Teardrop, Keystone & More: Pallet Racking Types and Applications

The world of pallet racking is surprisingly diverse. To get the most out of your facility’s storage space may mean using one particular style or a combination of pallet racking types. Today, we’ll walk you through some popular types of pallet racking, their benefits and some common applications. Ready to explore your storage options? Just read on!

At East Coast Storage Equipment, we connect customers with the highest-quality used material handling equipment. We carry many types of pallet racks to make outfitting your facility easy and convenient. Give us a call today at 888.294.5022.

Popular Pallet Racking Types

Pallet racking comes in many shapes and sizes. Depending on your application, your facility could benefit from several different pallet racking configurations. The first step is understanding what kinds of items you intend to store. Taking a full assessment of your storage requirements is key to developing a solution that meets all your needs.

For example, if your team is dealing with stock that will expire, you may find use in racking types that utilize first-in, first-out (FIFO) storage systems. Additionally, if you’re consistently de-palletizing inventory into smaller carton storage, pallet racking may not be appropriate at all. In this case, you may depend on other racking types like carton flow racking.

The only way to determine which pallet racking types can help optimize your storage and workflow is to take facility design and layout seriously. 

Selective vs. Other Types of Pallet Racks

While designing the racking system for your facility, you’ll need to decide how much, if any, selective rack you plan to install. Selective rack is essentially the industry standard and works well for environments where you can benefit from selecting from different palletized loads.

Selective pallet rack (pictured) systems require layouts where forklift and worker traffic aisles allow for access to palletized loads at all times.

A basic, selective rack, in either single- or double-deep configuration, is perfect for warehouses where every pallet needs to be accessible. Especially in single-deep configurations, workers operating forklifts can find and access any pallet in the facility without needing to move any product out of the way.

Other types of pallet racking fit better in environments with a steady stock of a particular palletized product. These other types of pallet racking can organize large inventories of similar SKUs and include:

Putting It All Together: Different Types of Selective Pallet Rack 

Don’t let the simple storage configuration options of selective racking fool you. Within this seemingly basic category of pallet rack are all kinds of different versions in both style and material. The first distinction you’ll need to understand is between structural steel vs. roll-formed.

Without getting into too much detail, structural tends to work better in environments where durability is essential. Roll-formed, while still strong, finds use in facilities that need to meet the shifting demands of stock that comes in many different shapes and sizes. If you’re looking for more information, we’ve got another blog to help you find the pallet rack material that’s right for you.

Another key distinction between types of selective racks is how you assemble everything. With structural steel racking, you’ll most likely be bolting in components like pallet uprights and beams. With roll-formed racking, a simpler system of slotted openings and clips makes installation a bit simpler. Let’s explore some of the popular styles of roll-formed racking.

Teardrop Pallet Rack

When it comes to the most popular racking style, teardrop pallet racks certainly take the top prize. What makes them the top choice is the sheer versatility of the design. Not only are teardrop-style racks easy to assemble, but you can often find surplus components from different manufacturers that all work well together.

Using popular styles like teardrop racking (pictured) makes replacing or adding components, specifically beams and uprights, easy.

Since virtually every pallet rack manufacturer has a teardrop style design, finding additional parts like columns and uprights is painless. Teardrop-style racking is by and large the most versatile type of selective pallet rack. It can find use in many different warehouse environments and storage applications.

Keystone Pallet Rack

While certainly not as popular as its teardrop-shaped counterparts, Keystone style pallet racking offers some distinct advantages over other roll-formed racking. With Keystone racking, manufacturers design the holes in the columns to offer maximum structural integrity. The added design element means Keystone racking is durable and strong.

Manufacturers cut the slot holes themselves, the “keystone” shapes, in strategic areas to help reduce the overall stress from the load. This makes Keystone pallet rack the preferred choice for environments where you need to store larger loads reliably. On the other hand, Keystone racking is hard to source, and different manufacturers differ in design — making swapping components from different brands difficult.

Keystone racking (pictured) provides extra storage strength for environments with heavy loads.

Other Pallet Racks and Brands

Teardrop and Keystone are just a handful of your options when it comes to roll-formed racking systems. Every manufacturer may have its own way of designing particular styles or proprietary configurations. Here are a few you may come across:

Teardrop and Keystone are just a handful of your options when it comes to roll-formed racking systems.

Each of these brands and styles will offer its own benefits in terms of applications. Some may utilize designs to help keep the overall structure sturdy and strong. Others work better for environments where changing rack configurations is a regular task.

Specialty Racking

While pallet racks come in many different shapes and sizes, what if it’s not pallets that you need to store? For these applications, specialty racking is the strongest option. The most common of these options is cantilever racking.

Cantilever Racking

Not all loads are neatly stackable and of uniform size. If you need to store long, awkward or otherwise bulky items, cantilever racking can help optimize your facility’s storage space. Cantilever racking consists of several familiar pallet racking components, like uprights and braces, but differs in design by having arms that jut out from the upright back.

You may opt for specialty racking options like cantilever racking (pictured) for storing long materials like pipes or lumber.

This allows you to store items horizontally across the arms. Cantilever racking comes in both single and double configurations, with the latter having storage and access on both sides. Another distinct advantage of cantilever racking is that the addition of wire decking makes these racks suitable for palletized loads — giving your facility the best of both worlds.

Finding the Right Type of Pallet Rack for Your Facility

Matching your warehouse operations with the right pallet racking types is critical to getting the most out of floor space, employee workflow and inventory-specific needs. If you’re searching for high-quality pallet racks that won’t tank your budget, consider our wide variety of used equipment here at East Coast Storage Equipment.We ensure that every piece of equipment that leaves our warehouse is up to our high standards. That way, every customer gets exactly the storage equipment they need. If you want to learn about what we can offer your team, contact us today.

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