Cantilever racking is a storage system which, due to its open design, is especially useful for storing awkward to handle products such as lengths of timber, steel tubing or lengths of drain pipe that would not otherwise fit into a standard pallet storage system. Longer, heavier items can be stored horizontally, resting across multiple arms, while it can also be used for storing odd shaped items such as furniture.
Cantilevers are a racking type where beams are anchored at only one end. The clear space underneath the beam and no supporting columns makes it an eminently flexible storage system.
Depending on the item stored, Cantilever Racking can be located either inside a warehouse or outside. So, for instance, fast moving plastic tubing which is unlikely to deteriorate in wet, cold, or hot conditions, could easily be stored outside.
Other items that are suited to Cantilever Racking are timber, cut or uncut, carpet, steel trusses, piping and beams.
Before we start on the subject of cantilever racking in warehouses, appreciating how it is used in major construction projects can help understand why it is so useful in a warehouse.
You will probably be familiar with some of the construction projects where cantilevers have been used. Think cantilever bridges, for example. Bridges like the Forth Railway Bridge, just outside Edinburgh in Scotland, are capable of coping with very large load bearing requirements and surely prove to us the viability of cantilever construction.
Another example is the roof over the stands at Old Trafford, built so that the fans can enjoy an unfettered view of the pitch – without roof supports blocking the view.
The good news is that cantilever construction principles can also be employed in planning your warehouse storage. Cantilever racking is an immensely versatile form of storage that really comes into its own when you want to store lengthy products whilst being able to access them easily.
So why is cantilever racking suitable for this type of warehouse storage application? To answer that question, you need to understand how cantilever racking is constructed.
Manufactured in extremely strong steel beams, in order to provide maximum strength, cantilever racking has a series of upright supports, located at the back of the installation and are connected to one another by horizontal bracing pieces for additional stability. The arms of the cantilever installation project from the uprights, and support the materials being stored. The installation also has a base which best practice would suggest should be fixed to the ground, but this is not always necessary.
The shorter the space between the bracing pieces, the stronger the installation will be, and the higher the racking can go without endangering safety.
Whereas the upright ends in a pallet racking installation sectionalise the storage space, in cantilever racking there are no upright end sections, so the storage space is uninterrupted. This is what makes the system suitable for the storage of long goods. There are no obstacles to get in the way when your warehouse plant is loading and unloading.
At the base of the unit, tyre guards can help prevent damage from forklift trucks.
For outside storage, where some protection is required, a canopy can be installed above with rear and end cladding, as required.
Loading and unloading of cantilever racking can be done using either standard or side loading fork trucks, but if you can use side loading equipment you are possibly more likely to obtain the maximum economic benefit from your warehouse by minimising aisle widths.
The great thing about cantilever racking is its flexibility. It can be installed in the configuration that best fits your situation, helping you make the most economic use of your precious warehouse space.
The greatest benefit of Cantilever Racking is the ease of installation. It is also fairly easy to reconfigure, should warehouse storage requirements change over time.
For difficult or bulky items, Cantilever Racks can help with stock accessibility and can therefore reduce handling times and improve productivity.
Cantilever Racking can either be fixed against a wall or as double-sided racking where product is accessible from both sides.
Your cantilever racking installation can be single sided or double sided, and further scope for adaptation lies in the fact that the arms can be either fixed or variable, according to your requirements.
Since the arms in a Cantilever Rack are supported by just one connection to the uprights, the length of the arm, by nature, must be limited. If the arms are too long, they will lose strength.
This means that the width of Cantilever Racks is narrower than racking for pallets. It also means that more rows of Cantilever Racking may be required, taking up more warehouse space.
Although pallets can be stored on Cantilever Racking, it is an inefficient way of storing pallets.
When installed and used correctly, and maintained in a systematic and responsible way, cantilever racking is also very safe.
Here at Pallet Racking Systems, we are experts in the supply, installation, and maintenance of cantilever racking – and other types of warehouse storage racking. If you are looking to equip your warehouse and at the same time maximise efficiency, safety and economy, contact us today.