Cantilever Rack Basics

15 Nov.,2022


cantilever racking for sale

Cantilever Rack, often referred as lumber rack or pipe rack is a great solution to a very real storage problem. Often, distributors and manufacturers find themselves with long, bulky items they need to safely store, but no real way to store them safely. Cantilevers are an ideal solution for these problems.

Cantilever racks make quick work of storing long and bulky items like lumber, plumbing pipes, bar stock or other long raw materials. These racks utilize a center column with arms providing the actual shelf levels for storing items which can allow for uneven overhang. Traditional pallet racks are limited to the length of the beams used in each section.

Cantilever racking is manufactured to be either single sided or double sided, the only difference being the number of sides available for storage. Single sided units can only utilize one side while double sided units can store material on both sides.

Double Sided Cantilever Rack

Single Sided Cantilever Rack

Cantilever racks are modular within each basic capacity series (medium, heavy or extra-heavy duty). Additional arms, uprights and cross braces may be ordered and added to your existing system. Different sized arms can be interchanged on the racks to further tailor a system to different uses.


Upright are sold in varying heights and load capacities. Most Cantilever Racks have removable bases while others have the base(s) welded directly to the upright tower. Single sided will have one base and double will have 2 bases (one bolted on each side). The needed capacity of an upright can be calculated by multiplying the number of arms per upright by the individual arm capacity.

The following Chart shows the suggested maximum number of arms that can be applied to Cantilever Columns (as long as capacities are also followed)

Upright Height

# Arms Single Upright

# Arms Double Upright























Cantilever Rack Arms can be purchased as straight or inclined and with or without a lip at the end to prevent items from rolling off. Straight Arms are great for storing materials that will not roll, such as wood, metal or other long square material. Straight arms have a minimum pitch of 3/8 per foot to compensate for deflection.

Inclined (and tapered) Arm

Straight Arms

Inclined Arms are great for storing materials that may roll, such as metal or PVC pipes and other long round material. Inclined arms have a pitch of 20 degrees and are often tapered. A stop or drop pin can be added for additional safety.

The quantity of arms purchased will depend on your needs and whether you’ve chosen double or single sided uprights. Arm capacity varies by length and the shorter the arm, the higher the weight capacity. (Capacity is calculated based on metal gauge and an evenly distributed load.)

Brace Sets

Brace sets are used to hold uprights together and provide stability to the cantilever rack. The length of brace sets required will depend on the length of the material(s) you are storing on the rack. Brace lengths are measured from the center of one upright to the center of the adjacent upright. The number of braces needed also depends on the height of the uprights in the system. Most Modern Structural Cantilevers use an X brace system and typical lengths are 3′ 4′ or 5′.

Cantilever Rack Benefits

  • Instant accessibility to one piece or a full load
  • Fast convenient handling of long, unwieldy stock
  • Provides a neat and orderly inventory system
  • Permits storage of tubes, bars, structural material and other long heavy items that must be kept off the floor
  • Bases can also be used for storage without subtracting from the capacity of the upright
  • Forklifts can easily load items onto and off of the arms
  • Easily Expandable – Purchasing an extra upright, arms and braces will provide an Add-on unit to your existing unit

Russell Industries stocks High Quality Structural Cantilever Racks in 12′ and 16′ Heights with 48 Arms and Bases. We also represent several vendors who can provide Roll Form for lighter applications and Heavy Duty Structural from 8′-30′ (or greater). We can install anywhere, any brand! Call today to talk with an experienced Sales Representative and discuss how Cantilever will benefit your organization!

HOUSTON (713) 692-7225 or Irving (877) 718-7225