Having an efficient storage solution is arguably more important in the home shop these days than it ever has been before. With more people stuck at home, resurrecting old projects, and building new hobbies, it's imperative that the garage is clean and organized. Enter the Levrack.
Levrack was born out of necessity on a farm in the heartland of America. The company's founders were looking for a storage solution for the farm's shop. However, everything on the market at the time was either far too expensive, not flexible enough to do the job, or just plain looked bad. The solution proved to be a hanging storage system that they called Levrack. The Levrack storage system combines the best qualities of pallet racks, workbenches, storage cabinets, and sliding storage systems (without the downside of floor-mounted tracks, however).
The Levrack is unique in that it takes a traditional cabinet, flips it sideways, and then suspends it from a hanging track. Each cabinet section slides on the overhead track system using a trolley and wheel setup similar in design to those found on roller coasters. The result is a storage system with double the capacity in the same amount floor space.
At first, the company serviced high-profile clients with their innovative storage solution. Agencies including NASA, every branch of the U.S. military, and major aerospace manufacturers are Levrack clients. Also included in the company's list of happy customers are automotive customizers that you may recognize, such as West Coast Customs, Gas Monkey Garage, Collins Bros Jeep, and they are even featured in Jay Leno's Garage.
Most recently, Levrack has branched out into the home garage market. Having built many different project vehicles from the ground up at home, this author knows the importance of having high-quality storage in the home-based shop, and lots of it. We recently moved into a new home with an even larger garage than previous, one that had an additional single-car unit with an awkwardly large passthrough to the main shop. Thankfully for us, Levrack's smallest unit, the 7-foot storage system, was the perfect fit for the weird space we were given.
The 7-foot Levrack is the smallest system the company offers and is 7.5 feet long, 7 feet tall, and 30 inches deep. Each shelf is rated at 200 pounds of capacity with each shelving section capable of handling up to 800 pounds total. The entire system, inclusive of the four shelving units and the pallet rack, is rated to hold up to an impressive 9,500 pounds. For those with larger spaces, Levrack also offers 8-, 10-, and 12-foot-long systems, each of which can be either 7 or 8 feet tall. Workstations can be added, along with a host of other accessories.
Follow along with us as we take a look at the process of uncrating and assembling our new Levrack storage system for the home shop. The process took us just a couple hours and required a few basic hand tools. A strong, willing helper is also needed as some of the parts are large and heavy. In the next installment we'll report how life has been living with the Levrack and show a few ways in which it has made our life easier.
| Even the smallest of the Levrack storage systems arrives in an impressively large package. The FedEx Freight driver was equally angry at us for having this be his first delivery of the day and intrigued by what was in the crate. Another interesting side effect to be prepared for is to have all of your neighbors come out of the weeds to see what's in the crate.
| When we recently purchased a new home, we intentionally sought one out that had a large garage to use as shop space for our various projects. What we ended up with was a space with an oversized two-car garage with an additional attached single-car unit. While the space is all-around fabulous, what it left us with was a fairly awkward passthrough cut between the two sections of the shop.
| When looking at the size of the awkward opening, we quickly determined that the smallest storage system from Levrack would fit perfectly and leave us a large enough opening to still pass between the two sides. Implementing a smart storage solution, such as this one from Levrack, even in our small home shop made far more sense to us than simply leaving the space open.
| Moving back inside the large crate we found all of the parts needed to assemble our new 7.5-foot Levrack storage system. Since we were doing a home install, we ordered the system with new pallet rack uprights. If you're working in a shop that already has pallet racks, you may be able to save some coin by using parts of your current setup. Believe it or not, the most difficult part of the Levrack installation was breaking down the crate and getting all of the parts unwrapped.
| With the crate unpacked we set to work on assembling the Levrack system. With a total system capacity of more than 9,000 pounds, you can bet that the setup is heavy. That said, we bribed a neighbor to help and opted to build the rack in place. The first step in assembling the system is to place the pallet rack uprights.
| Once the uprights are in place, the upper track can be installed. These large beams are used to secure the pallet rack uprights together and are also used as the track system for the hanging shelves. This is another time that another pair of strong hands will come in handy.
| After the track beams have been installed on the pallet rack uprights, the whole thing can be checked for level. It's important that the system is as level as possible, as any slight deflection can cause issues down the road. For floors that are just a touch out of level, Levrack includes shims with each kit to help bring them closer to perfect.
| In addition to the main attraction shelving system, each Levrack also comes with wire mesh decks that go across the top of the rack and provide additional storage. These mesh decks secure over the front and rear edges of the track beams as shown.
| At the heart of the of the Levrack system are the trolleys that the shelving units slide on. These trolleys come pre-assembled and ready to install on the Levrack track rails.
| One of each of the trolley's wheel assemblies is left loose to facilitate installation on the Levrack track rails. With all of the fixed wheel assemblies facing the same direction, the trolley can be installed on the rail by pushing the loose assembly tight against the track.
| While holding the loose trolley wheel assembly tight against the track, we carefully snugged the nuts, which are attached to carriage bolts, before torqueing them to spec.
| The shelving system side panels attach to the trolleys with the use of carriage bolts. It's best to leave these bolts just finger tight until after the rear panels are attached.
| After the back panels are located loosely in place, the shelving support bars can be attached. These bars not only hold the shelves but also provide support for the entire shelving section.
| Once the two side panels, back panel, and shelves have been installed on the trolley, all of the bolts can be torqued to spec.
| Each shelf section has holes provided to install the handles. Handles can be placed on either side of the sliding units to fit the end user's needs, with plugs provided for the unused holes.
| We opted to place the handles in the traditional location, on the inside edge of each opposing shelving unit. The handles secure from the inside with no visible bolts on the outer piece. This means they can be securely locked, with or without the optional lock hardware.
| Including cleaning up all the trash and fully disposing of the shipping crate and pallet, assembly took less than two hours. In the next installment we'll take a look at some of the special features of the Levrack along with a few of the accessories that are offered for the system.