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Better Cantilever Rack Use Calls for Better Training

Monday, June 29, 2009

To maximize wall storage density and selectivity of long, odd-shaped items such as pipe, tubing, lumber, sheet metal, and rolls of material without the need to palletize, Cantilever Rack is hard to beat. Unlike standard pallet rack, Cantilever Rack, with no obstructive front column, offers individual selectivity, lowers handling time and cost, and saves horizontal space normally lost to rack structure.

Yet improper installation or use of cantilever rack systems can lead to a host of problems from rack and product damage, to inefficient material handling and injury. As the down economy prompts some companies to cut corners on professional installation, the risk of these sorts of problems rises. Proper installation and operator training is required to achieve full safety and effectiveness.

“For years, typical cantilever rack systems were shipped with just the arms, uprights, and brace kits while professional integrators ensured they worked,” says Dawayne Edwards, a sales manager at Steel King Industries, a leading manufacturer of cantilever rack and material handling systems, based in Stevens Point, Wisconsin. “As more companies try to install cantilever rack with their maintenance staff as a cost-saving measure in this tough economy, the risk for mis-installation and misuse grows.”

As a resource for proper installation, operation, and maintenance of cantilever rack systems, proactive warehouse managers are training staff with the help of a free safety "Cantilever Rack User’s Manual." Offered by Steel King (, the cantilever rack installation and safety manual highlights best practice procedures, illustrating them with easy-to-understand graphics.

The safety manual offers a number of critical guidelines including:

  • the best type of flooring to use, and what data must be gathered from the building architect before installation
  • how to avoid improper loading that can reduce capacity by 50%
  • how to avoid “impact loading” and how to position loads for safe, even load distribution
  • how to calculate upright capacity, and determine proper arm spacing/bracing
  • how to protect operators and maximize material handling efficiency/equipment longevity

For a free copy of Steel King's safety "Cantilever Rack User’s Manual” with guidelines for proper installation, operation, and maintenance, contact Donald Heemstra at Steel King, 2700 Chamber St., Stevens Point, WI 54481; call 800/826-0203; email: or visit the website

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