Cantilever Rack Buying Guide

A cantilever rack is one of the best options to choose as it can easily organize spaces such as a warehouse. The heavy-duty cantilever racking system offers the perfect storage solution for long parts inventory and industrial applications in busy warehouses.  This racking systems is built to offer wide access to lengthy-awkward items and tools, meaning that there is less risk to health and safety when you need to retrieve products regularly.  You may find that traditional racking systems and storage offer you little space to work with.

This kind of racking is also commonly known as furniture, pipe, or lumber rack. It is used to store different bulk items such as PVC pipes, sheet steel, flake boards, metal pipes, aluminum sheets, and many other things as well. For more information on our Cantilever rack buying guide, look at our detailed information here as follow:

Cantilever Rack Parts

  • Inclined Arms for Standard Duty Cantilever Rack
  • Straight Arms for Standard Duty Cantilever Rack
  • Cantilever Braces for Standard Duty Cantilever Rack
  • Double Column for Standard Duty Cantilever Rack
  • Double Column for Heavy Duty Cantilever Rack
  • Single Column for Standard Duty Cantilever Rack
  • Single Column for Heavy Duty Cantilever Rack
  • Inclined Arms for Heavy Duty Cantilever Rack
  • Straight Arms for Heavy Duty Cantilever Rack
  • Cantilever Braces for Heavy Duty Cantilever Rack

Things you should consider when buying Cantilever Racks

The first thing you should consider when buying a cantilever rack is to look at how the upright is connected to the base.  Some racks are made of enhancement plates, which require 12 bolts for each assembly and some of the cantilever racks require only 4 or 8 bolt assemblies. They give strong support to the system.

While designing your Cantilever Racking System, do not forget that the height of your building and the range of your forklift, which are the two main factors that you should consider

Well, when choosing the right upright size, do not forget two main factors to consider, one is the height of your building and the second is the range of your forklift. To choose the right Arm size, you should make sure your products must never exist the length of the arm, for instance, if your products are 1200mm deep, then you need a minimum 1200mm length arm, also keep in mind that make sure the arms are not overloaded.

The Importance Of Using The Right Racking System

The use of the right storage is important as it will have an impact on the overall functionality of the warehouse or other spaces where you install it. You can easily segregate different items as per their size and other specifications. The cost of such storage systems is also justifiable as the risk of injury is less and the efficiency of labor is there in it.

It will also become easy for you to easily locate the items that are stored more quickly and accurately. With so many options available in racks, you can find the ones including wall-mounted, medium-duty, heavy-duty materials, light-duty cantilever rack, and rugged materials. If you have a limited budget, you can buy second-hand storage systems, this will help you get a good deal.

cantilever rack bracing chart

URS Structural Cantilever Rack System Offers The Following Advantages:

  • Strong and durable structural steel construction.
  • No front posts – unrestricted access to your product.
  • Arms are vertically adjustable on 4” centers to accommodate various load heights.
  • Efficient use of vertical space.
  • Easily store materials of varying dimensions Uprights / Columns punched on both sides for single or double-sided storage.
  • Decking options are available.
  • Inside or outside storage.
  • Bolted base, arm, and brace connections.
  • A variety of arm sizes for different loads of capacities.
  • Pole sockets & End poles available.

Determine Length of the Arms:

  • Arm vertical spacing is dependent on the load size and lifts clearance required.
  • Arm lengths depend on the depth of the product stored.
  • Various sizes are available depending on load size and required capacity.

Determine how many arms are required to support your load. Base this on the maximum lateral spacing of arms (due to load rigidity or weight) and in conjunction with the Arm Capacity Chart shown below. Individual arm capacity is determined by dividing the total load weight by the number of supporting arms. Arm length equals the depth of your load. Arm capacities are based upon uniform loads.

determine arms length in a cantilever rack system

Determine the number of load levels per upright considering:

  • Maximum lift capabilities of your forklift truck.
  • Unobstructed vertical space available.
  • Subtract the base height from the maximum lift height. Divide this height by the sum of: (one load height + 5” clearance + the height of one arm). This will equal the number of loads below the top arm that can be stored within the lifting capabilities of your truck. Check for unobstructed vertical space, if adding one more load height exceeds vertical space available, reduce arm levels by one.

Determine Height In Cantilever Rack:

Determine the Upright capacity by multiplying the desired number of arm levels by the capacity of the selected arms. A load can be stored on the base, however, this load is not included in the Upright capacity.

Minimum Upright Height Equal To:-

  • The total number of arms per side multiplied by the individual arm height, plus.
  • The base Height plus.
  • The space between the arms (load height plus 4” – 6” clearance) multiplied by the number of spaces, plus…
  • 4” minimum above the top arm. If you want the upright to be back support for the top load, add in the desired height.

Determine Arm Spacing:

In the cantilever racking system, When determining the required capacity, each arm will need to support, take the total weight of the product being stored in each level, and divide it by the number of arms it will take to support the product without creating any deflection. Each arm supports an equal amount of the load’s weight. The distance between tower determines the bracing width. If you have two arms under your load the Brace Panel would be one-half the load length, three arms under the load would be one-third the load length.


The load should overhang the end arms by one-half the distance from the upright centerline to the upright centerline. Failure to observe this measure may cause an overload condition on the arms


Bracing Position and Spacing:

  • Lateral stability and spacing of the columns are accomplished with factory welded Vertical X-Brace Panels and Horizontals Brace members.
  • X-Brace Panels are required in each end bay of any row, and in alternate interior bays. Factory welded attached bracing clips will properly position the bracing on the column.
  • See the Bracing Pattern chart for various column heights. To ascertain bracing required for in-between sizes select the next larger size.
  • Straight Brace/ Single angle bracing is configured as shown in the Bracing Position pattern figure.

Calculating Requirements Of Straight Braces / X Braces:

The height of the tower/column will decide the requirements of x-bracing or straight bracing. The following picture will self explain how many x-braces or straight braces required for the desired tower/column Height.


Determining Cantilever Rack Weight Capacities:

Each arm supports an equal amount of the load’s weight. By determining the number of arms per level and dividing it into the weight per level, the required arm capacity can be determined (see example at right). To determine the required capacity of each tower, multiply the number of arms per side by the load on each arm.

In the figure, the Product weight is 8000 lb and the product lays on 3 arms. Each arm holds 2666 lbs. Twelve arms per side times 2666 lbs. per arm equals 31,992 lbs. which when divided by three towers, results in a required minimum capacity of 10,664 lbs. per tower.

  • Required Arm Capacity = (Total Weight of Load) / (Number of Arms per Level)
  • Required Tower Capacity = (Number of Arms per Tower) X (Max Load per Arm)

Note:- Loads placed on the base do not affect the tower’s rated capacity.