What is Cantilever? Cantilever & Lumber Racks Explained

24 Oct.,2022


cantilever racking

Cantilever is perfect for storing items such as furniture, boats, vehicles, steel bar stock, pvc, iron pipe, lumber, plumbing pipes, bar stock, wood, steel pipes, plywood, tubes, wire coils, veneer, sheet stock, drywall, sheet rock or other long raw material.

Cantilever racking is a heavy duty storage system designed to store long, bulky or awkward materials that are often hard to store because of shape or length. Cantilever doesn’t have vertical posts on the front so it is free of obstructions. It uses the following components to complete the system:

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

Cantilever Rack Manufacturer Brands & Styles

With over 20 acres of in-stock inventory of new & used cantilever racks, SJF Material Handling stocks several sizes of both single sided and double sided cantalever uprights, bases, arms, brace sets and other rack accessories. SJF Material Handling is the go-to source for some of the most popular brands and manufacturers of cantilever racks including:

  • Atlas
  • Clymer
  • Cogan
  • Dexco
  • Elite
  • Frazier
  • Hannibal
  • Interlake
  • Jarke
  • Lodi
  • Meco
  • Monarch
  • Palmer-Shile
  • Paltier
  • Prest
  • Ridg-u-Rak
  • Roll Form
  • Ross
  • SJF
  • SpaceRak
  • Steel King
  • Structural
  • Unarco
  • Webb

Frequently Asked Questions about Cantilever Rack

Cantilever racks are steel shelving units with long arms that extend from metal frames used to store long, bulky or awkward materials. They are used to store items such as furniture, lumber, PVC, metal pipes, steel bar stock, plywood, steel sheets, sheetrock and even cars.

Cantilever racks are configurable in countless different ways, allowing a flexible solution to fit any type of storage needs. They can be used both indoors and outdoors and are found in warehouses and storage yards across the world as an efficient storage solution.

In addition, cantilever racking can be decked to provide static storage similar to pallet racking, with the advantage that it provides easier storage and retrieval of bulky or oddly sized material than traditional pallet rack.

At SJF, you can find light duty, medium duty and heavy duty components, kits and cantilever systems in stock and ready to ship.

We can also help you find specialty cantilever systems such as cantilever lumber racks, salvage racks and cantilever supported rack with roofs.

Cantilever racks are known by many names, such as:

  • Cantilever storage racks
  • Cantilever shelving
  • Furniture cantilever rack
  • Cantilever pipe racks
  • Lumber storage racks
  • Cantilever lumber racks
  • Cantilever steel racks
  • and more

The storage density with cantilever racks can be very high if you plan out how you will use it efficiently, but generally cantilever rack's flexibility makes it a very popular storage solution with near immediate return on investment.

Cantilever rack uprights are the vertical support columns and are the backbone of the cantilever rack. Cantilever bases and arms attach to the uprights to complete the cantilever rack system.

Uprights are available in single or double sided configurations. Single sided cantilever racks allow material to be stored on the front side only. With double sided uprights, material can be stored on both the front and back sides of the rack.

Cantilever rack arms extend out from the uprights to create the levels that are used for storage, similar to pallet rack beams. The arms are typically adjustable on the upright to create shelf levels of whatever height are needed. Arms can be straight or inclined to hold goods that may roll off. Some arms even come with a "lip" that attaches to the end of the arm to prevent loads from slipping off the front of the rack.

Cantilever rack braces go between uprights to stabilize the rack laterally. Braces are not intended to hold loads and should only be used to connect and brace the uprights in a row. The braces will be the same length as the spacing between uprights.

Roll-form cantilever rack is the preferred storage rack for light and medium storage due to its bolt-less design and lighter overall weight.

Structural cantilever rack is preferred for heavier loads that weigh 1,500 lbs. or more. Structural cantilever rack is made from hot rolled c-channel structural steel. It uses additional hardware (nuts and bolts) for assembly. It is inherently heavier, stronger and can hold heavier loads than roll-form rack. It is also more impact resistant than roll-form rack.

While roll-form rack is the rack of choice for light and medium storage, structural rack is often the preferred solution for higher density applications. Structural racks are thicker and the heavier construction offers improved resistance to impact from forklifts entering and exiting the racks.

You should consider using structural racks:

  • When heavier capacities (1,500 lbs or more per shelf) are being stored.
  • When storing traditionally heavy and bulky items such as plywood, lumber, pipe, bar stock, steel sheets and coils, sheetrock, etc.

Due to its heavier weight, structural cantilever rack costs more to ship than roll-form cantilever. Roll-form rack is less costly to ship because it's lighter than structural racks with the same dimensions.

Due to its heavier weight and nut and bolt connections, structural cantilever may take longer to install, which could affect cost. Roll form cantilever rack traditionally installs faster due to its bolt-less connection design, which allows for a fast and easy connection of the arms to the uprights.