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Your Position: Home - Packaging & Printing - Cantilever Racking System Guide

Cantilever Racking System Guide

Author: Geym

Feb. 22, 2024

What is Cantilever Racking?

Cantilever racking consists of a beam anchored at one end. The racking is open in front without any vertical obstruction or shelving facilitating loading and unloading. Its racking design corresponds to long arms stretching from a metal framework. These arms bear the heavy load and help to store long and bulky items with virtually any shape.

Cantilever racking is also known as Lumber racking or Industrial pipe racking. If someone is looking at the long and bulky item storage possibilities, this type of racking system is a versatile storage solution for them.

Different Types of Cantilever Racking

The cantilever racking system is available in single and double-sided configurations. The single-sided rack is intended to fit perfectly against a wall. Whereas, the double-sided configuration is intended for use across the entire warehouse space. But, with a combination of two racks.

For both the systems, products are stored horizontally on the rack arms. And, they are easily manageable with either forklift trucks, cranes or manual means.

As a matter of technical fact, cantilever racking is available in 3 types namely:

1. Light Duty cantilever rack

As the name suggests, the light duty type is applicable to soft goods. It comprises a standard rack upright with specially designed arms. The aims facilitate continuous shelves for storage and picking.

Light duty cantilever is common in hand-loading situations. It enables the warehouse staff to access the stored goods without the use of forklifts. Each arm in the system can bear up to 500 pounds of weight. Nevertheless, it is also available for storage capacity up to 700-1000 pounds (medium-duty) and 5000-6000 pounds (heavy-duty).

2. I-Beam Cantilever Rack

This type is a freestanding rack usable as a stand-alone unit. It is available in heights of up to 20 feet. The storage capacity of the rack corresponds up to 20,000 pounds. The cantilever racking maximises storage capacity, provides easy accessibility and increases efficiency. Therefore, warehouses can opt for this type when looking for a low maintenance option.

3. Structural Cantilever Rack

This is the most widely used cantilever system. The main reasons are that it comprises robust steel components that ensure better durability and strength. Thanks to the high-strength grade bolts at each connection. Also, the upright has perforated holes that increase to full height. This supports versatility for all types of storage requirements. It enhances its capability to handle and store medium to extra heavy loads.

Structural cantilever racking is applicable for both indoor and outdoor spaces. It is available with a rugged finish that protects from weathering due to environmental elements.

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What are Cantilever Components?

Any racking system is a configuration of one or more components combined together. A cantilever racking is built up of the following components:

1. Upright

The vertical beams that support the arms are known as uprights. In general, an upright comprises the base part required for support. However, some versions include removable bases while others are permanent.

Uprights are available in different heights and load capacities. To determine the capacity required of an upright, calculate the number of arms per upright by the individual capacity.

2. Base

A base provides stability and support for the uprights to sustain the load. Modern cantilever racking is available with a mobile base that maximises space utilisation.

3. Arms

The horizontal beams that support the goods are known as arms. They are available in configurations at different angles to meet the storage need. There are two types of arms namely straight arms and inclined arms.

The straight arms are ideal for storing goods that will not roll such as plywood. They have a minimum pitch of ⅜ inch per foot to counterbalance deflection. Inclined arms are ideal for goods that may roll such as PVC pipes. They have a pitch of 20 degrees and are mostly tapered.

The capacity of each arm differs by length. The weight capacity increases with the decreasing length of the arm.

4. Brace

A brace connects to the uprights and supports them while providing strength, stability and rigidity. They are beneficial in supporting the uprights together. The length of the brace required depends on the length of material stored on the rack. The number of braces required in a cantilever racking depends on the height of the uprights.

Cantilever Racking is Ideal for Storing the Following Products

Cantilever racking systems are ideal for industrial warehouse environments due to their robust storage solution. They are perfect for storage of oversized and long products including lumber, aluminium sheets, building materials, wood crates, carpets, doors, furniture, vinyl rolls, timber, plasterboard, piping, steel trusses, PVC pipes, masonite sheets, plumbing supply and much more.

Structural cantilever racking is great for external use. For additional protection, you can cover the top with canopies for extra weatherproofing.

Advantages of Cantilever Racking

It is the only and the most efficient storage system for long loads. It significantly enhances warehouse productivity, handling times and accessibility.

Provides direct accessibility to a single piece of good or even a full load.

Has a solution for extra-heavyweight capacities.

The load length can surpass fifty foot or more providing increased lengths.

It is easy to install and reconfigure.

Installation of additional arms is possible for storage of all shapes and sizes.

Offers storage for goods up to a height of 6 metres.

It is available in the form of mobile cantilever racking. This enables usage of up to 80% of the occupied space. It makes it a great option for costly relocation or warehouse expansion.

Enables the warehouse with a neat and orderly arrangement of the inventory system.

