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Cantilever Racking Systems and How They're Used

Did you know that cantilever racking systems are an excellent solution for storing items of various lengths, widths, and shapes and weights?

Cantilever racking consists of long arms extending from a metal framework. These arms are designed to store long or bulky items such as steel stock and lumber. This racking system can easily accommodate products that typical pallet rack openings cannot handle.

These racks do not have shelving and are open in front to facilitate loading and unloading using forklifts or similar equipment. Lumber yards and home improvement stores commonly use cantilever to store everything from plywood to roofing materials.

Traditional pallet racks require uniform sizes and shapes of stored items. Normally, warehouse racking options like drive-in racks or even pallet flow are restricted by item size to a certain extent.

That is why cantilever style shelving is ideal for storing items such as:

  • Lumber and other building materials, such as plywood, drywall, and roofing materials.
  • Pipes and tubing [plumbing, electrical and manufacturing]
  • Furniture items
  • Automotive parts, including tires, engines, and transmissions.
  • Heavy machinery, such as industrial motors and generators.
  • Steel and metal products, such as sheet metal and steel tubing.
  • Textiles and fabrics
  • Metal bars and rods
  • Wire spools and reels, including electrical wiring and cable.
  • Industrial equipment and machinery, such as conveyor systems and packaging machines.

Types of Cantilever Racks

Different types of racking serves different industries, products and individual warehouse storage situations better. There are 5 primary types of cantilever rack systems…

Structural cantilever racking:

This type of racking is made of heavy-duty steel and is designed to handle particularly heavy or bulky items. Structural cantilever racking is often used in industrial or manufacturing settings.

The most common applications for structural racking of this type include what most people think of when cantilever is considered. A few industry-specific applications include:

  • Automotive parts storage
  • Heavy equipment like motors and generators
  • Construction materials

Roll-formed cantilever racking

This type of racking is made of lighter-gauge steel and is often used for storing lighter items. Roll-formed cantilever racking is a more economical option and is often used in retail or warehouse settings.

A few common places that roll-formed steel warehouse racks might be used includ:

  • Plumbing or electrical parts distribution warehouses
  • Office storage – typically customized for specific items
  • Retail applications like home goods
cantilever racks for metal pipes

Single-sided cantilever racking

Single-sided cantilever racking is often used in tight spaces or areas where space is limited.

Some obvious applications, regardless of the construction materials chosen, are storage along warehouse walls or by the rails of warehouse mezzanines.

Double-sided cantilever rack systems

Double-sided cantilever racks are the most common.

This type of racking has arms on both sides and is designed to be accessed from both sides. Double-sided cantilever racking is often used in open areas where items need to be accessed from multiple angles.

The 2 sided approach is ideal for retail spaces with wide aisles in between as well.

Mobile cantilever shelving

Mobility can be an ideal solution for warehouse storage that needs to flex with different products or even different seasons.

This typically applies to cantilever shelving and retail spaces as well because displays and inventories can change frequently.

Some common places you might see mobile cantilever racks include:

  • Auto parts stores – retail floor
  • Clothing and home goods stores
  • Electrical and plumbing distribution pick up locations
used pallet rack pricing
Pallet Racking

Buying Cantilever Racking

Let’s face it, the 3 things you’re really looking for in heavy duty cantilever storage products are:

  1. Will it hold the products or inventory
  2. How much will it cost for the shelving and design
  3. When can I get the shelving in house

Being able to offer Cantilever shelving products as new, used or commercially refurbished gives the best availability and quick shipping options in the warehouse storage industry. So we are in a unique position to offer you the best answer to all 3!

Used cantilever racking systems offer the most cost effective solution. Got-Rack sources warehouse storage all over the country you may experience significant savings on freight as well.

Refurbished cantilever rack systems are a specialty. We have robotic welders and a commercial powder coating machine that elevates used racks to a like-new status. Those come with a 20 year warranty.

New product usually sees longer lead times and always has a higher price tag. Recently we’ve heard 26 weeks quoted as the standard delivery time as other suppliers wait for overseas supplies.

Going Green – ESG Friendly Warehousing

If environmental concerns are part of your corporate governance, then used or refurbished cantilever racks should be considered.

Buying used or refurbished pallet racks or warehouse racking of any kind has obvious environmental benefits.

First, the production of new steel requires a significant amount of natural resources, energy and water. And can contribute to green house gases.

Next, according to the latest 2023 figures, more than 22 billion dollars was spent importing steel into the US. Buying used or refurbished steel products locally doesn’t just support the economy, it drastically reduces the environmental costs incurred by shipping.

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