to better use drive-in racks to maximize economic benefits.

① When using drive through shelves, load and unload from one side, which can effectively improve time efficiency.
② There are restrictions on the choice of forklifts. Generally, the width of the forklift is required to be small, and the vertical stability of walking is good.
③ Commonly equipped forklifts are forward-moving battery forklifts or counterbalanced battery forklifts. Most of the forklift operation methods are continuous "lifting high" mode. After the goods are lifted, the center of gravity is high, and the forklift is likely to sway and collide with the shelves due to the unevenness of the aisle ground. This will affect the stability and safety of the shelf structure, and will also affect the speed and efficiency of cargo turnover to a certain extent. Therefore, higher requirements are placed on the driver's driving skills.
④ Drive-in and drive-through racking system are suitable for the storage of goods with small varieties and large quantities. It is often used to store a large number of goods of the same type, and has a higher use of space. It is suitable for the food industry, chemical industry, clothing industry, cold storage and other occasions where the cost of storage space is high.

11. The application of drive-in racks

① Drive-in racks have relatively low investment costs and are suitable for situations where the horizontal size is large, the variety is small, the quantity is large, and the cargo access mode can be predetermined. It is often used to store large quantities of the same type of goods.

② Because of its high storage density and high utilization of ground space, it is often used in places where storage space costs such as cold storage and tobacco are relatively high.

③ It is suitable for the situation of uniform packaging of goods and single product. Food industries such as dairy and beverages.

12. How to install drive in pallet racking

① Install the column set first. Take out the two uprights, arrange them in the same order, and screw on the nut (no need to tighten) before inserting the screw. Take out the cross brace (the long one is the diagonal brace, the short one is the cross brace). Align a cross brace with the screw hole, and then install the cross brace into the column. Align the other end of the diagonal brace with the hole of the other column, take out another diagonal brace, insert the screw, and screw on the nut. Install all diagonal braces accordingly.

Place the other end of the cross brace in the same position on the other upright. Align a diagonal brace with the eyelet and put it into this column (with the opening facing down), thread it into the spiral, and screw it on (without tightening).

Install all the pillars accordingly, and tighten all the screws with a wrench. When installing to the top hole, take a cross brace and install it on the column together with the end of the last installed diagonal brace.

② Next, hang the beam, install the support arm, and install the support rail. Use two iron rods to tighten crosswise above the column to make the shelf more stable. In order to maintain the beauty, the direction of each partition should be the same. The location is fixed, and the shelves are neatly placed according to the drawings or actual placement requirements.

③ Then hit the expansion screw. Drill holes at the feet of the shelf with a hammer drill. Insert expansion bolts into the holes in the foundation. After hitting it down with a hammer, tighten it with a wrench.

④ Finally, install anti-collision feet at the entrance of the shelf.

The above is the installation procedure of the drive-in rack. Generally, drive-in storage shelves manufacturers and suppliers provide shelf installation services.

13. Daily maintenance of drive-through storage racking

The maintenance of the drive-in storage rack can ensure efficient storage and safe use of the rack. Therefore, daily maintenance of shelves is also very important. The maintenance content includes regular content such as fastener tightness determination, vertical column determination, and damaged parts determination.

① Clean. During the cleaning process, the mechanical deformation of the product caused by the collision of the external force can be found in time and timely replacement of safe and stable shelf parts. In line with the principle of safety first, timely processing to ensure safe and efficient storage.

② Correction. Use professional horizontal stereo positioning tools to accurately record the shelf status, and then effectively correct it. This can ensure shelf carrying capacity and safety.

③ Strictly implement safe use rules. Do not exceed the load limit, exceed the line position, and exceed the storage density to ensure safety performance during storage.

14. Precautions for warehouse drive-in rack procurement

① Understand the size of the pallet, the direction of the fork, the carrying capacity of the pallet, and the maximum weight of the goods that need to be stored for each pallet position.
② Warehouse size, height, fire hydrant location, entrance, and exit location, etc.
③ Comprehensive data of forklift, maximum lifting height, maximum weighing weight, forklift width, etc.

15. Drive through racking video

16. Conclusion

Compared with pallet racks, the warehouse utilization rate of drive-in racks can reach about 80%, and the utilization rate of warehouse space can be increased by more than 30%, making it the rack with the highest storage efficiency. Drive-through pallet racking systems can achieve the largest storage capacity in the smallest space and are the most economical logistics solution.

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