Magnum Wheel Pallet Flow - Mallard Manufacturing
Magnum Wheel Pallet Flow with Drop-In Speed Controllers

Speed controllers are used in pallet flow rack to control both the speed and tracking of the pallet as it flows down the lane. Because pallet flow rack is a gravity flow solution where pallets are loaded from a charge aisle and flow on a slightly pitched wheeled or roller lane to a discharge (pick) aisle, the flow speed and tracking of the pallets must be controlled. The lane is design is based upon the inventory load specs and  can be comprised of wheeled rails or rollers. Speed controllers are often added within the wheeled rails or rollers to ensure flow lane effectiveness.

Mallard Speed Controllers

Drop-In Speed Controller with Split-Roller Pallet Flow - Mallard Manufacturing
Drop-In Speed Controller with Split-Roller Pallet Flow

Mallard offers five types of pallet flow rack speed controllers:

  • Drop-In
  • Direct Mount
  • ABMA
  • Indirect Mount
  • Ultra-Grip Roller with Indirect Mount Speed Controllers


Drop-In, direct mount and ABMA speed controllers have a few things in common. They can all be used with wheeled pallet flow systems like Magnum wheel and steel skate wheel, and they all have direct contact with the pallet.


Where they differ is that the ABMA is specifically for retrofit applications and the direct mount speed controller is designed for floor-mounted and low-profile pallet flow rack systems.

The drop-in speed controller is a more broadly used pallet flow speed controller in that it fits both wheeled and narrow-roller pallet flow lanes.

Indirect mount speed controllers are used only in full roller pallet flow lanes and they have direct contact with the rollers… not the pallet. Here’s a quick video showing indirect mount speed controllers in action:

Indirect Mount Speed Controller - Mallard Manufacturing
Indirect Mount Speed Controller

Narrowing the Choices – Drop-In vs Indirect Mount

Since drop-in speed controllers can be used in some narrow roller applications, there can be situations where choosing between options can be tricky. So, let’s look a little closer at the major difference between the two product designs… contact with the pallet vs contact with the roller.

Pallet Contact

Drop-In – There are pallets best suited for direct contact with the speed controller to ensure it is effectively slowed and controlled in the lane. In these cases, drop-in speed controllers should be installed in the lane. Examples include plastic pallets, steel containers or pallets with steel-bottom runners due to potential pallet skidding.

Indirect Mount – In the same way, there are pallets that flow well on full-roller applications that do not require direct contact with the speed controllers to slow them down. The indirectly-mounted speed controller controls the roller rotation from underneath the lane and therefore the pallet speed as it flows over the roller. Full roller is often a choice where one pallet flow system must accommodate multiple pallet types.

The Ultra-Grip roller is designed to work in conjunction with the indirect mount speed controller. It’s a rubber-coated, full-width roller that mounts within the full roller lane. Indirect mount speed controllers are mounted underneath the Ultra-Grip rollers so that the two rubber coated products will engage directly to increase flow control effectiveness. The Ultra-Grip also engages directly with the pallet, unlike the indirect mount speed controller alone. This provides a more controlled flow. This application is perfect, for example, for plastic pallets that would normally require drop-in speed controllers to provide the necessary contact to control the flow.

Indirect Mount Pallet Flow Speed Controller

Indirect Mount Speed Controller

Ultra-Grip Roller with Indirect Mount Speed Controller

How Many Speed Controllers Do I Need in a Pallet Flow Lane?

Most often speed controllers are installed so that a pallet has contact with at least one controller at all times, but that always depends on the weight and bottom configuration of the pallet… sometimes more contact is necessary (i.e. heavy or unwieldy loads) and sometimes less is acceptable.

Mallard’s in-house engineering testing lab will do a pretest of your system before the pallet flow rack is installed to ensure the safety and effectiveness of the gravity flow system.

Mallard speed controllers are available in light, medium and heavy-duty options to best meet your pallet flow inventory needs.

Contact the Mallard team today to discuss your warehousing inventory challenges and throughput goals. Let’s put gravity to work for you!