It allows storing extremely heavy materials that may otherwise damage flooring.

Goods can be smoothly loaded and unloaded with the use of forklifts.

Bases are applicable for storage without reducing the capacity of the uprights.

Cantilever racking allows adding extra uprights, arms, and braces when you need to expand the existing system.

Design modifications are possible in order to meet the seismic requirements.

Disadvantages of Cantilever Racking

The installation and design costs of capital investment for the racking can be high.

Labour cost is more than the warehousing and storage space in the long-term.

It requires an aisle space in between each rack.

The system is not efficient for storing pallets.

If not designed properly or equipped with a conventional forklift truck, it may waste the warehouse floor space.

It may cost two to three times more than the standard selective pallet racking.

What Else You Need to Know About Cantilever Racking?

When opting for a cantilever racking, it is always good to keep certain things into consideration. Before purchasing the system discuss the requirements with your forklift provider. The layout design of the racking should align with the forklift requirements. Determine the layout design and equipment in terms of overall productivity. The aim must not be only on maximising storage capacity.

Each arm of a cantilever racking can bear loads up to a maximum of 5 tonnes. The arms are fully adaptable providing flexibility in terms of customisation for a wide range of products.

This type of racking is strategic for application up to 10 metres of height. If the height is further extended, it may compromise the structural stability of the system.

To make cantilever racking viable for multiple environments, powder coating is effective to align with the company brand colours or galvanised for in external surroundings.


Brief Introduction of Cantilever Shelf Structure

There are many types of medium and heavy shelves. Cantilever shelves are one of them. Cantilever shelves are mainly suitable for long goods or circular items and irregular-sized items, such as wood, pipes, profiles, cables, and so on. Cantilever racks are the ideal solution for these bulky, scattered, and unmanageable special items. Below, Warehouse Storage Racks Manufacturer will explain the structure of cantilever racks for heavy shelves in shelves.


Characteristics of cantilevered shelves: suitable for storing long materials, ring materials, plates, pipes and irregular goods. Cantilever rack columns mostly adopt H-shaped steel or cold-rolled steel, cantilever adopts square tube, cantilever shelves use drawing cold-rolled steel or H-shaped steel, cantilever and column adopt plug-in type or bolt connection type, base and column adopt bolt connection , The base is made of cold-rolled steel or H-shaped steel. The cantilever can be single-sided or double-sided. The cantilever rack has the characteristics of stable structure, good load capacity and high space utilization.


Cantilever shelf use: mostly used in machinery manufacturing industry and building materials supermarkets. After adding shelves, it is especially suitable for warehouses with small space and low height, convenient management, wide field of vision, and higher utilization rate than ordinary shelves. Cantilevered shelves are connected by connecting rods. The connecting rods are generally made of rectangular tubes. In order to increase safety and stability, a flat iron back is added to the connecting rod, and a special puller can be used to tightly fix the column piece.

Heavy Duty Cantilever Racking


All cantilevered rack components are semi-finished products after production and will be spray-molded in the final process. Before spraying, perform shot blasting to remove oil and rust, and then spray. Packed and shipped after completion.


Cantilever shelves include Heavy Duty Cantilever Racking, medium cantilever shelves and light cantilever shelves. The cantilever of the cantilever shelf can be single-sided or double-sided. The structure of the cantilever shelf is stable and strong, the load capacity is good, and the space utilization rate is high. The columns and bases of cantilever shelves generally adopt C-section steel or H-section steel and cold-rolled section steel according to the requirements of the bearing. Even the shelf columns can be used as columns in the form of columns. Cantilever racks have bottom plates under the columns to fix them. If the load is large, they can be reinforced with triangular reinforcing plates. The base of the cantilever shelf has sealing plates at both ends and a reinforced version at the side for carrying reinforcement, so that the cantilever shelf is more stable when carrying goods.


Cantilever racks generally use distance pipes, cold-rolled sections, distance pipes, clasp pipes, C-section steel or H-section steel, and bolts are used to connect the cantilever to the column. The carrying capacity of the cantilever shelf is on the cantilever. To prevent the cantilever from being bent by the article when it is being carried, the end of the cantilever is generally tilted up slightly, ranging from 2 degrees to 4 degrees. Excessive placement of the article is a hindrance. On the contrary, it does not work. Such an angle is the most ideal state.


Cantilever racks not only have columns, but the main components of the base and the cantilever must have reinforcement rods. Tie rods are generally round tubes, angle steel and square tubes plus flower basket screws with ear tabs between the two cantilever columns to support the cantilever shelf. The overall stability of the cantilever shelf is higher, the bearing capacity is more stable, and the safety factor is greater.


