What are the Advantages of Roll-Out Racks in a Warehouse?

Roll-out racks are high-density storage systems that allow workers to load, retrieve, and inspect inventory items safely by hand. What are the advantages of this system, and should you consider incorporating roll-out racks into your warehouse operation or distribution center?

The Advantages of Roll-Out Racking

In a traditional warehouse pallet racking system, the horizontal beams are fixed in place, and support palletized loads. Racks may be one or more pallets deep, depending on the layout.

Workers do not pick palletized loads by hand. Instead, a forklift driver loads and retrieves pallets for putaway or order fulfillment. But roll-out racking systems differ from conventional warehouse racking systems in several important ways.

Increased access

In a roll-out racking system, the racks roll out from the frame, like drawers, allowing workers to load and access inventory items easily. Workers can also identify goods without removing them from the system, which can be useful for inventory management.

Ergonomic design

According to the National Safety Council, overexertion accounts for 31% of all workplace-related injuries. Repetitive tasks are one of the primary causes.

When a warehouse employee has to repeatedly load items into a shelving unit by hand, leaning forward at the waist or crouching, there’s an increased risk of injury, even when handling relatively lightweight items. The roll-out design reduces this risk by providing full access to the pallet position or shelving surface.

In addition to loading and retrieving items by hand, the roll-out functionality is compatible with various material handling equipment. For example, using overhead hoists and cranes allows workers to place heavy items on roll-out shelves quickly and efficiently.

Increased storage capacity

If you’re interested in increasing the storage density of your racking systems, roll-out racks can save storage space by combining shelving and pallet racking into the same unit. This increased storage density allows you to reconfigure your warehouse layout to optimize your floor’s square footage, reduce the aisle space, and stock more inventory.

Roll-Out Rack Configurations

One of the advantages of roll-out racks is configurability. The design is modular and can be adapted to various warehouse layouts and inventory storage and retrieval requirements.

Pallet and roll-out rack

An example of this system’s configurability is the combination pallet and roll-out rack. Pallets are designed to be retrieved using forklift trucks; therefore, workers must place palletized inventory on horizontal beams.

In the combination system, one or more bays use beams assigned to pallets. The bays below have roll-out shelves that allow workers to pick cardboard cartons or boxes by hand or access raw materials.

If your warehouse space is limited, this hybrid storage system reduces the need for dedicated shelving units. While roll-out racks do not offer the same density as drive-in racking or pallet-flow racks, the ability to consolidate diverse inventory types for easy access and retrieval is a definite plus compared with traditional selective racks.

Roll-out cantilever racking

Cantilever racks are designed to store non-palletized inventory unsuitable for storage in a traditional racking or shelving system. The traditional cantilever rack consists of two uprights and two bases, which form an L-shaped frame. A straight or X brace connects the uprights, providing additional structural support.

Several arms project outward from the uprights. The arms support long, awkwardly shaped items, such as tubing, piping, bar stock, furniture, and raw materials in sheet form.

In roll-out cantilever racks, a manually operated hand crank allows workers to retract the cantilever arms and inventory items into the system, reducing the footprint and saving valuable floor space. When it’s time to retrieve the products, simply rotate the arms out for easy access.

Roll-Out Shelving

Roll-Out Racks

At Shelving + Rack Systems, Inc., we supply Heavy Duty Roll-Out Shelving, manufactured by Vestil, that can support up to 1,500 lbs. per shelf and 6,000 lbs. You can adjust the heights of individual shelves on 2⅜” centers, and you can extend the shelves to 20”. The top shelf is fixed, providing a platform for permanent storage. The steel components have a powder-coated finish for increased corrosion resistance, and the shelves are 10-gauge steel for increased strength.

Alternatively, consider the Roll-Out Shelf Rack by Meco Omaha — a relatively light-duty design that can support up to 2,000 lbs. per shelf. The 3” channel frame is structural steel, and Meco has punched it to allow you to adjust the shelves vertically. To protect against rust, the system has a gray enamel finish.

Find the Roll-Out System That’s Right for You

At Shelving + Rack Systems, Inc., we supply a wide variety of storage racks and other solutions, including roll-out racks, to maximize the efficiency of your warehouse or factory. If you’re interested in adding roll-out racks to your business or need to design a custom solution, call us at (800) 589-7225.