The Design and Some Typical Uses of Cantilever Racking

It is usual in most of the warehouses and larger stock rooms of today to find that the majority of stored goods are arranged on pallets. They are mounted in this fashion for easy handling by forklift operators during the loading and unloading processes both on site and at the delivery point. Typically, these palletised goods will be contained in stackable trays or cartons and consist of identical products, such as canned goods. Occasionally, however, there are items that cannot be palletised and which require cantilever racking for ease of handling.

The descriptor refers to any type of projection from a wall or other upright structure, anchored at one end only, and used as a source of support. First applied to support extensions to a building, such as mouldings and balconies, the principle has been adapted to construct bridges and even to allow designer homes to extend from the face of a cliff, overlooking the sea. In a facility, where it is required to store long and heavy items, a cantilever racking system works in the same way and consists of four main components.

Vertical beams or uprights provide the anchor points to which one end of the horizontal beams or arms of varying length are attached. Each section of the whole is, in turn, supported by means of a base to provide the necessary stability, and which will commonly be bolted to the floor of the warehouse. To provide additional strength and rigidity, the uprights are connected to one another by braces

Cantilever racking can either be installed back-to-back to form multiple rows of double-sided units separated by aisles, or secured to a wall to provide single-sided storage. The choice will be influenced by the amount of available floor space and the product mix. Where long and heavy items form only a small part of the stockholding, one or two wall-mounted units might be all that is required, leaving the bulk of the floor space free for the placement of pallet racks.

For items, such as PVC piping, timber, carpeting, or metal sheeting, cantilever racking will generally be the most suitable choice.  The only alternative option would be floor stacking. However, even though the latter choice will overcome the need for capital investment, the handling of floor-stacked items will prove far less efficient while storage capacity will also be more limited.

Apart from the fact that it provides an unobstructed means to store and access bulky, oversized items that often differ widely in their length and mass, this type of system offers its owners a number of other advantages. Firstly, cantilever racking is relatively simple to install and, if required, it can also be easily reconfigured to cope with changing needs. The inherently strong and stable structure allows the optimal use of vertical space with uprights of up to 6 m in height.

If this option does present a drawback, it will be the need for aisles. They do not, however, need to be exceptionally wide if the loading and unloading will be performed using either a side-loading forklift or one of the more versatile, multi-directional models that are now replacing the older but still-popular side-loaders. For more about how cantilever racking could benefit your business, call the storage experts at Krost Shelving and Racking.