Cantilever racking is a style of storage system made for non-palletized inventory. It efficiently stores long, heavy materials, making it popular for storing lumber, steel sheets, rebar, furniture, and even cars.
To quote a cantilever system, you must know what kind of system you need, the capacity requirements, rack system measurements, and other system characteristics. All this can be determined from the dimensions and weight of your inventory loads.
Cantilever Rack Basics
The best way to quote your cantilever rack system is to start with understanding what each component does. Knowing what each part does allows you to match your needs with the correct parts, styles, and rack configurations.
The vertical beam is the cantilever upright. It is connected to the base, and the arms extend from it. If the cantilever rack is single-sided, then the cantilever upright is often secured to a wall as well. The load capacity of the cantilever uprights is the same as the cantilever system’s total load capacity.
The cantilever arms extend horizontally from the uprights and support the inventory. Cantilever arms can be straight or inclined. They can connect to the uprights at any point so that the storage system can accommodate different product dimensions.
The base of the cantilever rack system connects the upright to the ground. It disperses weight into the ground and stabilizes the storage system. The heaviest inventory should be stored on the cantilever bases. The weight stored on the bases does not count toward the weight capacity of the storage system.
Cantilever rack systems have braces that span the lateral distance on the vertical plane between the uprights. They secure the system from excessive lateral movement. Cantilever braces are not built to hold loads; they only stabilize the unit.
Single or double-sided options
Cantilever systems come in single or double-sided styles. The single-side style only has arms on one side of the unit. Double-sided cantilever rack systems have arms on both sides of the upright.
The double-sided design is ideal for aisle storage in a warehouse because it allows access to materials from two sides. The Meco Rugged Cantilever double-sided unit doubles the load capacity of the single-sided unit from 28,600 lbs to 57,200 lbs.
Types of Cantilever Rack System
Your inventory and material handling equipment determine which cantilever rack system is right for you. Structural racking is meant for heavy loads that are accessed with forklifts. Roll-form racks have a lighter load capacity and are less expensive.
Structural steel racking
Structural racking is made from structural steel and uses welding plus bolts to secure arms to the uprights. If your inventory load weight is more than 1,500 lbs. then structural racking is necessary for safe storage.
The Red Steel Cantilevers have an industrial-strength rack arm to upright connection. It includes bolts and welding, which give it the structural integrity to handle heavy loads. This single-sided cantilever system has a total capacity of up to 11,000 lbs. The Red Steel Cantilever arm-to-upright connection is common for structural cantilever racks.
Roll-form racking is made to support loads less than 1,500 lbs. It has a boltless design, making it easy to assemble and reconfigure but not as strong as structural racking. It is made for manual material handling rather than material handling machines. If your inventory is light, then roll-form racking is the most cost-efficient cantilever option for your facility.
Cantilever System Dimensions
You need to know the dimensions and weight of your inventory loads to determine your cantilever racking system’s necessary dimensions and capacity. If your inventory is not uniform, then measurements for all unique loads are necessary.
You need to know your loads’ height, length, depth, and weight. The unique qualities of your inventory should be noted as well. For instance, if your materials are cylindrical and might roll, you need slanted and lipped cantilever arms to ensure safe storage.
Determine lateral spacing
You need to conduct a deflection test to determine the lateral spacing of the cantilever storage system. The lateral spacing is the distance from the middle of one upright to the middle of the next one. This is also the horizontal distance between arms, so the larger the distance, the more your load deflects.
Wood blocks are all you need to test your loads’ necessary lateral space. Place the load on the blocks so that no more than ¼ of the load hangs over each block. The left overhang can be up to ¼ the length, and the right overhang can be up to ¼ the length. This leaves half of the load to be supported in between the two wood blocks.
The part of the load in the lateral space deflects down toward the ground. The deflection measurement must be within RMI ANSI/MH 16.3 designations.
If your load deflects too much, you will need to add another wood block for extra support. This represents adding another cantilever upright into your storage system. Once the load meets the minimum deflection requirements, you know the lateral distance between uprights and the number of uprights needed to support your inventory.
Determine arm length and bay height
The depth of your load determines the length of your system’s arms. Cantilever arms must be longer than the depth of the load. An arm’s load capacity is compromised when the depth of a load exceeds an arm’s length. In a warehouse, this looks like inventory hanging over the front of an arm.
The bay height is the distance from the top of an arm to the bottom of the next arm. It is the space in which your load will be stored. The bay height should be at least 6” taller than the height of your load. This provides enough room for material handling equipment to access the inventory without impacting the structural components of the system.
Determine upright height and number of arms
The dimensions of your storage area determine the upright height. If you are storing material indoors, the uprights must be below the ceiling clearance. The load on top must have at least 6” of space from the ceiling clearance. The height of the cantilever base is also included in the total upright height.
Calculate the Necessary Capacity of the System
Once you have all the dimensions of your storage system, you can calculate its load capacity. The maximum weight of your loads determines a system’s arm capacity. The arm capacity must be more than the maximum load.
Next, the upright load capacity must be more than all the armload capacities and the arm’s weights. The load that is stored on the cantilever base is not added into the upright capacity. The upright capacity is the total load capacity of the cantilever racking system.
Now you should know the height of your system, the number of arms per upright, the number of uprights, the load capacities for the system and the components, and the type of cantilever you need. You can now create a quote based on this information and market prices for systems of your size and type.
Cantilever Racking Accessories
Any necessary cantilever accessories are the final consideration when you are quoting your cantilever rack system. You could need arm safety lips or may want to protect your uprights with plastic guards.
Red Steel Cantilever Racks come with the option for safety pins. It is a 6” high barrier that stops materials from rolling off of the arms. Safety pins increase the bay height but provide security for the storage rack and safety for warehouse employees.
Heavy-duty storage systems that require forklifts for material handling should invest in protection for their cantilever rack. Forklift impact can compromise the lateral integrity and load capacity of a rack system.
K3 Rack Protectors can be outfitted onto cantilever uprights to minimize the chance of serious forklift impact. Protectors add weight to the system, so include them in your load capacity calculations.
Contact the Professionals at Shelving + Rack Systems, Inc.
Storage experts are your best resource, whether you are quoting a cantilever system for new lumber racks or just determining what to add to an existing rack system. A professional knows all of the ANSI and RMI regulations and ensures your cantilever rack system is legal and efficient.
Even with professional help, it is advantageous to know the process of quoting a cantilever system. You will be better able to assess necessary replacements and judge when you need new sections of storage.