What is cantilever racking?
Cantilever racking is widely used in many warehouses because of its strength, simplicity and practicality. Construction of the racking does not require lintels or spars for support since it is a free standing racking system where racks are attached at one end through slot-and-tag or bolt-on fixtures. The load bearing beam is supported at one end only without any external braces. People often assume that cantilever racks are flimsy because they are not supported by a wall but they are extremely strong with weight loading carried on the horizontal support and transferred to vertical support contact point where it is evenly distributed to resist a combination of momentum and shear stress forces. The racks are constructed as single or double-sided units which can be easily combined to form modular assemblies.
Advantages of using cantilever racking
Since there are no vertical or oblique braces, cantilever racking can store loads that are wider than its span. Loading and unloading can be done from the front of the rack using forklifts or pallet jacks. The double sided configuration creates back-to-back shelves which maximizes storage space. Cantilever racks come in various sizes and load capacities which mean a wider range of choice is available for the company based on its storage needs. Because of its simplicity, assembly is fast and uncomplicated. Most of the smaller systems are assembled using the slot-and-tag method where the tag on the horizontal support locks into a corresponding slot on the vertical member. Larger systems make use of a more complex assembly process of bolt-on horizontal beams.
The difference between pallet racking and cantilever racking
Pallet racking is a common industrial racking system employed by many warehouses but unlike the cantilever racks, pallet racking is not suitable for storing long items. Even if the pallet racking is conveniently empty, it cannot be used for storing heavy furniture pieces because its weight will be too much for the racking system. As its name implies, pallet racking is a system intended for products that are placed on pallets for easy management of goods. The normal standard beam for a pallet rack is from 8 to 12 feet which make them unsuitable for storing long items. In the cantilever racks, the bracing goes up between the uprights to stabilize the racks and goes vertically and horizontally as well for added stability. There is even weight distribution for long items and they can be stored correctly without bending and twisting. Choice of the appropriate industrial racking system makes life easier for those who are managing the warehouse.