Drive-in pallet rack is a very common material handling storage solution for high-volume SKUs. It’s highly condensed footprint with depth typically 6-8 (up to 10) pallets deep and several levels high… these systems can really pack in the pallets. The design is relatively simple too, without moving or dynamic parts like other dense storage solutions (namely push-back and pallet flow rack).
Pallets are placed on static parallel rails instead of carts and wheels or rollers. Pallets remain stationary until removed by the forklift. However because the forklift has to enter the actual rack system for loading and unloading, drivers must be highly trained and forklift/rack interaction rates are high. Also systems usually require an extra measure of pallet rack safety guards to protect the system integrity against forklift strikes.
Forklift Instructions for Drive-In Pallet Rack
Here are some important guidelines and safety tips for loading and unloading drive-in pallet rack. As always, drivers need to follow warehouse safety guidelines put forth by OSHA and supported by your facility management.
Forklift Safety: Drive-In Pallet Rack Loading Procedures
PLACING A PALLET:
- Driver should square the forklift with the pallet rack bay opening.
- Lift the pallet 3” – 4” above the rails.
- Slowly drive to the open pallet position and carefully lower the pallet.
- Slowly back away from the system.
RETRIEVING A PALLET:
- Square the forklift outriggers elevated to the height of the pallet to be removed.
- Secure the pallet with the forklift.
- Raise the load approximately 3”- 4” above the rails and slowly and completely out of the system.
- Carefully turn the forklift in the aisle to prevent rack impact and damage.
IMPORTANT TO NOTE!
Pallets must sit evenly on the rails. If it is misaligned, the pallet must be fully retrieved and properly placed. The pallet cannot be pulled along the rails to realign.