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Cantilever Racking: The Definition and Guidelines for Equipment

Cantilever Racking The Definition And Guidelines For Equipment

Cantilevers are defined as being a beam that is anchored at one end. The load is then helped by an arm that will transfer the load to the supporting upright base/beam.

Cantilever Racking Applications:

Cantilever Racking is normally used to storage of over-sized, long, bulky loads like plasterboard, piping, PVC carpet, steel trusses and timber.

Components of Cantilever Racking:


These are vertical beams that support the arms.


The uprights are connected to these and most commonly bolted down which provides support and stability for uprights to bear the loads.


Racking arms are the horizontal beams that will support the load when it is stored. They are normally set at various angles depending on the requirements for storage.


These connect as well as support the upright, which creates rigidity and strength.


Cantilever racking is normally arranged to be double or single sided racked, either placed against a wall or back to back forming aisles.

Long Load Handling Equipment:

Counter Balance Forklift:

These are the cheapest for long load handling solutions. They do require wide racking aisles in order to handle long loads. They also need large and wide warehouse doors in order to handle the long loads from indoor to outdoors safely. Even though they are considered the lowest cost solution, they do have limitations when it comes to handling times, storage area, and safety.

Side Loader Forklift:

These have been quite popular in the past for long load handling. They were considered the first forklift to be designed for long load handling. They will allow the operator to handle loads sideways, which means narrower aisles and more storage space. Side loaders also have platforms that allow forks to stabilize loads and make sure of safer long load handling. Side loaders also has had declining popularity due to more advanced forklifts that are multi-directional. Multi-directional forklift: These are able to be driven in all directions, which allows for improved storage space and giving better handling times. The operator is able to maneuver long loads with better accuracy and precision.

Advantages and Disadvantages:

When it comes down to storage for long loads it only has two options: cantilever racking or floor stacking. Floor stacking has a lowered capital investment, but the storage capacity and efficiency is a lot lower. Cantilever Racking does take a lot of capital investment as well as planning, but it will improve the productivity and handling times of the warehouse while it gives a larger storage capacity.

Advantages to Cantilever Racking:

There are advantages to utilizing cantilever racks in your warehouse. Here are a couple of examples.

Advantage 1. Easy to install and readjust when needed.

Advantage 2. Able to store all types of loads from timber to pallets.

Advantage 3. Ideal for long loads, which improves productivity and reduces handling times due to the stock being easily accessed.

Advantage 4. Additional arms may be added which allows for storage of all sizes and shapes.

Advantage 5. Will be able to store products up to 6 meters high.

Disadvantages of Cantilever Racking:

As with most things, with the advantages, come disadvantages. Here are a couple of examples.

Disadvantage 1. Inefficient when storing pallets.

Disadvantage 2. Needs to have aisle space between each rack.

Disadvantage 3. Cost of capital investment is high for installation and racking design.

Disadvantage 4. Driving into long lanes can be slow and trying for forklift drivers.

Disadvantage 5. Requires lots of warehouse space planning.

Utilizing Cantilever Racking Systems

Keep in mind that you should speak to your forklift provider before you purchase racking. The layout design for racking needs to be able to fit in the needs and requirements for forklifts. The labor costs are more expensive than the space of warehousing and storage costs. Pick equipment and layouts that designed to increased productivity and not just for increased storage.

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