Drive In Racking Systems | QMH Inc.
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Drive In Racking Systems

Drive In Racking Systems for Forklifts

Drive In Racking Systems are a cost effective, high density storage solution for pallets and products in warehouses and distribution centers. Drive-in pallet racks are designed to first in, last out (FILO) storage systems and best utilized when working with large quantities of like-products that are not time-sensitive (i.e. perishables, products with expiration dates). Drive in racks maximize floor space by allowing a greater number of pallets to be stored in the same space as selective pallet racks, reducing square foot to pallet position ratio. This particular type of pallet racking system is especially beneficial for temperature controlled storage because it minimizes unused aisle space. Want to learn more about how Drive-In Pallet Racking can help organize and streamline your warehouse operations? Contact a warehouse racking systems specialist at QMH today!

Advantages of Drive In Racks

  • Maximize utilization of square footage in your facility
  • Limited aisles for more efficient use of space
  • Unlimited depth of storage
  • Utilizes density over selectivity
  • Cost-effective

How Drive In Racking Works

Drive-In Racks store pallets that are driven into the racking system via forklift and loaded onto horizontal rails. Pallets are removed by forklift from the same opening through which they are loaded. Drive in racks are typically placed against a wall or are otherwise closed at one end of the system. Drive Thru pallet racks are based on the same concept but are located in an open area so that forklifts can drive completely through the rack system.

However, there are drawbacks to Drive-In Pallet Racks that can make them unsuitable for certain types of businesses and storage requirements. One of the biggest disadvantages of drive in racks is the lack of selectivity and inability to rotate inventory because of the first in, last out (FILO) nature of the racking system. Another potential downside is that if you don’t ship enough volume of a particular product, you may end up with a significant amount of unused space in a drive-in rack.

Drive In Racking System Safety

Loading & Unloading

Safety is of utmost importance in any workplace. When working with a drive-in pallet rack system, loading and unloading pallets safely and securely without causing damage to your product and pallet racks, as well as preventing injury to your employees is the biggest priority. Before using the drive-in racks, it is a good idea to make sure the forklift is compatible with the dimensions of the racking system. Operators must enter the drive-in racks slowly and carefully to avoid hitting the pallet rack upright frames. Forklift operators need to be extremely careful when reversing out of the racking system when unloading as well, while taking all the same precautionary measures taken during the loading process.


Regular maintenance and upkeep is necessary to ensure the stability and safety of a drive-in pallet racking system. It is highly recommended that regular safety checks be performed to verify that the racking system hasn’t incurred any damage that may compromise the strength of the pallet rack or operator’s safety. Focus on checking for damaged frames, loose anchors, and damaged pallet rails.

Drive-Thru Pallet Racks

Also known as “Drive Through Racks”, these pallet racks consist of the same design and functionality as drive-in racking. However, instead of one end being closed off,  the drive-thru racking system is open on both ends, allowing forklifts to drive all the way through the system. With this setup, one side of the racking system is used for loading pallets and the other side for unloading, essentially turning the last in, first out (LIFO) system into a first in, first out (FIFO) system.