Top 10 Things to Know About Cantilevered Racking

Posted on August 1, 2018 - updated on June 21 2021 
Katerine Ortiz, Eng.
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If you’re wondering if cantilever pallet racking is suitable for your facility, here are a few different ways to use them and some benefits they provide: these free-standing systems have a unique functionality, offering storage for items that don’t fit in standard pallet racks, such as long loads, rolls, timber, beams, pipes or steel rods. Cantilevered pallet racking can fully utilize a vertical warehouse space and help you maximize your storage space by keeping unpalletized items off the floor. If you’re thinking of installing this type of racking, read on.

1- The base, columns, arms and bracing are a system.

The base is heavy and often made of steel. It gives strong support and extends out from the bottom of the rack to counter-balance the weight of the stored items. The upright columns are sturdy vertical posts that support the perpendicular arms. These arms serve as the “shelves” that extend outward from the uprights. They store the inventory. Bracing connects the uprights to give the racks extra stability.

2- Load deflection

It refers to the amount of bending occurring between load arms. Some deflection can occur naturally, but cantilevered pallet racking must also respect a maximum load capacity.

3- The capacity

The weight supported by each arm level multiplied by the number of arm levels per upright column

4- The arm capacity

Total weight needed for each product level / the number of arms used for that product level. This number is calculated with the assumption that the load will be evenly distributed from front-to-back and side-to-side. Arms can vary in capacity, can be straight or inclined, and can have welded end-lips to keep products from rolling off if the application requires them. Because of the many styles and capacities available for these arms, cantilever pallet racking systems are highly customizable for each application.

5- The horizontal distance between the cantilever arms

It should be half the length of the items being stored, leaving 1/4 of the length hanging over on each end. In a rack with three upright columns, the distance between cantilever arms should be 1/3 of the product length, leaving 1/6 of the product length hanging over on each end.

6- The bracing

It is what stabilizes the cantilever system. The widths and lengths of these braces are determined by the size of the product being stored, as well as the application for which the system is being designed.

7- The advantages of cantilevered racks

  • Can store those items that are difficult to shelve, keeping them off the floor
  • Can accommodate long or awkwardly shaped unpalletized materials
  • Customizable arm configuration (quantity and angle)
  • Offers easy access to items as they are not very deep

8- The disadvantages of cantilevered racks:

  • More expensive to install and design
  • Need ample aisle space to access stored materials
  • Inefficient for storing standard pallets

9- Back to back

Cantilever racks can be installed single sided or double sided (back to back).

10- A great alternative

Offers an alternative to floor stacking items that are not palletized.

Finally, the open front shelves of cantilevered racks and the customization they offer make them a good choice for those looking to store larger, longer or heavier loads that cannot be stacked or are unusually shaped, to fully maximize their storage space.



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Welcome to the world of Damotech, the first and largest rack safety solutions specialist in North America. With its lines of rack protection and repair products, Damotech strives to put an end to the endless cycle of upright replacement by focusing on warehouse safety and the permanent elimination of recurring rack damage. Through our engineering services, we will help create a safer working environment for you and your employees, bringing you true peace of mind while saving you money in the process.


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