End Loading or Side Loading Pan Racks – Who Knew There Was a Choice?

Though the End Loading Pan Rack is a real workhorse and without a doubt the most common style pan rack used in commercial kitchens, it has a close relative you might not be aware of…until now. Say hello to the Side Loading Pan Rack. Never one to seek the limelight, the side load pan rack has labored behind the scenes helping operators in-the-know to make their kitchens and processes more efficient. Let’s get to know these two styles of pan racks better by taking a deep dive into how they work. Find out why you might choose one over the other, or both for that matter.  

The Pans & Trays

Though they can hold several different pan sizes, the 18” x 26” sheet pans, 12” x 20” steamtable pans, and 15” x 18” trays are the three most commonly used with end or side loading racks. Now, let’s look and see how these pans work with each rack.

  • End loading racks hold 18” x 26” sheet pans by the sides of the pan. Side loading racks hold the pans by their ends. They can each hold one (1) 18” x 20” sheet pan per tray runner.
  • 12” x 20” and 15” x 18” pans and trays are held the same way; however, based on smaller pan sizes, the side loading racks can hold two (2) pans per tray runner by their ends – doubling the capacity!

The Benefits of Each Rack

Whether it’s an end or side loading rack, pan racks are simply the best tool in a commercial kitchen to hold and transport food. Knowing all the benefits of these racks adds even more value to their use. Below are just a few of the benefits of using end and/or side loading racks.

  • As previously mentioned, using a side loading 12” x 20” steamtable pan rack or side loading 15”x18” tray pan rack doubles the holding capacity.
  • Because the depth and width of these racks differ, one might be chosen over the other as a space saving solution. It can free up valuable kitchen space and make hallways easier to navigate.
  • Improve product access and processes. Side loading racks, based on their design, allow for easier access to the pans and products on them. Their narrow depth reduces the necessary reach to products on them pans. This is very beneficial for a sandwich make-up line for example, where employees need easy access to fresh bread. In turn, it also speeds up the serving process.

And the Winner Is…

There is no clear winner here because both racks provide solutions to everyday challenges while streamlining operations and processes. When choosing between end loading or side loading racks, what matters most is how they will be used. New Age Industrial is the leading aluminum extruder and fabricator of storage and transportation equipment in the United States. We design and manufacture heavy duty, yet lightweight aluminum products to meet your exact needs. We work with various industries including foodservice, supermarket, and material handling. For more information, feel free to visit our website or contact us today, and our team will help find you the perfect product that fits your needs.