What to look for in a mobile storage solution

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If you are looking to increase your storage capacity without adding floor space, mobile shelves are a great option. How great? Compared to traditional lateral filing cabinets which require extra space to facilitate rolling out the drawers, mobile storage allows you to store over four times the volume of records in the same space.

Mobile storage: choices, choices, choices.

Mobile storage comes in many different styles with plenty of options to choose from. This is great for facilities managers because it allows them to create the solution that is specifically tailored to their requirements, room configurations and budgets.

Check out our mobile storage buyer’s guide »

However, if you are new to mobile storage, the range of choices can make it difficult to know where to start. To cut through the confusion and help you find the right solution for your filing needs, here are the three key things to look for in a mobile shelving solution:

1. Lateral vs. compact

Mobile storage designs are generally in one of two formats:

  • Lateral-style mobile shelves are designed to slide left or right as you face the front of the shelf. Lateral shelves are positioned directly in front of another row of shelves. Simply slide the shelves to either side in order to access the records on the shelves behind.
  • Compact-style mobile shelves consist of several rows of shelves packed together, allowing you to slide the entire row left or right when facing the end of the shelf.

Of the two options, compact-style shelving offers the highest density storage solution. Installing lateral shelves will roughly double your storage capacity, whereas compact shelving can give you over four times the space! What’s best for your organization depends on how much you have to store and what you have in place already.

2. Weight capacity

Different shelving styles and models are able to accommodate different weights. To be sure you make the right investment in mobile shelving, it is important to have a clear idea what you are planning to store now and in future. Typical weight capacities run in increments from 500 to 700 to 1000 pounds per shelf. Compact mobile shelving usually offers the highest weight capacity.

3. Manual vs. mechanical vs. electric

Mobile storage offers three different mobility options. With manual shelving, the shelves are moved entirely by hand. With mechanical shelves, wheels and gear systems provide mechanical assistance when moving the shelves. You can also get completely automated, “hands-free” shelves driven by electric motors. Making the right choice will depend on what you have to store, how frequently it needs to be accessed, and by whom.

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