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DriveIn / Drive-Thru Racking

DistribuTek Leaning Center

An expansion of the double deep concept and still utilizing a last-in/first-out storage and retrieval procedure is drive-in rack. This rack has bays three or more loads deep. To allow standard lift equipment access to the loads, instead of the pallets straddling load beams front-to-rear, parallel to the aisle; they straddle load beams left-to-right, perpendicular to the aisle. ThisDistribuTek Leaning Center arrangement allows lift equipment to actually enter the racking system. The load beams are referred to as support rails within the industry, and they do in fact appear to be rails because they travel the entire depth of the bay, which may be 20 or more feet deep. They are supported from the vertical column from a cantilever-type member called a support arm. Of course, since the lift truck must enter the structure, no beams are allowed to span left to right in the truck's path. This means that the only beams allowed parallel to the aisle may be those placed overhead to tie the vertical members, either frames or single columns, together. Drive-in rack is a very dense storage configuration which can be an efficient utilizer of space, as long as system utilization is high. This means that the product mix stored must be such that it is possible to keep the rack highly loaded. Since all the front loads in an entire bay of drive-in must be unloaded in order to get to the next deepest loads, and so on, drive-in is best used in operations which store a large volume of like product. If this were not the case, and a user needed to store only a few pallets of each SKU, or there was a need for fast product rotation, system utilization would be low because loads could not be stored in some locations in order to keep other loads accessible. A drive-thru rack is merely a drive-in rack that is accessible from both sides of the rack. It is for staging loads in a flow-thru fashion where a unit load is loaded at one end and retrieved at the other end. Where the drive-in rack requires only one aisle for proper operation, the drive-thru requires two (entrance and exit).
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