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Cantilever racking is a critical piece of your storage and productivity picture if your organization handles long or awkwardly shaped loads.  This type of storage systems consists of vertical columns connected to a base and arms that extend out in place of shelves. The arms are secured and made stronger through the use of horizontal or cross bracing. Cantilever racking is frequently used in lumber yards, plumbing supply warehouses or woodworking shops because of the long loads of lumber and pipe.

The main benefit of using cantilever racking is the open face storage without any impeding structural components in front. Long or awkwardly shaped loads can be placed across the arms, which are set at an angle to help hold the load secure while still making it easy to access them when needed to fill an order. In this article we will briefly explain the different types of cantilever rack.

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Types of Cantilever Racking

Light Duty

There are light duty cantilever racks available. These are used primarily in hand loading situations only. Employees can access them easily without the use of a forklift, handpicking parts and pieces to fill orders.  Each arm can hold up to 500 pounds. You can also get medium duty (700-1000 pounds) or heavy duty (5000-6000 pounds) cantilever racking.


I-beam cantilever racks are freestanding racks and available in heights of up to twenty feet. They can hold up to 20,000 pounds and are a relatively low maintenance option to utilize space while increasing efficiency.


The most common type of cantilever racking is structural cantilever racking. It is capable of handling and storing medium to extra heavy loads. Structural cantilever racking is made up of steel components to guarantee superior durability and strength.  It is made for tough industrial use, utilizing high-strength structure grade bolts at each connection.  Each upright has punched holes that extend the full height of to provide adaptability and versatility for all of your storage requirements.  It can be used inside or outside and can be purchased with a rugged finish to keep it looking good regardless of exposure to the elements.

There are two different column types to choose from.  Type 1 I comprised of a 4” structural I-beam upright with a 3” vertical arm adjustment. This column is good for medium to heavy long loads. Type 2 uses a 5” structural I-beam upright with a 4” vertical arm adjustment.  This adds a heavy-duty load capability component over Type 1.  Extra heavy duty racking can handle up to 6,600 pounds per arm and configurations are available that allow overhead crane loading and unloading.

Cantilever racking is one the most efficient ways to store and handle flat, long or low profile loads such as aluminum sheets, lumber, tubing, wood crates, bars, piping and much more. Explore the use of cantilever racking in your warehouse today to improve product and inventory control, productivity and use of space.

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