When and How to Use Cantilever Rack - A Buyer's Guide

Cantilever Storage Rack Basics Guide

Single Sided Cantilever Rack Double Sided Cantilever Rack

Cantilever Rack (also called lumber rack or industrial pipe rack) is a very unique solution to a very real storage problem. Often, manufacturers find themselves with long, bulky items they need to safely store, but no real way to keep them out of the way. This is an ideal solution for heavy duty cantilever rack.

Cantilever racks make quick work of storing long and bulky items like lumber, plumbing pipes, bar stock, wood, steel pipes, plywood, iron pipes or other long raw material handling supplies. These racks utilize a center column with arms providing the actual industrial shelving levels for storing items.

Cantilever racking can be purchased in either single sided or double sided configurations, with the only difference being the number of sides available for storage. Single sided units can only utilize one side while double sided units can store material on both the front and back sides.

Cantilever racks are modular within each basic capacity series (medium duty, heavy duty or extra-heavy duty) so additional arms, uprights and cross braces may be ordered to add to your existing rack industrial system. Different sized arms can be interchanged on the racks to further tailor a system to different uses.

Caution: Never put arms on the back of a single sided unit.
This is very dangerous and can lead to serious injury or death.

What is Cantilever Racking and How to Use It

Eric Thovson (ET) explains what cantilever racking is and why it's an excellent solution for heavy duty storage shelving in a variety of different applications.

Cantilever Rack Benefits

  • Instant accessibility to one piece or a full load
  • Fast, convenient handling of long, unwieldy stock
  • Provides a neat and orderly inventory system
  • Permits storage of tubes, bars, pipes, structural material and other long heavy items that must be kept off the floor
  • Bases can also be used for storage without subtracting from the capacity of the upright
  • Forklifts can easily load items onto and off of the arms
  • Easily expandable - Purchasing extra uprights, arms and braces provides additional add-on units to your existing industrial shelving unit.

Cantilever Racking Uprights

Upright are sold in varying heights and load capacities. Typically the upright also includes the base part needed for support. Some models have removable bases while others are fully self-contained - with the base being welded directly to the upright tower. The needed capacity of an upright can be calculated by multiplying the number of arms per upright by the individual arm capacity. These concepts are explained in further detail in our Advanced Cantilever Rack Guide.

Maximum Standard Arms per Upright Reference Table
(Upright capacities must be observed)

Upright Height Max Number of Arms -
Single Upright
Max Number of Arms -
Double Upright
8 feet 9 arms 18 arms
10 feet 12 arms 24 arms
12 feet 14 arms 28 arms
14 feet 17 arms 34 arms
16 feet 20 arms 40 arms
18 feet 22 arms 44 arms
20 feet 24 arms 48 arms

Cantilever Racking Arms

Once you've decided on double or single sided cantilever warehouse racks and you've chosen a desired height with the proper capacity for your needs, you are ready to purchase arms.

Cantilever Straight Arms
Straight Arms
Cantilever Inclined (and Tapered) Arms
Inclined (and Tapered) Arms

Cantilever rack arms can be purchased as straight or inclined and with or without a lip at the end to prevent items from rolling off.

Straight arms are great for storing materials that will not roll, such as lumber, wood, plywood or other long square material. Straight arms have a minimum pitch of 3/8" per foot to compensate for deflection.

Inclined arms are great for storing materials that may roll, such as metal or PVC pipes, steel tube stock, galvanized pipe and other long round material. Inclined arms have a pitch of 20 degrees and are often tapered.

The quantity of arms needed will depend on your needs and whether you've chosen double or single sided uprights. Arm capacity varies by length. The shorter the arm, the higher the weight capacity*.

*Capacity is also calculated based on metal gauge and an evenly distributed load.

Brace Sets

Brace sets are used to hold uprights together and provide stability to the cantilever warehouse rack. The length of brace sets needed will depend on the length of the material(s) you are storing on the rack. Brace lengths are measured from the center of one upright to the center of the adjacent upright. The number of braces needed also depends on the height of the uprights in the system.

Please call (320) 485-4974 (direct sales line), (800) 598-5532 (toll-free) or Email Us for pricing, availability and lead times. If you don't see what you're looking for, our sales specialists can often find it.

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Cantilever Rack Shipping Locations - We Ship NATIONWIDE

Cantilever Racks Stocking Locations

SJF Material Handling Inc. ships cantilever racks from multiple locations around the country (and Canada):

  • California
  • Georgia
  • Indiana
  • Minnesota
  • Nebraska
  • Pennsylvania
  • Texas
  • Wisconsin
  • West Virginia
  • Ontario, Canada

Now offering 72-hour Quick-Ship
out of Minnesota & Pennsylvania

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