The goods on cantilever shelves are generally accessed by forklifts or manually. The height of the cantilever shelf is usually between 1.5-6 meters, the length of the cantilever is within 1.5 meters, and the load of each arm is usually within 1000KG. Cantilever shelves are mostly used in the machinery manufacturing industry and building materials supermarkets. Cantilever shelves with shelves are especially suitable for warehouses with small space and low height, convenient management, wide field of view, and higher utilization rate than ordinary shelves.


The above is the cantilever rack structure introduced by Radio Shuttle Racking Supplier. I hope it can help everyone.


Cantilever Racks

Benefits of Industrial Cantilever Racks

Increased Storage Capacity

Cantilever racks offer more storage space than traditional shelving or pallet racks. The open design allows for storing long, bulky items without wasting valuable floor space. And if your facility is short on space, consider implementing a mobile cantilever rack system. This space-saving storage solution mounts cantilever storage racks on sliding floor tracks, eliminating static access aisles to double your storage capacity in your existing space.

Ease of Access

Long stock such as lumber, pipe and sheet metal are challenging to store and handle, but cantilever racking makes it easy to store and access these materials. Cantilever rack systems have arms extending outward from the columns, facilitating easy loading and unloading without obstruction. Items can be quickly and efficiently stored or accessed from either side of the rack. 


Cantilever storage racks are built to last. They are constructed from heavy-duty steel and designed to withstand the rigors of industrial use. These heavy-duty storage racks feature industrial-strength structural grade bolts and powder-coat finishes. Outdoor cantilever racking features a galvanized finish for enhanced corrosion resistance to withstand harsh weather conditions. 


Cantilever storage racks are perfect for storing a wide range of items, including lumber, piping, sheet metal, furniture and more. They offer more flexibility than traditional shelving and pallet racks. Cantilever storage racks can also be modified easily, with adjustable arms and some accessories available to accommodate your storage needs.


Cantilever racks can be easily customized to fit the specific needs of your facility. The arms are adjustable and removable to create larger or smaller storage spaces and the vertical columns can be cut to fit the height of your ceiling. Single-sided wall units and double-sided freestanding racks are available.

What is Cantilever Racking?

A cantilever rack is a type of storage system that consists of a series of vertical columns, horizontal arms and diagonal bracing. The arms extend outward from the columns, creating shelves or platforms perfect for storing items that would be too long or too heavy for traditional shelving or pallet racks.

The unique design of cantilever racks is ideal for material handling and storing long, bulky items such as lumber, sheet metal or PVC pipe. Unlike traditional racks, the shelving is not broken up by posts at the ends of the arms, which facilitates easy storage of long materials. There are several different types of cantilever storage racks, ranging from light-duty to heavy-duty applications.

Types of Cantilever Racks

Cantilever Pallet Racking

For warehouses and other facilities storing large amounts of long heavy stock, cantilever pallet racking is an ideal storage solution. This heavy-duty cantilever racking solution functions like pallet racking but features the cantilevered rack design. The arms extend out from the durable steel columns to support lumber, pipe and other long materials. Like traditional pallet racks, a cantilever pallet rack system is designed for forklift loading.

Heavy-Duty Cantilever Racks

Facilities with less extensive storage needs can benefit from heavy-duty cantilever racks. These standalone racks come in a range of different dimensions and can support heavy pipe and steel bar stock. Shop heavy-duty cantilever racks on our online store.

Features and specifications of heavy-duty cantilever storage racks include:

Structural cantilever columns with X-type brace sets

Straight or inclined arms

Optional removable arm

Single- or double-sided units are available

Arms adjustable on 2″ increments

Up to 12′ high

Up to 8’3” wide

Up to 6’6” deep

Powder-coat finish with a choice of several standard colors

Optional accessories include:

Shelf overlays (wire mesh, steel plate or plywood)

Beam supports for additional reinforcement

Arm accessories

Industrial Cantilever Shelving

Functioning as a light-duty cantilever rack, industrial cantilever shelving is perfect for storing lighter loads of long materials. Industrial cantilever shelving is exclusively hand-loaded, unlike the larger warehouse cantilever racking systems.

Mobile Cantilever Rack Systems

Cantilever racks and shelving of all sizes can be installed onto a high-density storage system to save space and maximize your storage capacity. In a mobile cantilever rack system, the racks mount on rolling carriages that slide back and forth on low-profile floor tracks. The rolling cantilever rack system eliminates static access aisles, allowing you to store twice as much in the same footprint. These savings are especially beneficial for extensive warehouse storage that requires extra-wide aisles for safe long stock handling.

Heavy-duty cantilever rack systems are motorized. Operators open the desired aisle with a push button or remote control access is available for fork trucks. The mobile cantilever rack systems feature state-of-the-art safety features to protect workers and materials while using the system.

Mobile cantilever pallet racking systems can be up to 96 feet long. For facilities requiring forklift access to the system, the movable aisle space can be up to 18 feet wide to enable the safe handling of long stock.






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