We’ve talked a lot about the importance of knowing your pallet… really knowing all the specs and testing your pallet during the design process to ensure the best-fit pallet flow rack system for your business.  But designing for your current pallet may not be enough.  What about the pallets you MIGHT use in the future?

  • Will a new pallet spec fit your existing pallet flow design?
  • Will you need to reconfigure the rail spacing for a new pallet?
  • Will the new pallet perform efficiently?
  • Will you gain or lose pallet positions?

We know it’s not easy to design today for the unknowns of the future, but if you can predict and evaluate some of the possible scenarios, you’ll be far more prepared for the “what-ifs.”

One Mallard customer did just that – The original rack system was designed for a custom pallet (30″w x 40″d) but they wanted the flexibility to switch to a traditional GMA style (40″w x 48″d) pallet in the future. This illustration reflects the current lane configuration which includes two depths, 130″ and 170″, designed for the 30″x 40″ pallet.  We’ve shown both pallet options to provide a good visual of the pros and cons of adopting a new pallet type/style within an existing pallet flow rack design.

Skate Wheel Pallet Flow, Various LanesDesign Assessment:

  1. Rail spacing is tighter to accommodate the existing 30″w pallet
    • 29”OD vs. 39”OD for standard pallet
  2. The larger pallet fits on the existing rail layout with a 5” overhang on each side
    • No reconfiguration costs to revise lane spacing
  3. In both lane depths, the customer lost one pallet position per lane with the larger pallet

Important Note:

System design and operational implications extend beyond the size of the pallet – a change in pallet style can also impact the pallet flow performance requiring expensive and time-consuming adjustments, i.e. plastic pallets. Our advice – TEST your pallets before committing to using a new pallet within your current system.

Lucky for you the Mallard Testing Lab is available to help test your lane configuration and pallets.  Just call the gravity flow experts to discuss your options and for a free assessment.


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