For commercial and industrial storage, space is at a premium. Managers strive to utilize not only as much square footage as possible, but as many cubic feet as is practical. For a factory or warehouse that may be 30-50 feet high, sturdy and well designed racks take advantage of vertical space can triple or quadruple the amount of usable storage space.
Racks come in a variety of styles, depending on the needs of the owner. Pallet racks are a shelf type system, with each shelf supported underneath with a brace or overhead with a cable. Pallets are loaded on each platform shelf. These systems can be 4 or more levels high.
A cantilever system uses a vertical support post with horizontal arms extending from each side of the post. The arms are engineered in such a way that the support for the horizontal arms comes from the central post. No cables, front posts or braces are used. In addition, since the arms can protrude from each side of the post, each row of posts supports a double row of storage.
Cantilever Storage Racks offer advantages that pallet rack do not. The lack of front supports and cables makes access to stored material easier. Tow motors and forklifts have fewer obstructions to deal with. Because each cantilever post supports a double row of material, less storage space is needed for the storage rack. In addition, these racks can be used without a shelving platform, allowing pipes, tubing, lumber and other long materials to be placed directly on the arms.
Because of the weight they are expected to carry, a cantilevered system must be both designed well and manufactured to high standards. Because the weight of the stored items is measured in tons, a poorly designed system can invite disaster. The use of second rate materials can lead to a failure of the system.
The support posts and arms must be of heavy duty metal with a high strength to weight ratio. All connections must be tight fitting with an absence of slack. The system must also be designed in such a way that when stored materials are pulled from one side of the rack, it will not affect the stability of the other side.
Fortunately for warehousemen and factory owners, quality rack dealers are available. A company such as Simply Rack offers a wide variety of storage racks, including cantilever racks, pallet systems, push back racks and industrial shelving. With a quality dealer, the customer can often give a description of the company needs and the dealer representative can then recommend the best system to meet the customer needs.