Double Deep Pallet Racking - Your Complete Guide

double deep pallet racking

As the name suggests, Double Deep Pallet Racking enables palletised items to be stored two rows deep and provides superior storage density to alternative systems such as wide aisle. These storage systems are either installed against a wall or back-to-back. The racking design consists of steel beams and upright frames and can be purpose built to accommodate light, medium and heavy duty loads, as required. Loading and unloading items requires the use of specialised attachments or purpose-built forklifts such as reach trucks or articulated forklifts.

The system operates using the FILO (first in, last out) method of storage. Whilst retrieval of pallets located at the backend can lack the efficiency of other systems, this can be overcome through the use of an intelligent inventory management software that will allow you to take full advantage of the enhanced storage capacity.

What Are the Advantages of Double Deep Pallet Racking?

  • High density storage solution that maximises floor space
  • Front and back row items can be loaded and unloaded from the same aisle
  • Low initial costs, high level productivity
  • Upper storage levels can be equipped with rails to help forklift operators retrieve items and decrease the likelihood of human error
  • System can be custom built to support light and heavy weight loads
  • Ideal for use with a diverse range of industries including hospitality, manufacturing and industrial
  • Reduction in aisles results in less time spent travelling between different picking areas
  • Perfect for storing bulk items
  • Improves the overall efficiency of a storage facility
  • Ideal for inventory that has a medium to long shelf life
  • Great for storing food items with a high turnover

What Are the Disadvantages of Double Deep Pallet Racking?

  • Selectivity is not as efficient as some other storage systems
  • Access requires forklifts that have special telescopic fork attachments or are purpose built for double deep rack systems, such as pantograph reach trucks or articulated forklifts

What Type of Forklifts Are Required for Double Deep Pallet Racking?

The two most common types of forklifts for double deep systems are reach trucks (pantograph and non-pantograph) and articulated forklifts. Non-pantograph forklifts can be modified to work with double deep systems through the addition of telescopic fork attachments. 

Below is a list of pros and cons for each:

Telescopic Forks:

The telescopic attachment enables non-pantograph forklifts to use double deep systems. The attachment is powered by hydraulics, which enables the operator to move the forks backwards and forwards, independently of the forklift itself, allowing pallets to be placed and retrieved along the back row.


  • Less expensive than pantograph reach trucks
  • Telescopic attachments enable forklift to operate in narrower aisles than standard manual ones
  • Enhances materials handling ability, while reducing risk of inventory damage
  • Doesn’t obscure forklift operator’s vision, unlike pantograph reach trucks


  • The attachment causes a reduction in lifting capabilities

Pantograph Forklift

Pantograph reach trucks are purpose built for double deep rack systems and offer superior performance to telescopic fork attachments. 


  • Able to operate in narrow aisles
  • Quicker loading and unloading times
  • Ensures safer handling of pallets, decreasing chances of stock damage


  • Operator visibility is inferior to telescopic forks
  • More expensive than telescopic forks

Additional Safety Options

Every storage system benefits from the addition of pallet racking protectors that help to protect storage racks from forklift damage, while preventing injuries to personnel. These include rack end protectors, safety mesh, timber and metal decking, extra heavy duty beams, corner barriers, column guards and more.

It’s important to always have appropriate load signs and safety labels, and other relevant signage in place, as well. Consult with your local parts supplier for advice on the best protective equipment for your double deep pallet system.

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