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Choosing Between Pallet Flow Rollers and Wheels


Pallet storage is a central component of any warehouse operation. Efficiency is built on smart decisions around how pallets will be stored and the role they play in the order picking portion of your operation. With that in mind, warehouse operators must carefully consider the layout they create and the tools their teams will use to keep materials moving.

Dynamic storage solutions like pallet flow are fantastic for efficiently storing pallets in an order picking operation. Pallet flow systems create a dynamic storage system for your fastest-moving items and can significantly increase storage capacity.

To ensure the smoothest and most efficient flow possible, you must choose whether to use pallet flow rollers or wheels — or a blend of both — in your warehouse. Let’s look at the key differences between these options to see how you can use them to build the most efficient order fulfillment operation.

Understanding Pallet Flow Systems

pallet-flow-track-rollerPallet flow, also known as pallet flow racks, are pallet storage systems that are typically made of wheels or rollers and use gravity to convey pallets to the point of pick.

Instead of having scattered pallets on your warehouse floor, pallet flow systems enable a flexible, rugged, low-maintenance approach to storing and picking from pallets. With a tailor-made pallet track solution for your unique needs, you will experience more space for SKUs of all shapes and sizes and a more productive pick.

If you’re considering pallet flow, you may be wondering whether you need rollers or wheels. Which option is right for your operation? What are the key differences? Choosing between rollers or wheels is an important decision to help ensure you maximize space utilization within your facility. Picking the right option for your particular needs can significantly enhance the efficiency of your inventory flow. Let us help you get a better understanding of your pallet flow options so you can feel confident you are choosing the right type of tracks for the specific needs of your business!

UNEX Pallet Track

UNEX Pallet Track is a pallet flow system that creates First-In-First-Out (FIFO) storage where pallets are loaded from the rear and removed from the front. UNEX Pallet Track can be floor mounted or supported by pallet rack beams.

Durable Pallet Track rollers or wheels create a dynamic pallet flow system for fast-moving SKUs, enabling efficiency and storage density in your warehouse. Best of all, UNEX pallet flow systems can be customized to match the particular needs of your warehouse, meaning a complete overhaul of your existing space is never necessary.

Available in lengths from 48” to 144” in 1” increments, UNEX Pallet Track increases storage density and efficiency while reducing fork truck operations, labor costs, and damage. Plus, Pallet Track is a completely green solution - it requires zero energy consumption to operate a gravity-powered Pallet Track system!

Related Reading: Solution Spotlight: Pallet Flow

Pallet Flow Rollers vs. Wheels

Pallet flow rollers and wheels each have their distinct benefits and serve distinct purposes. However, both can significantly improve pallet storage and increase picking efficiency in your warehouse. Let’s unpack the unique features and advantages of each option. 

pallet-track-rollerPallet Flow Rollers: Features and Benefits

Roller tracks work well when handling single-face pallets, euro-style pallets with bottom boards parallel to flow, and plastic pallets with feet. Roller tracks are ideal for businesses that ship heavier loads since they provide high load capacity per roller and greater contact area. With roller tracks, you can opt for floor supports or special end treatments for attaching to rack beams.

Pallet flow rollers work well when handling:

  • Single-face pallets (no bottom boards, with 2 or 3 stringers)
  • Euro-style pallets with bottom boards parallel to flow
  • Plastic pallets with feet
  • Heavier loads because they provide high load capacity per roller and greater contact area

Other features and benefits of pallet flow rollers:

  • Track configuration of 2 or 3 tracks per pallet position
  • 2-deep pallet storage lanes come complete with full-width ramp stops at discharge end to allow pallets to come to a controlled stop
  • Available options include floor supports, special end treatments for attaching to rack beams
  • Available in custom track lengths

