Whether you’re in the shipping business or run a well-oiled fake rolex warehouse, a stack rack is an essential piece of equipment you should know about. These racks — also called stackable pallets and tier racks — allow you to maximize warehouse and truck space by stacking goods vertically. Because they’re so commonly used in the automotive industry to store tires, they’re also regularly referred to as tire racks.
But there are very few industries that couldn’t benefit from stack racks. Generally speaking, they’re used to hold materials during downtime, like when they’re not being used or transported.
What Is a Stack Rack?
Think of stack racks as stackable, metal pallets. They feature a pallet-style base, but unlike standard pallets, they’re made with vertical posts that allow you to stack several units on a single rack. These posts, called uprights, are either supplied separately or as part of the frame assembly.
This type of rack system works best for applications in storing or carting stable or steady materials, and is a popular choice for holding pipes and other long items with alternating lengths. These racks are much more flexible than regular pallets and can be stored with or without aisles, depending on how much access you need to the products.
So, which is better? A stack rack or a common pallet? Pallets are used for what’s known as floor stacking. This is where pallets are placed on the floor in rows, typically using a last-in, first-out (LIFO) system. This is cost-effective and efficient, but it typically limits access to individual pallets.
One of the greatest advantages of a stacking rack system is that your employees will be able to easily access the components of a specific rack when needed. With that being said, stacking racks do not provide as much storage density as pallets, so they’re not always the best option for high-volume applications.
Modified to Your Applications
The best part about stack racks is that they’re essentially customizable to your unique applications. That’s because the uprights can often be removed, and also because they come in a wide range of different sizes to suit your particular needs.
- Different Sizes — Stack racks come in a wide variety of standard sizes, ranging from 48 inches by 48 inches all the way up to 60 inches by 60 inches and larger. They also come in rectangular styles, which are popular for storing pipes and other elongated items. Choosing the appropriate size stack rack comes down to the number of items that you need to store (coupled with their size), as well as how much floor space you have to create a vertical stacking system.
- Portable Stack Racks — Some buyers will also want to look into portable stack racks. These systems are recommended for temporary storage applications because they’re easy to move, load, and unload.
There are also collapsible stack racks that allow you to easily store the units in a compact manner when not in use. Collapsible styles have removable uprights that can be layered horizontally for compact storage during shipping or while not in use.
- Built-In Frames — Some stack racks do not have removable posts or uprights at all, but have a frame that allows compatible racks to be stacked in a staggered manner. This allows you to nest many racks within each other without dipping too much into your vertical storage space, which equals greater cost and space savings for you. You may also choose stackable racks that have one side of fixed posts and one side of removable posts so you get the best of both worlds.
- Wheels or No Wheels — Standard stack racks generally don’t have wheels so that they can be easily, securely stacked on the floor or loaded onto pallet jacks and dollies with ease. Therefore, some stack rack manufacturers do offer the option for wheels. You can add casters to just about any stack rack to turn the unit from a stationary, stackable rack into a rolling cart that can be used for a wide range of applications.
Looking to spiff up your existing stack racks? Make sure to check out our selection of rack components to find stack rack uprights and other parts that you can use to repair, replace, or upgrade the parts on your existing stack rack.