Push-back pallet flow vs traditional pallet flow rack, what did we find?

Can you say this three times fast:  Premium pasta producer needs pallet flow product?  Ok we’re having a little fun, but we’re not making light of the fact that our engineering testing lab came through in a big way for this leading food processor.

The Challenge:

Pallet Boxes for Mallard Pallet Flow RackingThe proposed system had to accommodate a variety of pasta box sizes and shapes, bundled in either large pallet-sized bulk cartons or shrink wrapped on a pallet.  The weight variance of the loads ranged from a lightweight 310 lbs. to a much more substantial 2000 lbs.  If that wasn’t enough, the pallet heights extend from roughly 3 ½’ to 4 ½’ high.  It was critical that we demonstrate options that ensured a safe, consistent flow speed for all pallet types within the proposed pallet flow rack systems.  Did that intimidate our testing crew?  Never!

The Specs

  • Bulk box pallets from 310–2000 lbs.
  • Pallets of shrink wrapped cartons from 450-2000 lbs.
  • Three different types of pallets
  • Pallet height range from approx. 3 ½’ – 4 ½’

To the Lab!

push-back pallet flow rack testThe Mallard engineers did what they do best and looked at this request a few different ways.  By doing this they were able to provide several workable choices that will allow the client to choose the system to best fit their individual circumstances.

The first test is a push-back pallet flow racking system.  We’ve spoken a lot about push-back storage lately and in this case, it turned out to be a good option.  Again the main advantages of push-back pallet flow is the use of a single aisle for load/unload and LIFO storage rotation.

 As you will see from the test (left), while the push-back worked consistently, the engineers cautioned the customer of several things:

Mallard push-back pallet flow racking
5-Deep Push-Back on Pallet Flow

Push-back Considerations:

  • Single aisle load/unload
  • LIFO storage rotation
  • Drop-in speed controllers needed to control speed of heavier pallets
  • Speed controllers can wear more easily due to force being applied to them during loading
  • Pallet width is important: forks must not protrude from opposite pallet side
  • Standard CHEP, PECO and GMA pallets all worked well

pallet flow racking video test for past producer


The second test was a standard 3-rail pallet flow system. This set-up accommodates the pallet weights and heights and will also handle the different pallet types.  Again, speed controllers were used to control the flow of the heavier pallets.




Mallard Pallet Flow Racking
Deep Lane Pallet Flow Racking

 Pallet Flow Considerations:

  • Separate load and unload aisles
  • FIFO storage rotation
  • Drop-in speed controllers needed to control speed of heavier pallets
  • Normal wear expected on speed controllers
  • CHEP, PECO and GMA pallets all worked well

If this type of test is something that you think will help increase your productivity, product and employee safety and long-term equipment use, give us a call.  We’re always up for a good challenge!

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