Racking and Storage

Shelving and Storage units

Many businesses use shelves of some variety for storage. They are naturally the most efficient way to store goods by giving them sturdy places to rest while progressively layering more flat surfaces. There are limits as to how high a rack can rise without becoming unstable. The essential point is keeping the center of gravity over a base of support. That center of gravity should also not rise too high.

Just as important is the structural strength of the rack. Holding heavier objects means using thicker metal in the support beams. cantilever racking takes this need to the next level by making a support structure from steel beams. While a rack made from wielded pipes might be able to hold hundreds of pounds, steel beams can hold tons.

Cantilever racking

A cantilever rack does not have a flat base for stowing packages. Instead, beams extend horizontally from the sturdy central pillar. There is no need to add a surface because the targeted use is to hold long and usually flat pieces of construction material. This type of racking holds beams of wood and metal. It is strong and meant for industrial applications.

It is common to see cantilever racking in warehouses, especially for construction material. The lack of a shelf makes it unusable for storing packages, but it is the perfect solution for a variety of logs and beams. Some have retainers at the end of each horizontal beam to retain goods that might roll away. Materials that are flat can be trusted to sit securely.

Read more about cantilever racking

Cantilever racking is made by wielding together beams of metal. These are not hollow pipes but solid beams and solid rods of metal. Some attachments are riveted while others are solidly welded. The sturdiness is essential for holding heavy materials but also for stability. The rack must be completely rigid in order to avoid toppling.

When storing packages on traditional racks, it is common practice to store the heaviest packages on the bottom and lighter packages on top. While it might still be a good idea to place heavier materials on the bottom of a cantilever rack, some warehouses are short on space and have to place materials wherever. The advantage of storing flat materials is that they sit with an even weight distribution. As long as the weight is focused over the base of support, the rack and its contents should not topple.

It is possible to convert a cantilever rack into a conventional shelf by placing boards on the empty lever arms, although it is not specifically meant for this purpose. The length between the arms is considerable, and so the supporting base must carry load on its own. It might be best to reserve a cantilever rack for its intended purpose.

Final Words

In spite of the cost, it is better to store wood beams on a cantilever rack rather than stack them on the ground. A rack can improve storage space, while sitting wood on the ground can make them dirty and also promote decay. Since materials are often in storage for years at a time, it is a good idea to keep them off the ground.