What is Cantilever Racking?

Cantilever shelving, or cantilever racking, is designed to store long, bulky, or awkward materials of just about any length. Unlike other rack systems, cantilever racks have no vertical obstructions, so you are able to load your product with a forklift without the restriction of a front column.

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Cantilever Racking Components

Bases that anchor the rack system to the floor and connect to the unit’s upright, serving as the main stabilizing component.

Upright columns that connect to the base. Cantilever uprights have holes into which the cantilever arms are connected to create the storage levels. Uprights can be used for single and double-sided units.

Arms that connect to the uprights and are used to store the product. Cantilever arms act as the “shelves”.

Braces that stabilize the upright columns by offering horizontal and diagonal support. Cantilever bracing is what holds the uprights together and provides structural support.

Decking that offers a solid shelf level to the cantilever storage arms when needed.


Cantilever Shelving Types

Structural Cantilever Rack (Most Common)

A structural rack is made with hot-rolled structural steel. This type of rack can handle high load capacities and withstand harsher conditions than a roll-formed rack. Since it is made of heavier steel, a structural rack is more labor-intensive to install and more expensive than a roll-formed one. However, it also tends to last longer and requires less maintenance.

Roll-Formed Cantilever Rack

A roll-formed rack is made with cold roll-formed steel. This type of rack is made with lighter gauge steel and boltless beam pin connectors, so it is more expensive and easier to install than a structural rack. However, roll-formed racks can hold up to the similar weight that structural racks can hold.


Do You Really Need Cantilever Racking?

If your materials are too long or bulky for the average pallet rack, then you probably need a cantilever racking system. The most common types of products put on these racks are lumber and pipes. Furniture also is commonly stored on cantilever racks that include shelves.

Because the materials they hold are heavy, cantilever racks are designed with weight in mind. Most cantilever arms can support 1,500 to 5,000 pounds per arm. Some cantilever arms can hold up to 18,000 pounds! The most common racks in the marketplace have about 13,000 pounds of weight capacity per side. Be sure to carefully consider the weight of your materials so that you order a rack that meets your needs.

Another consideration is the height of your racks and the vertical space you have in your warehouse or storage yard. Cantilever racks typically range in height between six feet and 30 feet. The most popular racks are in the 12- to 16-feet tall range.

Cantilever racks also are either single-sided or double-sided. A single-sided cantilever rack offers storage on one side and is usually placed against a warehouse wall. On the other hand, a double-sided rack is accessible from both sides. It can store more product, but it also requires more floor space.

Never use a rack that is designed to be single-sided as a double-sided rack. It can pose a serious safety risk. Another safety consideration involves the use of stop pins. If you are storing a hefty load that is prone to roll, a stop pin to secure the load to the cantilever is a must.

When figuring out sizing, make sure that the arms are never longer than the bases as it can pose a serious safety risk.


Products carried:

Brands carried:

  • Cantilever Rack

  • Drive-in Rack

  • Gravity Rack

  • Mezzanines

  • Package Rack

  • Carton Flow Rack

  • Push Back Rack

  • Stack Rack

  • Wire Decking

  • Post-Rack

  • SpaceRak

  • Hannibal

  • Jaken

  • Unarco

  • Scott-Systems


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