The material handling industry has a variety of pallet racking systems to maximize storage for almost any size and shape of pallet and product. One popular type is the Interlake pallet racking system. When talking about this system, industry newbies and even experts often confuse certain terms with certain features. Let’s break it down and build a better understanding of the Interlake teardrop pallet racking system.
There are two different styles of teardrop pallet racks—referred to as “old-style” and “new-style.” Both types of pallet racks provide adjustable storage for pallets. They both are strong and durable systems. They hold pallets and allow adjustment of shelves for different size products. This is where the similarities end.
What are the differences between “old-style” and “new-style” teardrop pallet racks?
The main differences between the old and new systems are the shape of the keyhole openings on the frame and the shape of the pins on the beams that connect to the frame. There are a few confusing things regarding the names of these systems that should be introduced.
First, both are sometimes referred to as “teardrop” systems, but both do not have teardrop-shaped keyhole openings.
Second, the terms old and new can also be confusing. The “new” system is not a new product. It was developed after the “old” system and, therefore, took on the name of “new.” In other words, the new system used to be new. Confused? The next few paragraphs will make everything more clear.
Old-Style vs. New-Style Pallet Rack
Old-style is the standard teardrop racking system. It is the most widely available and used system of the two. It has upside-down, teardrop-shaped keyholes on the upright frame of the pallet rack and rounded pins on the beams.
The keyholes are where the pins on the beams connect to the rack. There are multiple keyholes along the length of the frame that allows for beams to be inserted at different positions and adjusted for different storage needs.
The teardrop shape of keyholes makes the connection of the frame with the rounded connector pin on the beam very secure. The hole is round on the top for the insertion of the pin but narrows at the bottom of the hole to hold the pin in place.
New-style racks function in the same way as the old style and fall under the general teardrop-style of racks. But, it does not have classic teardrop-shaped keyholes. New-style racking systems have more rectangular keyholes that taper down towards the bottom of the opening.
The beams on new-style systems have rectangular pins with a rounded top and bottom that fit snugly into the more rectangular hole on the frame of the pallet rack.
Are old and new style teardrop racking systems compatible?
The answer is yes and no.
The rounded pins on the old-style (teardrop) beams will NOT fit the narrow, rectangular opening on the new-style frame.
But, the pins on the new-style beam WILL fit and lock into place on an old-style frame.
If you want to mix parts on new and old-style racking systems, check with us regarding the compatibility of parts. Also, read on to learn about the best way to match parts from different systems.
Are old-style racks better than new-style racks?
The easy answer is no. They both work the same.
The better question would be—which one is better to buy now?
Based on availability and compatibility, the answer is the old system. Ironically, the new system is no longer being manufactured. When adding on to a racking system, it is best to purchase the same type to avoid compatibility problems.
The latest development is the availability of a new type of beam with a pin that will fit both the old and the new Interlake rack systems. This new product makes replacing damaged beams or buying more beams for old or new system upright racks a fool-proof process.