Cantilever Racks

Cantilever Racks

Making room for long, bulky, or otherwise awkwardly shaped inventory in a warehouse or other storage facility can be a challenge in itself. While pallet racking might not be suitable for such applications, cantilever racks offer the optimal solution for the efficient and secure storage of stock.

The main difference between pallet and cantilever racking systems is that the latter present no vertical obstacles in their construction. As such, large items of varying lengths, including aluminum sheets and plates, pipes and tubes, timber and other raw materials, steel sections, scrap vehicle parts, and others, can be safely and easily deposited.

In addition, cantilever racks are highly versatile. To help you navigate all the options, consider the information below about how you can customize such a system and whether this form of storage is suitable for your project.

Cantilever Racking: An Introduction

Cantilever Racking: An Introduction

Cantilever racks are essentially used to store items or bulks of items with irregular shapes. They are especially useful in warehouses handling lengthy merchandise that can be bound together, but cannot be palletized. They can be customized, however, to include pallet storage as well.

The basic components of each cantilever racking system include:

The upright frame, made up of several vertical columns or posts, as well as bracings between columns; the column are pierced at regular intervals to allow the insertion and adjustment of arms.

The base, which is connected to all the vertical columns using nuts and bolts for superior stability. The base is usually made of channel steel to further increase stability.

The arms, which are horizontal beams inserted into the vertical column; these create the storage space proper and can be adjusted in height. The arms are positioned in a 5 degree angle to prevent round pipes from rolling down from the arm. Stoppers can be placed at the end of the arms to protect deposited items. The arm is also adjustable, according to the requirements of each type of stock.

The braces, which can be used to connect each column or the base for additional support and stability for the whole system.

Types of Cantilever Racks (By Capacity)

Cantilever racking systems can go up to 10m (or just over 30ft) in height and can support as much as 5000lb (or 2250kg) per arm. However, heavy duty cantilever racks are not necessary for all applications. For lighter use, light or medium duty racks may be more suitable and less costly.

Broadly speaking, there are three basic types of cantilever racking. These are:

Types of Cantilever Racks (By Capacity)
Light-duty cantilever racks

These racks are usually made of roll-formed steel and are, as such, very flexible. They are designed to be accessed by hand, rather than by forklift, and they can store up to 500lb (or 225kg) per arm. In addition, light-duty racks are usually no higher than 2m (or 6.5ft) and offer excellent visibility of all deposited inventory.

Heavy-duty cantilever racks

These racks are the most rugged form of cantilever storage. They can go up to 10m (or 30ft) high and can support as much as 5000lb (2250kg) per arm. They are generally made of structural steel and channel steel for enhanced support and durability and they are secured using high-strength structure grade bolts at each junction. Loading and unloading items is done with the help of a forklift.

Medium-duty cantilever racks

Medium-duty cantilever racks. Situated between light- and heavy-duty racks, these systems can store up to 1000lb (or 450kg) per arm. They are ideal for medium weights and can be less costly than their more rugged counterparts

Accessories for Cantilever Racking Systems

Accessories for Cantilever Racking Systems

Cantilever racks are highly customizable for a variety of applications. Accessories that you can order for your cantilever system include:

Fixed or removable stoppers

Stoppers are essentially end plates, either welded or removable, that are placed in front of each shelf to stop items from falling over. Removable stoppers are preferred by most customers, while fixed end plates are more suitable for extremely heavy-duty applications.

Steel, wooden, or mesh decking

Decking can be placed across the horizontal arms of a cantilever rack to ensure that no items fall through. This feature is especially useful when the deposited items are small.

Coil storage arms

Parts of a cantilever rack can be retrofitted with special arms that allow the optimal storage of metal coils and reels.

Mobile bases

A cantilever racking system can be equipped with a mobile base (or carriage), as well as rails. The latter two make it so that the racks can be moved back and forth in a given area, thus eliminating the need for additional aisles and increasing storage capacity.


A roofing system or canopy can increase the durability of cantilever racks that will be used outdoors. In addition, this accessory will protect the deposited items from being damaged by sun, rain, or snow.

