Cantilever Rack: The Solution for Non-Standard Products

Imagine a world where every product category offered manufactured goods uniform in size, weight and dimension. Material handling would become much easier. The material handling industry attempted initiatives to aid in creating uniformity (think standard size pallets). Unfortunately, manufacturers of products frustrate those efforts by making products and packaging a little different to gain an edge in the marketplace.

Fortunately, the material handling industry also offers options to meet the needs of non-uniform products. One such piece of equipment is the cantilever rack.

The lowdown on cantilever rack

Cantilever rack is somewhat of its own version of non-conformity. While most racking systems require uniform products, the cantilever rack is designed for products unique in size and weight. Typical products stored on cantilever racks are those having lengths in excess of dimensions found in traditional racking options. Without the cantilever rack, the only other option to store many of these items is on the floor, taking up valuable real estate.

Cantilever racks bear little resemblance to other racking. The rack consists of a base, bolted to a vertical beam, with horizontal beams or arms attached to hold the product. At first glance, you may think this type of rack is not suitable for storing products with excessive weight. However, the rack variations can accommodate load capacities of 20,000 lbs. per arm.

Flexibility is a key benefit for this type of rack as you can easily configure it to meet changing needs. Its open design allows for easy access by forklifts to products that can be challenging to handle. The rack does not obstruct the view, as often is the case with pallet racks. This allows workers to locate and retrieve product faster. The result is a saving of time and money.

Applications benefiting from cantilever racks

So, who uses cantilever racks? The diverse types of industries using the rack may surprise you. As mentioned before, cantilever racks store items that are longer and/or thinner than products associated with pallet racking.

Here are a few examples:

Steel bar.

Manufacturers representing multiple industries use and store steel bar on cantilever racks. These bars traditionally come in 20 ft lengths. Many manufacturers fabricate the bar into products including fasteners, printers, fuel injectors, and control valves.

Pipe (PVC and metal).

Companies store a variety of pipe (PVC and metal) dimensions on the cantilever rack. The pipe typically comes in 10 and 20 ft lengths. While there are many applications for the piping products, PVC pipe is frequently used in plumbing, electrical and gas industries.

Lumber and drywall.

The construction industry is a regular user of cantilever racks. Both drywall and lumber are produced in 8 and 12 ft lengths, making it difficult to store. The open frame of the cantilever rack not only allows for easy access, but encourages airflow to reduce moisture and warping.


Can you imagine the floor space required to store large furniture items such as sofas if there were no cantilever racks? Furniture manufacturers use these racks with solid decking to give additional support to furniture and prevent damage.

The cantilever rack is the perfect option for companies with long, bulky products. Its open design allows for easy access and product visibility while minimizing damage. The flexible design allows for use with a wide variety of products.

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