When looking for some cantilever racking for its finishing and softwood warehouse, Thorogood Timber knew it needed a storage equipment supplier that delivers to the same level of quality standards it does itself. Having previously worked with Stakapal and experienced for itself the longevity and quality of its products, it was an obvious choice to invite the company back to quote and carry out the work.


Since 1963, specialist timber merchant Thorogood Timber has been producing its range of quality hardwoods and high specification softwoods for the industry. Based in Ardleigh, Colchester, its site facilities include an on-site mill manned by time-served craftspeople, a tool room, a worktop studio and a beam room, which means that no matter how challenging the order, it can deliver to almost any specification.

From the start Thorogood Timber has remained consistent in its desire and commitment towards its work. Of course, none of this can be delivered without using the best quality timber available. As timber continues to become an increasingly valuable commodity it needs to be kept in peak condition. Thorogood has four buildings on site that are dedicated to storing and protecting the integrity of its timber products.

One of the challenges experienced when storing timber is that it comes in a variety of different lengths. In the softwood warehouse Thorogood Timber was using the block stacking technique, where products are stored directly onto the floor one on top of the other. This meant it was storing multiple lengths such as 3m, 4m and 6m packs in one stack, with the longest lengths at the bottom. This method was proving to be extremely inefficient for the factory especially when the entire stack had to be moved in order to reach the longer lengths.


“When looking for new storage equipment it can be challenging,” said Peter Thorogood, owner of Thorogood Timber. “There are lots of companies who supply cantilever racking but it’s difficult to know which one to choose. We were in the fortunate position that we have used Stakapal’s equipment before and know the quality of its work. As a business owner you need assurances and that is what we got with Stakapal. The other benefit, of course, is that we are dealing directly with the manufacturer and not a reseller.”

With more than 55 years working in the storage industry, Stakapal could bring its technical knowledge and experience to Thorogood and design a solution that maximised the opportunities within the warehouse. As a Full Manufacturing Member of SEMA (the Storage Equipment Manufacturers Association), Stakapal is also committed to submitting its products into SEMA’s independent assessment process. This guarantees the racking has been designed, manufactured, and installed to meticulously defined standards and industry regulations.


Cantilever racking is probably the most utilised system for timber product storage due to its versatility and ability to create an incredibly safe and easy way of storing long product lengths.

It is designed using vertical upright columns with arms attached at variable heights. The arms can be adapted to accommodate specific load bearing requirements and designed to suit any pack size to fully maximise the available area. Single-sided racks can fit flush against the wall while double-sided configurations create storage space on either side of the central column.


The final design at Thorogood Timber included rearranging the existing Stakapal system and significantly expanding new racking within the top half of the building that had previously accommodated bulk storage. The reorganisation of the existing racks was fundamental to creating additional space operationally and very specifically to accommodate the new handling equipment that would service the racking moving forward.

Stakapal’s in-house installation teams are SEIRS (Storage Equipment Installers Registration Scheme) registered, a key initiative from SEMA, which trains installers in all health and safety aspects and the correct methods for installing racking.

Stakapal worked with Thorogood to complete the installation during the working week to allow staff to move timber around the warehouse in segments, creating space for the work to commence. As each new section was completed, the timber could then be loaded straight on to the cantilever racking, leaving space available for the next part of the installation.

“Many companies offer cantilever racking but we know that Stakapal’s quality is very high,” said Mr Thorogood. “We’ve had its racking in the past and even the equipment it installed in the 90s is still working as it should, remains in good condition and has required minimal maintenance during this period. Stakapal also delivers on its promises – we agreed what we needed before the work started and it stuck to that. Everything went incredibly smoothly and was completed in the week.

“As a business owner you need confidence that work will be completed in the agreed timescales and that is what we got with Stakapal,” added Mr Thorogood. “The new racking design has made such a difference to our warehouse, improving manufacturing functionality and efficiencies.”