Cantilever Racking for Outdoor Use

Cantilever racks are also ideal for timber yards, builders merchants, and other facilities that operate outdoors. Additional features are necessary, however, in order to secure the durability of the racking system in spite of the elements.

For instance, the steel that makes up the framework of the system can be coated with a protective layer of zinc (or galvanized). This coating prevents the surface from degrading due to rain or snow and ensures that rust does not settle in. In addition, a metal canopy with rear and/or end cladding can be added to the top shelf of each rack so as to provide cover for all deposited items.

Cantilever Racking for Outdoor Use

Handling Equipment for Heavy-Duty Cantilever Racks

Cantilever racks are often used to store heavy-duty, long loads that cannot be palletized. In these cases, special vehicles are also needed in order to operate a cantilever racking system effectively. Available options include:

Handling Equipment for Heavy-Duty Cantilever Racks

Counter-balanced forklifts

These vehicles are the most affordable solution for handling lengthy loads, but they also require the largest aisles and warehouse doors to operate. As such, though they are seemingly cost-effective, they are actually quite limited in terms of storage area and handling times.

Side-loaded forklifts

These forklifts were created especially for handling long loads. Through their design, they ensure that an operator can lift and carry items sideways, which clears up significant aisle space and increases overall storage capacity. Holding platforms are used around the forks to provide stability and safety for stock of various lengths.

Multi-directional forklifts

These vehicles are gradually replacing side-loaded forklifts because, unlike the latter, they can drive in all directions. This allows the operator to load and unload goods with greater precision and at a faster pace.

Advantages of an ASRS System

When implemented properly, cantilever racks offer significant advantages as compared to other forms of storage. Some of the most important are:

Easy installation and reconfiguration

Cantilever racking systems are usually installed using nuts and bolts, but they are still relatively easy to set up when compared to other, more complex types of storage. In addition, arms can be added and removed at any time, which makes the entire system highly flexible and suitable for seasonal merchandise.

Can store any kind of load

Because they present no vertical obstacles and because they can be easily customized, cantilever racks can be used to store anything from palletized goods to building materials, timber, and other very lengthy items.

Optimal storage

For long, bulky, or otherwise awkwardly shaped items. No form of storage is more efficient in depositing lengthy items or inventory of irregular shapes. In warehouses that handle such stock, the implementation of cantilever racks can significantly improve efficiency and loading/unloading speeds.

Selective access to all items and excellent visibility

Cantilever racking systems are selective storage solutions that offer direct access to all deposited items. They can be single or double sided, but regardless of their design, they provide enhanced visibility for operators and the possibility to reach any item without added maneuvers.

Drawbacks of Cantilever Racking

Some of the drawbacks to bear in mind when planning the installation of a cantilever racking system are the following:

Relatively high initial investment

Cantilever racks are not very expensive, but they would be more expensive than conventional selective racks, as mostly cantilever racks would use structural steel for material which is more expensive than rolling and forming steel. The initial investment must also include handling equipment and any necessary accessories.

Not an effective form of storage for pallets

While cantilever racking systems can be designed to store pallets, this should be a marginal occurrence. For warehouses that handle only palletized goods, there are other types of storage systems that are more suitable.

Can take up more floor space than other forms of storage

The bases of cantilever racks are relatively wide, which means that a cantilever system might take up more floor space than other alternatives. As such, while cantilever racks are space-efficient for storing lengthy or bulky items, they are not ideal for the handling of items that could be deposited in conventional pallet racks.

Cantilever Racks from Kingmorack

At Kingmorack, our topmost priority is the safety of all the storage racking systems we manufacture and deliver to clients around the world. In addition, we use only the most durable materials to ensure the long lifespan of our racks.

When it comes to cantilever racks in particular, we have accumulated years of experience working with previous customers for a variety of different projects. If you’re still not sure whether this is the best form of storage for your warehouse or deposit, contact Kingmorack today to benefit from our expertise and make an informed decision.

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For more information, quotes, sample and orders, contact Kingmorack today.