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Dec 29 2020

WAREHOUSE STORAGE SYSTEMS: CANTILEVER RACK

on December 29, 2020

Cantilever rack, also known as pipe rack or lumber rack, is what you will likely want to install in your warehouse if you need to store long and narrow or awkward items such as steel trusses, drywall, tubing, pipes, lumber, fabric rolls, and carpet rolls. You can add decking to your cantilever rack to create full shelves for storing large, bulky items such as furniture, crates, or mattresses. These long and bulky items can take up valuable floor space, so getting them off the floor and properly stored will maximize the space in your storage facility to save you money in the long haul. 

HOW DOES CANTILEVER RACK WORK? 

Cantilever racks are comprised of horizontal, load-carrying arms that extend from vertical upright columns. The cantilever racking system is a very practical storage solution that leaves the front of the racks unobstructed by structural elements for direct access to the goods. 

WHAT IS CANTILEVER RACK MADE OF?

Cantilever storage racks are manufactured in both roll-formed steel and structural steel. Use roll-formed cantilever racks for light to medium loads. For a heavy-duty cantilever system or for harsh environments (such as outdoor storage), use structural steel cantilever racks. 

COMPONENTS OF A CANTILEVER RACK SYSTEM

There are four main components to a cantilever rack storage system: upright columns, bases, arms, and braces. Decking is a fifth, optional component and is used for large, bulky items. A cantilever rack set-up with a deck or shelf on the arms is often called furniture rack. 

Cantilever_Graphic with parts labeled

Cantilever Upright Columns

Also referred to as cantilever towers, the vertical columns are the primary structural components of the cantilever rack system and are available as either single-sided or double-sided.

Cantilever Bases

The bases are typically bolted on, but sometimes, they are welded on. Cantilever bases provide stability and support the uprights to bear the load. The bolt-on bases are usually sold separately, with the base size or length determined by the arm length and the weight of the load.

Cantilever Arms

The cantilever arms are the components that create the “shelf” levels, and they can be straight or inclined. Use straight arms to store stable loads such as lumber, and use inclined arms to store cylindrical objects, such as pipes. Some manufacturers offer a lip that attaches to the end of the arm to prevent materials from rolling off. Arms are typically adjustable on 2″-4″ centers. 

Cantilever Braces

Straight braces or X braces are attached to the columns to stabilize the cantilever rack system. The X braces increase the stability of taller racks, usually over 15 feet. 

CANTILEVER RACK SYSTEM LAYOUTS

Like selective pallet racks, cantilever racks can be connected to create rows of storage. And, again, like selective pallet rack, cantilever rack can be arranged singly or back-to back. Single-sided cantilever racks can be placed against a wall, or they can be placed back-to-back to create aisles. An alternative to back-to back cantilever upright columns is doubled-sided cantilever columns. This double-sided column system is really more efficient in terms of space savings and cost.  

HOW TO CONFIGURE YOUR CANTILEVER RACK SYSTEM

Number of Arms Per Load

It’s important to use enough arms under a load to prevent deflection of the load. (Deflection is the bending or “sag” caused by loading.) To determine the number of arms your set-up will require, you can perform a load-deflection test. Evenly space two wooden blocks (to represent the arms), and place your load on the blocks. If no deflection is present, a two-arm system will do. If there is too much deflection, add a third block and so on, until the deflection disappears. 

Arm Length

The length of the arms should equal the depth of the load.

Arm Capacity

With two arms:

The required arm capacity is 1//2 the load weight, with the upright centerline 1/2 of the load length.

With three arms:

The required arm capacity is 1/3 of the load weight, with the upright center lines 1/3 of the load length.

NOTE: The load should overhang the end arms by one-half the distance from the upright column center-line, and the top arm must be below the top of the column.

Upright Height

To determine the upright height you need, you’ll need these numbers:

  • Multiply the number of storage levels by the load height
  • Multiply the handling clearance by the number of levels (clearance should be 4″-6″)
  • Multiply the number of arm levels by the arm thickness
  • Add these calculations up to determine your upright height.

 

*We are not suggesting you try to configure your cantilever system yourself. In fact, we strongly urge you to contact a material handling professional to assist with these calculations. They will need to know the length, depth, height, and weight of the products being stored, in addition to the dimensions of your storage area.

ANCHORING CANTILEVER RACK

To achieve the full rated capacity, and for stability and safety, cantilever racks must be anchored. Requirements vary, but you will typically need two anchors for each column base, and the anchors should be embedded in a level concrete floor a minimum of 3/4.”

USE CANTILEVER RACKS TO OPTIMIZE YOUR STORAGE FACILITY

Cantilever racks are a practical and cost-efficient way to extend your storage capacity without using any additional floor space. Compared to selective pallet rack systems, long or bulky items stored on cantilever racks are more accessible, meaning easier forklift loading and retrieval. Cantilever systems are also flexible, with the ability to operate under a narrow pick aisle design. For a well-rounded storage system, combine our cantilever racks with other storage systems, like pallet racks and industrial steel shelving or wide-span shelving.

BUY NEW OR USED CANTILEVER RACK

Whether you’re in the market for a new or used cantilever rack system, Camara Industries has hundreds of variations of cantilever positions and storage options to suit your specific needs. Reach out to our material handling pros today to get started with your storage optimization.