Some materials don’t fit neatly or effectively into typical pallet rack systems. Lumber and steel, for example, are often too long and awkward to fit on pallets, and may not have squared edges. Materials such as these are best stored using cantilever rack systems. Cantilever rack systems are ideal for storing long items in continuous runs in order to avoid left-to-right vertical uprights interfering with the placement of the product on the shelf. Cantilever racks can be found in a wide variety of settings, such as lumber yards, hardware stores, or plumbing supplies warehouses.

A cantilever storage rack system is a free-standing rack system with horizontal arms extending out from a single vertical column. Because cantilever rack systems have no vertical obstruction, they create an opportunity for greater horizontal storage space.

This arm rack system is effective for storing non-uniform products, including furniture, building materials, sheet metal, heavy-duty metals, pipe, bar stock, appliances, rugs, and much more. Cantilever racks can be manufactured using either roll-formed or structural steel.

We stock cantilever racking at our Maple Grove, MN location — shop online at Cantilever Rack Now.

Cantilever Rack Systems
Cantilever Rack Systems

Advantages of Cantilever

  • No front access obstructions, making loading and unloading quick and simple

  • Easily adjusted to accommodate a wide variety of load heights

  • Able to loads ranging in length; no front-side vertical obstructions means no restrictions on item length, and permits storage of objects differing in length within the same rack system

  • Customizable cantilever rack can be built as high as your service machinery can load and as long as is needed for your warehouse

  • In Stock Inventory

  • Single sided can be converted to double sided

  • Structural cantilever available for Heavy Duty applications

General Cantilever Information

Load Deflection refers to the amount of sagging occurring between load arms.

The upright capacity needed for a given application is determined by multiplying the weight placed on each each arm level times the number of arm levels per upright column.

The arm capacity needed for a given application is determined by taking the total weight needed for each product level and dividing that number by the amount of arms used for that product level. This number is calculated with the assumption that the load will be evenly distributed from front-to-back and side-to-side.

In a cantilever rack with two upright columns, the horizontal distance between the cantilever arms should be half the length of the items being stored, leaving 1/4 of the length hanging over on each end. In a rack with three upright columns, the distance between cantilever arms should be 1/3 of the product length, leaving 1/6 of the product length hanging over on each end.

Cantilever rack is available in both single and double-sided units, offering maximum use of warehouse space.


Common Cantilever Rack Design Questions to Ask

When setting up a warehouse it’s important to know these things about your current or future racking. We have warehouse design experts who can help with the warehouse layout design process and ensure you choose the right racking for your storage needs.

  • Length? Width? Height?
  • Weight per bundle of product?
  • How many arms needed to support your product?
  • Inclined Arms(20 degree)?
  • Straight (3/8″ per foot pitch to compensate for deflection)?
  • Lip needed on cantilever arms?
  • Length of arm needed? Capacity per arm?
  • Single or double sided rack?
  • Overall height of rack system?

Cantilever Components


The base of the cantilever system anchors the rack system to the floor and provides support to the column or upright tower. The size of the base on a cantilever unit is dependent on the size of the arms and also the capacity of the rack.


(Upright Towers, Verticals): Frame columns mount into the base of the cantilever providing support to the arms that connect to the column. Columns can range in height and capacity depending on the application demands.


Cantilever arms are what support the product being stored on the rack system. There are many different styles and capacities for these arms, making cantilever rack systems highly customized for each application. Arms vary in capacity, can be straight or inclined, and can have welded end-lips if the application requires them.


(Horizontal and Diagonal): Bracing provides stabilization to the cantilever rack system. The widths and lengths of these braces are determined by the size of the product being stored, as well as the application for which the system is being designed.

Please note that the above information is general cantilever storage rack information. If you are interested in cantilever rack systems for your warehouse, we highly recommend contacting one of the cantilever experts in the AK Design Group, as every application is different and all cantilever specs need to be designed based on the specific needs of each application. Call us at 800-722-5908 or get a quote today!

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