What Capacity of Cantilever Racks Best Suits My Needs?

August 13, 2018

When you’re looking for cantilever racking storage systems, you’ll find there are plenty of options to help you get the exact customized solutions you need for your facility’s storage. But what exactly should you be looking for in terms of the capacity of these racks to ensure your needs will be met?

First, it’s important to understand that a cantilever rack is made up of three distinct components, each of which must come in the appropriate size and quantity for you to ensure you’re able to meet your storage needs. These components are the uprights, the arms and the brace sets.

The arms

There are different types of arms you can order for your cantilever rack system, the most common being straight arms and inclined arms.

Straight arms that measure up to 48” long and have a minimum pitch of 3/8” per foot to compensate for any deflection that might occur once items are stacked on top of them. Larger arms that measure 54” and 60” will have a minimum pitch of 5/8” per foot to accommodate the additional weight they can be expected to carry.

Inclined arms, meanwhile, have a pitch of 20 degrees, or approximately 4.36” per foot, meaning they have a much greater capacity to accommodate deflection but aren’t necessarily an ideal solution for all types of items.

For more information please reference the following:


The uprights for your cantilever racking system will consist of a vertical column and a horizontal base bolted to that column. You must have at least two uprights to form a storage bay. Then, each edge of the column will be punched vertically on 3” centers, so they can be used either as single- or double-sided uprights, depending on the size of the base you’ve decided to use. Just keep in mind that arms should never be attached to the back side of a single-sided upright and base.

Information to provide to our team

We’re pleased to help you design the cantilever racking system that best meets your needs. To do so, simply provide us with answers to some of the following questions:

  • How high do you want the upright columns to be for your system?
  • How many upright columns do you require for your rack system?
  • How many units do you want to have connected together in every run?
  • How many arms do you require for your rack system?
  • What amount of distance will you want between your upright columns?
  • What kind of budget are you working with for this project? This will determine the answers to many other questions, including type of equipment, sizes, etc.
  • What is the maximum weight capacity you need for each arm position? Think about the kind of materials and products you will be storing, including their length, width and weight—this will play a big role in determining maximum weight capacity.
  • How soon do you need the cantilever rack equipment prepared?

For more information about designing the perfect cantilever racking system, contact Industrial Shelving USA today.

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