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Rack Supported Warehouses

Massey Admin - Monday, August 02, 2010

Over the years we have designed Rack Supported Warehouses for the food industry; these racks carry the product but also support the roofs and sides of the building. These rack structures use 70-80 percent of the cube utilization. Most of these warehouses were -10 degree freezers. The warehouses where designed for use with counterbalanced electric forklifts or DC drive stacker cranes.

Advantage: Building can be depreciated as rack in 5-6 years.

Disadvantage: The building can only be used for the pallet size in the original design.

If this system is of interest please call us, we can go through the pluses and minuses, cost, etc.

VNA-Stacker Crane Systems

Massey Admin - Monday, July 19, 2010

With the high cost of land and other property restraints we have seen a number of VNA-Very Narrow Aisle or Stacker Crane systems. Either of the above is a good option if you wish to stack 30 to 100 feet high. Depending upon the system your aisles will be between 54” to 66” wide.


  • Extremely high utilization of the warehouse space (cube)
  • Decrease labor cost-These machines can be computer driven-no operator.


  • High initials cost.
  • Double handling of product

You must have a good warehouse management system in order for a VNA system, whether stacker crane or turret truck, to be successful.

Massey Equipment will work with consultants on this kind of systems to help provide you with the best possible solution.

Pallet-Flow Rack

Massey Admin - Monday, July 12, 2010

If you can, envision loading a warehouse one of the building and unloading it on the far side. There is only one input and one retrieval aisle required. The pallets simply flow from one end of the rack to another.

Massey Equipment has designed and built warehouses for this configuration.


  • First in first out, excellent rotation of inventory.
  • Very good floor space utilization.


  • Cost is much higher than the other types of racking.

Please note a number of customers use pallet flow systems 10 pallets deeps to pre-charge loads at the shipping docks. This speeds up the shipping process plus gives you first in first out.

Push-Back Rack

Massey Admin - Monday, July 05, 2010

In a Push Back Rack System you can store up to six pallets deep. The counterbalanced forklift pushes the load into the rack from the aisle. The rack is unloaded from the same aisle. This rack is very efficient if you have sufficient aisle width to right angle stack and good forklift drivers.

Advantage: Modified first in, first out gives a good rotation of stock.

Disadvantage: Cost is 30% higher than drive-in rack

Massey Equipment has designed and installed many of these systems around the Midwest. We do have a demo unit at our St. Louis, Mo Warehouse.

Drive-Thru Pallet Rack

Massey Admin - Monday, June 28, 2010

In this type of rack system, you can drive completely thru the rack. This will allow better first in, first out rotation than normal drive-in rack.

Advantage- Better rotation of inventory

Disadvantage- In seismic zone 2 and 2A we cannot use this type of rack because it must be secured to the building. In seismic zones you should not put laterals loads on your structure. Because of these restraints we do not recommend drive-thru rack in the St. Louis area.

Drive-In Rack

Massey Admin - Monday, June 21, 2010

Drive in pallet racking-can be loaded by a counterbalanced forklift in depths from 2 pallets to 10 pallets. The rack can be any depth, height, or width again depending upon the building parameters, lift truck used, and pallet sizes.

Advantage of Drive-In Systems:

  • Good space utilization- 50% and 60% of your floor space is used for product storage; 40% - 50% is used for aisles.
  • Cost is only 50% higher than selective rack.

Disadvantages of Drive in systems:

  • In each vertical there should only one line item for quick easy access.
  • Picking pallets out of a drive-in system is slower than selective.

Massey Equipment designs and installs large quantities of drive in rack. We stock drive in components at our St. Louis warehouse.

Selective Rack

Massey Admin - Monday, June 14, 2010

In a majority of storage applications when pallets are stored selective pallet racks are purchased. I would estimate 70% of pallet rack used in the St. Louis area is selective.

Advantages of Selective Pallet Rack:

  • Low cost
  • All line items are available for picking, either full pallet load or partial.
  • Good rotation of your inventory.

Disadvantages of Selective Pallet Rack:

  • Low space utilization- 20% of your floor space is storage- 80% is aisles.

Selective pallet racks are for 1 deep storage (in some cases 2 deep) generally with two picking levels, and surge above. These racks are designed around the pallet size used. EXAMPLE: A  48”x 40” pallet will require a pallet rack 42” or 44” deep, the most economic span is 2 pallets wide (90” to 96” clear width). The height of the storage rack is determined by:

  • The pallet height.
  • Lift truck lifting height.
  • Clear vertical height under your bar joists or sprinkler heads.

Massey Equipment is available to design and install your storage system. We stock new and used selective rack in our warehouse at 915 St. Louis Ave.

Pallet Racking Intro

Massey Admin - Monday, June 07, 2010

For the next few weeks we will discuss the various types of pallet racking.

  1. Advantages and disadvantages of each type.
  2. Ball Park pricing of each type.
  3. The common usage of each type.

The types of racking we will discuss are:

Selective Pallet Rack

Drive in Pallet Rack

Drive Thru Pallet Rack

Push Back Pallet Rack

Flow Thru Pallet Rack

VNA- High Cube Pallet Racking

Cantilever Racking

Rack supported warehousing structure

Bulk Rack- Hand Loaded

Steel Shelving

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