UNEX Pallet Track Roller Specifications

  • Standard 3-1/2" x 1-1/4" x 12 gauge galvanized steel channel
  • Frame capacity of 500 lbs per ft when supported on 48" centers
  • Optional roller centers from 2" and up, depending on the load
  • 1.9" x 16 gauge galvanized steel roller with 7/16" hex axle is rated at 170 lbs capacity each

Pallet Track Roller Capacity

8 Foot Pallet Track Roller


Pallet Flow Wheels: Features and Benefits

A wheel track is a staggered wheel-type flow rail commonly used to handle "wrong way" GMA-style wooden pallets with bottom boards perpendicular to flow. These rails can be used in two or three-track configurations and are equipped with anti-backup stops and floor mount supports. You also get two-deep pallet storage lanes outfitted with ramp stops to ensure pallets come to a controlled stop.

Staggered wheel type flow rails work well when handling:

  • “Wrong way” GMA style wooden pallets (with bottom boards perpendicular to flow)

Other features and benefits of pallet flow wheels:

  • Rails can be used in 2 or 3 track configurations
  • 2-deep pallet storage lanes come complete with ramp stops at discharge end to allow pallets to come to a controlled stop
  • Available options include anti-backup stops and floor-mount supports
  • Available in custom track lengths

UNEX Pallet Track Wheel Specifications

  • Standard 2-1/2" x 1" x 12 gauge galvanized channel
  • Frame capacity of 210 lbs per ft when supported on 48" centers
  • 1-1/2" staggered wheel centers provide maximum support and minimize indentation in wood pallets
  • 1.9" diameter steel wheels on 1/4" diameter axle are rated at 100 lbs capacity each

Pallet Track Wheel Capacity

8 Foot Pallet Track Wheel

Bottom Line: The type of pallet flow tracks you install will depend on your operational needs. Either way, UNEX offers Pallet Track pallet flow that creates a First-In-First-Out (FIFO), 2-deep pallet storage system for your warehouse that speeds up picking and packing while maximizing storage density.

The UNEX Pallet Flow Advantage

UNEX-Pallet-TrackAll UNEX solutions are fully tailored to your specifications and can be built to handle even the heaviest inventory or busiest order flow. One of the main advantages of UNEX Pallet Track is that you have track lengths and mounting options. Our team of pallet flow experts will work with you to help determine the best track lengths and mounting options for your operation.

Pallet racks are typically structured to provide two-deep pallet positions. Unless you have a drive-in rack, static storage of two-deep pallet positions means picking a pallet from the front, then driving around to the other side to pick the second pallet. This increases the travel time of the pick, as well as drastically increasing the potential of disrupting the loading process - not to mention the risk of accident and injury involved with maneuvering two forklifts in such close proximity to personnel aisles. 

Enter: UNEX Pallet Track. Pallet Track streamlines the aforementioned process by using gravity to flow the second pallet to the point of discharge. This allows one forklift to pick the pallet while another loads pallets from the opposite end, eliminating the time that would otherwise be spent driving around the racks to reach the second pallet. Thus, Pallet Track is ideal for time-sensitive or perishable SKUs, as its design creates optimal FIFO storage. Pallet Track will eliminate double handling, reduce restocking requirements by 50%, and reduce the potential for damage to forklifts and pallet racks.

Pallet Track significantly increases storage density and reduces labor costs. Instead of relying on warehouse personnel to scour your space for products stored on pallets that are scattered about the floor of your facility, Pallet Track cleanly and efficiency stores and flows pallets in an organized manner, minimizing travel, search, and picking times.

Ready to Discuss Your Pallet Flow Project?

As your business grows, it's important to partner with storage solution experts who can help you proactively prepare for the future. Pallet Track can be tailor-made to fit the individual needs of your operation. Whether you require pallet flow rollers or wheel tracks, UNEX is committed to working closely with you to ensure you're making the best choice possible for your unique needs.

Connect with our team of pallet flow experts to discover how Pallet Track can help maximize your existing warehouse space and increase operational efficiency.

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