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Cantilever Rack Tips for Buyers

July 25, 2022

Cantilever rack is your savior when you are struggling to organize the chaos of awkward, bulky and over-length materials across your warehouse. This style of racking has beams that only anchor on one end and are commonly found in lumber yards or plumbing supply warehouses where items being stored are long and uneasily shaped. It consists of vertical columns, bases, arms, and bracing. The vertical columns are held up by the base, and arms extend out of the vertical columns to act as shelves. The bracing adds stability to the racking by holding the uprights together. Such racks are a great help when it comes to storing heavyweight items such as lumber, furniture, metal pipes, PVC, plywood, steel bars, sheetrock, steel sheets and even cars.

There are two common styles of cantilever rack, single and double sided. Double sided allows for storage on both sides, but also requires clearance on both sides of the racking. Single sided used cantilever rack can be positioned against a wall to save valuable floor space but will not allow for as much storage as double sided. Determining which type is right for you depends on what you are trying to store and how much of it.

cantilever rack
lumber racks
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forklift with cantilever rack



There are many options when choosing used cantilever rack. When deciding on arms, which are the actual storage levels or shelves, it is important to determine how much weight you will be putting on each, and what kind of material is being stored. There are two main styles of arms: straight and inclined. If materials can roll, like pipes, rolled carpet, and logs, then the inclined arm is preferred because it is set at a pitch to prevent products from falling. Otherwise, for materials with a flat bottom or that cannot roll, straight arm is preferred. A cantilever arm’s capacity is based off its length and the metal gauge that was used. The longer the arm, the less weight it can hold because it is that much farther from the upright.

Cantilever Uprights are vertically constructed support columns which form the backbone of a cantilever rack. The uprights are fitted onto cantilever bases and are flanked by cantilever arms, forming a complete bay of cantilever rack. Uprights are sold in different heights with varying shelving weight capacities, so taking careful weight and size measurements of what you are going to store is crucial. To determine the upright height, you need to add several individual shelf measurements to arrive at the sum. Please note that you must be sure to leave enough room at the top of your rack to allow the connector piece above the arm to fully engage the upright.

Once you know how many arms are to be included on each upright, and the weight capacity of each of those arms, you can multiply these two numbers together to get the weight capacity needed for the uprights. Example: Double sided cantilever arms: 12 (2 rows of 3, double sided) Weight Capacity of 1 arm: 1,500 lbs. Weight capacity required for upright: 12 x 1,500lbs = 18,000lbs.

Brace sets provide additional structure to the uprights, and the number of these needed depends on the number of arms, the height, the capacity of the arms and the uprights, and the length of the storage items. Braces are not intended to be load bearing, and only stabilize the rack horizontally.

There are clearly many factors to consider when purchasing used cantilever rack. These options and considerations can be overwhelming, but ASI will work with you to design the racking system that is right for you. Our sales staff will get to know you and your specific material handling needs before recommending a certain configuration.


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