Pallet Flow Rack - Mallard Manufacturing

Mallard Best Practices blogs are an opportunity for our team to address frequently asked customer questions regarding our various gravity flow products. Here’s one that comes up often…

When should I choose split-roller vs. full-roller pallet flow rack?

While there is not an absolute answer to this question, there are guidelines that we can share to help you make the right choice. To start, the pallet design often dictates the use of either full or split roller. The ability for the pallet to make good contact with the rollers as well as the type of material that the pallet is constructed from are important determinants. In addition, the total loaded weight plays a key role.

Quick Systems Glance

Full-Roller Pallet Flow

  • Non-standard GMA-style pallets
  • Varying pallet sizes in one application
  • Can be configured with Ultra-grip full roller speed controller and indirect mount speed controllers

Split-Roller Pallet Flow

  • Non-standard GMA-style pallets
    • Heavy loaded weight
    • Footed or totally flat-bottomed pallets or containers
  • Can be configured with flange rollers for pallet guidance
  • Can be configured with drop-in or indirect mount speed controllers
  • Can be configured with pallet separator for full pallet or case pick applications
Ultra-Grip Roller Pallet Flow - Mallard Manufacturing
Ultra-Grip Roller Pallet Flow

Full-Roller Pallet Flow

Full-roller pallet flow is often a go-to for non-standard pallets (those falling outside of GMA-style size and/or constructed of non-wood materials). Most specialized pallets require full surface coverage to ensure proper flow, i.e., plastic pallets, pod pallets, container or specialized pallets, corrugated containers or slip pallets. Full roller is available in widths up to 60” between frame so it can typically be used for pallets smaller or larger than standard 48” x 40”. It can also serve as a universal pallet flow lane for applications where multiple pallets of varying sizes are used.

Full-roller pallet flow can be equipped with ultra-grip rollers and under-mount speed controllers to help control the inventory flow and maintain proper tracking.

Split-Roller Pallet Flow

Split-Roller Pallet Flow Rack - Mallard Manufacturing
Floor-Mounted Split-Roller Pallet Flow

For pallets with a more challenging bottom design (i.e. pod feet, completely flat bottom surface, etc.), split roller rails can be better aligned underneath the pallet to make the best contact. As is always the case with pallet flow, the goal is for the pallet to make consistent contact with the roller or wheel.

For extra-wide loads, split-roller rails can be positioned to provide ideal support across the load, not end-to-end, to ensure proper flow. The number and spacing of the rails depends on the dimensions and weight of the load.

Additionally, for pallets constructed from materials that tend to surf over the roller surface, split roller can be fitted with flange rollers to guide the loads and keep them centered down the lane.

Heavy inventory requires some type of speed controller to ensure warehouse safety. The drop-in speed controller or indirect mount speed controller both pair well with split-roller pallet flow. The different speed controller use again depends on the material of the pallet and if direct contact of the speed controller to the pallet is more beneficial. The drop-in speed controller sits flush with the rollers, so it directly touches the pallet, whereas the indirect mount controller is underneath the rail and directly touches the roller causing it to slow.

Split-Roller Pallet Flow Rack - Mallard Manufacturing
Split-Roller Pallet Flow Rack

Finding the Roller Pallet Flow for Your Application

As you can see, there is A LOT that goes into the equation when choosing between full and split-roller pallet flow rack. Thankfully the Mallard team is on your side! Our gravity flow experts will assess your operational needs and apply the best system to meet your goals. In addition, our in-house Engineering Testing Lab can test the system configuration to ensure the design works to with your pallet and inventory before the system is finalized and purchased. Call our team for design ideas and a quote.