5 Uses for Cantilever Storage Racks

Cantilever storage racks are versatile static storage systems that have many use cases. While not a good choice for everyday storage of palletized products, cantilever racking shines when you need to store long, bulky or otherwise awkward items.

Read on to learn more about cantilever storage racks and how you can use them in your warehouse.

How You Can Use Cantilever Racking in Your Facility

Cantilever racking may appear to be a one-trick pony at first glance. The simple configuration using storage arms that jut out from the upright base means that not all of your inventory will be at home on this type of racking. But you could say the same for selective pallet racking systems because you’d usually use them for standard palletized loads and not much else.

Cantilever storage racks, however, are much more versatile than they first appear. Let’s explore some common uses for cantilever racking.

1. Lumber, Drywall and Other Building Materials

With open arm construction, cantilever racks are the perfect choice for long items like lumber. You may find specialty cantilever lumber racking that’s perfect for storage of plywood, lumber, veneer or other items like sheetrock.

These items, as well as other oddly shaped building materials like drywall, can safely rest on cantilever racking arms and still be accessible for workers. Teams can quickly move awkward materials from storage and store items efficiently, saving time on the warehouse floor.

2. Large Pallets and Bulky Items

While it might not seem like the first choice, if you’re constantly dealing with bulky pallets or large items that won’t fit in your standard pallet racking bays, cantilever racking may be a safe alternative. Some warehouses may benefit from furniture cantilever racking, which has a sturdier arm configuration and the ability to accommodate additional decking.

Furniture cantilever rack (pictured) adds more flexibility to what you can store and is perfect for large and bulky inventory.

Large items and non-standard pallet sizes can be hard to pick up from standard pallet racking with a forklift. In this case, standard cantilever storage racking will be perfect. Items can span the width of the racking arms, and workers can easily access them using a forklift through the unobstructed center of the rack.

3. Steel Tubing and Pipe Storage

It should come as no surprise that long items like steel tubing or piping can effortlessly fit onto cantilever racking. If your warehouse is managing a large inventory or piping or tubing, cantilever racking can help your team efficiently access items in a way that standard pallet racking or industrial shelving just can’t manage.

You can store long items efficiently with cantilever rack in both indoor and outdoor (pictured) storage environments.

You’ll still need to worry about other storage factors, like deflection, but we’ll touch on that a little later. Otherwise, you won’t find a better solution for storing pipes, tubing or other long materials outside of cantilever racks.

4. Steel Beams

Steel beams tend to be long, bulky and heavy. Properly storing such products is a matter of safety for both your team and your product. 

Looking at the basic constitution of cantilever racking, it might appear as if this storage system is not up for the task of carrying such weight. Fortunately, the rugged steel arms of this type of racking are ready to store all kinds of heavy items. You’ll still want to ensure your racking is up to the task of carrying all that weight, but a typical 48X4 cantilever racking arm can support around 2,000 pounds.

5. Carpet

Rolls of carpet are certainly not an easy item to manage. And keeping stock off the ground is essential. The last thing you want is dirt and debris from your warehouse floor ruining your inventory.

As you may have already guessed, you’ll want to employ cantilever racking in this situation. It’s the perfect solution for handling unruly items like rolled carpet.

Cantilever racks can be durable and reliable, but to make the most out of your storage system, you should understand a few significant factors.

Storing Items Securely

Cantilever racking is the perfect solution for non-standard products. Whether you’re using cantilever lumber racks or standard cantilever racking, you’ll need to understand the ins and outs of proper storage for both safety and efficiency.

Cantilever racks can be durable and reliable, but to make the most out of your storage system, you should understand a few significant factors.

What You Need to Know About Deflection

Deflection, also known as sagging, is when a product bends in the middle of the racking arms. Because cantilever systems don’t typically include decking, if you store items incorrectly, items can easily bend and possibly become damaged.


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The bend can be a bend down if too much weight bows the material or upward if the items are too long for the storage arms. Determining proper lateral spacing is key to preventing deflection. Since, in most cases, you’ll want to use the smallest number of storage arms possible, finding the balance between the number of arms and load deflection will be the challenge.

Different Arm Types for Different Applications

In some modular cantilever racking systems, you may have a choice between standard straight arms or inclined arms. Each can play a role in storing specific items safely.

For instance, straight arms work well with flat products like lumber or angle iron. Inclined arms, however, are the best choice if you’re storing round items like steel tubing or PVC pipes. The incline helps prevent any rolling or movement during storage.

Getting the most out of your cantilever system (pictured) means developing an efficient design and layout to optimize your storage space.

Material Choice Matters

As you shop for cantilever racking, you’ll most likely be choosing between structural steel or roll-formed racking. Your specific needs will help you understand which material is the right choice for your intended application.

For large loads that require heavy-duty storage, structural steel is the preferred choice. You’ll find durable steel I-beam construction and reliable four-bolt attachments for arms and columns. In contrast, roll-formed cantilever racking, while still durable, finds its best use case with small to medium loads.

Looking for Affordable Cantilever Storage Racks?

Cantilever storage racks are much more versatile than they appear. As we’ve learned, they are the preferred option for storing oddly shaped or long materials. The long outstretched arms create the perfect base for items that just won’t fit onto standard pallet racks.

If you’re searching for quality cantilever racking to outfit your facility, our storage experts here at East Coast Storage Equipment are ready to help. Not only do we carry both affordable used and brand new cantilever racking, but our team is more than happy to assist with other parts of the purchasing process, from planning your rack to installation.

Reach out today to get started!


john 107 shorb
April 27, 2022

We are landscape contractors and searching for used exterior, single sided cantilevered racks for: Bundle of 4″ and 1″ PVC pipe 20′ sections, 20′ rebar, 10′ Steel edging, Miscellaneous sticks of PVC pipe, possible 4′ x 8′ wire mesh for concrete re-enforcement grid.
We have 2 facilities, and would like to be able to stack and store these materials.
Please advise
John Shorb

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