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How to design a install a cantilever rack system

The key to a successful cantilever rack system is the answer to one question: What is the product (load) being stored? The answer must include the length, depth, height and weight of the product. Once this data is ascertained it becomes a simple matter to determine the required arms, uprights and braces.


The load must be supported by enough arms to prevent load deflection. Deflection may cause damage to the load being stored as well as the arms (figure A1 as shown below).


To detect deflection, place the load over two wooden blocks (to represent cantilever arms) as shown in figure A2.



If deflection is not present it is acceptable to use a two arm system as long as this does not create an overload condition. If the load shows deflection use three blocks as shown in figure A3 or four blocks as in figure A4.




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


The depth of the load should never exceed the length of the arm. A 48" wide bundle of plywood requires a 48" long arm, bundles of steel 24" wide require a 24" arm and so on. Rated arm capacities may be seriously diminished if proper loading techniques are not observed. Figures B1, B2 and B3 illustrate correct and incorrect arm loading.


NOTE: All arm capacities are based on an evenly distributed load as in figures B4 and B5 below.







When determining the height of the upright it is important to consider the ceiling height, forklift reach, sprinkler systems and other factors, such as local building codes that might affect the overall height. The height of the upright in figure C1 is determined by adding the base height, the number of loads to be stored, the arm thickness plus 6" clearance between the load and next arm.

IMPORTANT: The load placed on the base does not diminish the rated capacity of the upright. Thus, the heaviest loads should be placed on the base.




As previously discussed, 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 above). To determine the required capacity of each upright, multiply the number of arms per side by the load on each arm. In figure D1, each arm holds 2500 lbs. Twelve arms per side times 2500 lbs. per arm equals 30,000 lbs., which when divided by three uprights, results in a required minimum capacity of 10,000 lbs. per upright. The correct upright can be selected by matching the minimum upright capacity of 10,000 lbs. with the upright capacities set forth on the following pages. Assuming a 48" arm, the U1061-NS on page 22 with 10,200 lbs. capacity and the U1061 on page 23 with 12,600 lbs. capacity are the only uprights that will handle the load. NOTE: The Series 1000 MU1057 has only 3100 lbs. capacity while the Series 2000 2U1062 has 8600 lbs. capacity.


Brace length is defined as the horizontal distance from centerline of upright to centerline of the next upright. Refer to the various brace set charts for the brace length that most closely matches the arm spacing determined in step A.


Now that you know how to design a Cantilever Rack System, all you have to do, is to add the specifications into our on-line quote system and we will provide you with a free quote below.

  Cantilever Rack Shelving Quote Request

This sheet is an initial contact form to primarily assist you in designing the best possible system available for your facility. Once you fill out the initial information, we may request additional information. It is important that you complete the quick questionnaire as detailed as possible. We will contact you on the same day of your request or no later than the following work day.

Note: We spend a considerable amount of time and energy designing your system quote to your specifications. Please answer the questions as accurately as possible for your best quote.

Please provide us with your contact information:

Contact Information  
 Business Name
 Street Address
Address Continued
Zip Code
Web Site Address

Questions about your Cantilever Rack System?

Sample A


In order to help us provide you with the appropriate grade shelving, please complete our request form. This information will help us price the appropriate equipment you require.


It is very helpful to know your budget. What is your budget?
(We have different products to fit your budget)


What is your maximum weight capacity needed per arm position?


Will you please describe the length and type of material you are storing?


When do you need this Equipment?


How many pair of arms do you require?
(Sample A has "4" pair of arms)


How many upright columns do you require for your project?
(Sample A has 2 upright columns)


In the question above, how many units to you want connected together in each run?

(Sample A is 1 complete unit)


How high do you want your cantilever upright column to be?
(Upright heights are available from 6' to 20' high - please specify height)

What is the distance between your upright columns? (Leave blank if you do not know)




Would you like a straight arm or an inclined arm? (See above)



What is your request straight arm length?

What is your request incline arm length?



Uprights consist of a vertical column and a horizontal base which is bolted to the column. A minimum of two uprights must be ordered to form a storage bay. Each edge of the column is punched vertically on 3" centers so it may be used as a single or double sided upright depending on the size of base used. NOTE: The arms must never be placed on the back side of a single sided upright and base. Standard upright and base color is gray.


Would you like a single sided upright or a double side upright? (See above)



Additional information

Please specify additional detailed
information that will help us create     
your custom quote.  
Thank you for requesting a Free Quote. We pride ourselves in serving our customers!


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