What is Push Back Racking System?
Push back racking is a Last In First Out (LIFO) system. It follows a pallet storage pattern that enables stacking of pallets from 2 to 6 deep on both sides of an aisle. This enhances the storage density compared to other racking types. As a result, it offers up to 90% of storage space than traditional versions.
Among the pallet racking system, push back racking is one of the most efficient warehouse-storage systems. This type of storage configuration is ideal for warehouses that need to optimise storage density.
Working of Push Back Racking
A push back racking differs in terms of the number of pallets stacked in a single configuration. The pallet number may vary from 2-3 deep to 6-deep installation.
The racking follows the Last In First Out (LIFO) system in which the forklift operators never enter the rack. It comprises pallets that rest in a row in a slightly inclined position. In this, one pallet faces the aisle. And others are present immediately on the rear side of the front-facing pallet.
Now, to talk about the working of the system, it follows the gravity rule. Each pallet stands on individual sliding carts. The last pallet rests on rails running the depth of the bay. As the forklift removes the nearest pallet, gravity forces the others to gently slide forward. Going in the line, other pallets sit in the position previously occupied by the removed pallet.
When it comes to restocking, working is exactly the opposite. The forklift pushes a pallet into the front-facing position. While this happens the other pallets automatically jostle to the rear side. So, in the push back racking system, the loading and unloading happen from the same position on the aisle.
For a single-sided system, you can place push back rack against a wall. But for a double-sided system, you need to install in a centre aisle.
- Thanks to the storage configuration of push back racking. The loading and unloading operations happen at a faster rate than other comparable counterparts.
- Each level offers storage for different products. This impressively enhances stock rotation and occupancy.
- As the forklift operator need not enter the rack, the risk of damage substantially minimises. Essentially, this saves time and improves safety.
- As the forklift operators do not have to remove any obstructive pallets, it saves on labour and time.
- The convenient design of push back racking reduces the instances of forklift accidents.
- The placing of the pallets increases the storage density and enables storage of more SKU’s.
- Pallets are available for deep storage because even the distant ones are easily reachable. This means that a warehouse can have fewer aisles for a typical push back arrangement. Fewer aisles lead to more space for the inventory.
- A push back racking uses coated wheels that enable pallet carts to roll smoothly.
- The system requires little to no maintenance.
- The use of a low-profile cart stack maximises the available storage height.
Push back racking is a LIFO system which is not suitable for inventory with an expiry date. However, there is an exception with inventory that has a farther expiration date. As a matter of fact, the system is appropriate even for perishable inventory. But, for that warehouses need to have a high turnover rate.
5 to 6 number of pallets are installable in a push back racking. This acts as a disadvantage when warehouses need more pallets.
The Ideal Application of Push Back Racking
Push back racking system is perfect for warehouses that require high-volume storage of multiple products. Plus, it is relevant for requirement pertaining to a less number of pallets per SKU.
The system is applicable across a broad range of industries. But, it is significantly popular in food distribution, manufacturing, third-party logistics facilities, pharmaceuticals, automotive industry etc.
These racks can fully work even in freezers and cooler without the need for special forklifts.
The maintenance for push back racks includes the need for safety checks.
In the loading operation, the first pallet loaded into a lane always ends up on the highest available rack cart. To ensure safety here, the pallet should be lifted at least one inch above the footplate.
It is necessary to keep a check on the pallet level while loading. When a pallet is in position, it should be moved to the centre of the cart. Meanwhile, it is important to note that the pallet should not rest on the push plate.
Lastly, if the push plate is out of sight, it shows that the storage lane is full.
It is important to remember that forklift is the only brake in push back racking. While unloading is done by the forklift operator, the consecutive pallets sliding forward. So, forklift acts as a break for the rest of the pallets.
To ensure safe unloading, the forklift should not pull away too quickly. Because the remaining pallets could slide ahead rapidly which may lead to tip or fall. This may cause damage or accidents.
In general, push back racking requires very low to no maintenance. But as per expert recommendation, monthly safety check is crucial for the racks. While performing the check, it is important to focus on identifying any damaged frames, damaged carts, loose anchors, and any other kind of visible damage.
Is Push Back Racking Customisable?
Yes. Push back racking systems are customizable to meet your warehouse demands. Although this system is custom-fabricated it can further offer a bespoke solution.
The racks can be fabricated to make way for special pallets that are bigger in length or width. Additionally, it is possible to accommodate special carts that support the comparatively weak pallets. The special carts are equipped with cross support or full mesh support that increase the surface area.
Ultimately, push back racking is also open to fusion with drive-in racking to maximise space.
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