Steelking Racking

Oversized Cantilever Rack Helps to Optimize Warehouse Vertical Storage

To take full advantage of the vertical storage space of its high-ceiling, 200,000 sq. ft., warehouse distribution center, Werner Electric Supply required unusually large, customized cantilever racking.  The structure, ultimately, would be so massive that it could not be traditionally manufactured.  Instead, it would need to be specially designed, shipped in sections and welded on-site.

The Appleton, Wisconsin based distributor of electrical, lighting, datacom, pneumatic, safety, and automation solutions, a top 30 electrical distributor in North America, had a need to optimally store and retrieve large quantities of various types of electrical conduit and strut channel.

Cantilever racking, a type of steel shelving unit with long arms that extend from metal frames, can be used to store nearly any type of load, but is particularly good for long, bulky or awkward materials that are not well suited to fit on pallets.  It is a forklift-friendly rack system, often used to store a wide variety of building materials, structural members, and other items.  Since the rack has no front column this increases usable horizontal space, which helps to maximize storage capacity and density. 

While cantilever rack is typically offered in light duty, standard, and heavy-duty I-beam options, for the super-sized cantilever rack Werner Electric Supply turned to Stevens Point, WI-based Steel King Industries, a leading manufacturer of material handling and storage racking products. 

“To store the amount of conduit required to support our customer’s needs, Steel King was willing to customize and build cantilever rack that was tall and allowed us to efficiently use the space in our building without having to increase the footprint,” said Lloyd Fabry, Werner Electric Supply Regional Distribution Center Manager.

According to Fabry, the warehouse is 45’ tall, so to take full advantage of the height and space, extra-large custom cantilever rack had to be built and installed.

With support from Steel King’s in-house staff of professional engineers, the cantilever rack was designed so it is 35’ high with 25 arm levels for storing conduit and strut.  The structure was so large, in fact, that before installation it had to be shipped in several pieces and welded together on-site by a crew of installers at the warehouse distribution center.

For strength, reliability, and operational efficiency heavy duty I-Beam cantilever rack was used.  It is constructed of structural steel with a 50,000-psi minimum yield, and utilizes a heavy arm connector plate and bolted column-to-base connections.

Such I-Beam cantilever rack allows access from both sides. The design saves horizontal space normally lost to rack structure, reduces fork truck damage and allows for faster load and unload times.  With freestanding heights of over 30’, 8’ arm lengths, and arms that adjust vertically in 4″ increments, the rack provides ample storage options.

Altogether over 30 storage bays of 35’ high cantilever rack were installed and have been a successful part of Werner Electric Supply’s distribution operations whenever conduit or strut is required.

For additional information on cantilever rack usage and design considerations, see

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