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Just as Hank’s garage was built out of necessity and rapidity, so too was mine. When I moved in a little under three years ago, I needed storage, I needed shelves, I needed space to throw all my tools, extra gear, and odds and ends that one acquires over the years. So my father-in-law and I threw up a handful of rickety-ass shelves and, well, left it to accumulator clutter as the years went by.
They were never meant to be permanent solutions, but life with three kids, and near-constant house and car projects, got in the way of actually doing anything properly. And I had all but resigned to hating my workspace and just dealing until an opportunity arose with the folks at Levrack.
The storage company’s presence had grown steadily among my friends, colleagues, and others in the industry who began working with the company in the last two years. And I was intrigued by the brand’s straight-up righteous storage system designs. From an outsider looking in, they looked like my kind of metal—the sort of shelving units that could survive the abusive conditions that my garage routinely sees.
The amount of organization offered by these custom-designed garage storage units could finally give me the impetus to have a space for everything and everything in a place. Something my wife’s been wanting me to do for years, and secretly, myself too.
So far, it hasn’t disappointed. But let me take you through the process, the setup, and the future of my garage.
What I went with
Levrack’s options are incredibly varied and there are a host of variations in the design which help you custom-fit the company’s systems to your specific garage. There are different crossbeam lengths, different upright heights, and even different configurations. So many so that I got onto the phone with Levrack’s Ryan Stauffer who walked through what could be done, and asked me what I wanted out of the space and for the system to do.
He then had me measure my space, both in terms of height, length, and width, and we put together a basic plan that Levrack would then build out using the brand’s 3-D modeling software. Levrack then sent over both a 3D model, as well as a CAD design of my custom system—an offering available to all of Levrack’s customers—after our talk and showed me what would be built specifically for me.
What we ended up doing was a 16-foot system, which has a 12-foot cabinet set that’s seven feet tall, and a 4-foot workstation, all of which had an overhead storage area, three motion-detecting lights, a set of slat walls, two drawers, and a bunch of shelves.
I went pretty tame, but Levrack has a host of things to make your garage even wilder than my setup.
My initial impressions
Like Hank’s NewAge system, its arrival was an event. One because the total freight weight was over 2,040 pounds over four crates. And two, because to get it to me, the freight service had to unload not at my garage, but on my gravel street over a hundred feet away…which is pitched about 25 degrees downhill.
We ended up unloading most of the crates into my Honda Ridgeline and ferrying them over to the garage, but the big crate was 1,250 pounds alone. It was a bear to move, but we got it perched perilously in the bed of the Honda and drove very slow to the garage where we then unloaded it by hand. Thank you, Honda, for giving it a solid payload.
Most people won’t have this experience, as you’ll be able to get it delivered right into your garage. I’m just the idiot who lives on top of a mountain.
As for unboxing, it went smoothly, and from the get-go, this entire system felt incredibly solid. My wife and I put together the basic frame in about an hour, which consists of three uprights and four crossbeams. The main crossbeams that connect the two uprights and hold up the rolling shelves—the 12-footers—are 150 pounds each, so eat your Wheaties the morning you put it together. Holding everything in place, however, are just snap locks. Just put them in place, tap them down with a rubber mallet, and you’re golden. Simple and easy.
I also threw the wire shelves on top of the structure, and wired the three motion-sensing lights that came with the shelving. I hid the wiring for everything within the uprights and used zip ties to hold it all together. It looks ace, but the amount of light these put off put my overhead garage LEDs to shame, so I might have to upgrade those in the near future.
The rest, however, has taken some time as, like Hank stated in his article, I’m being more diligent with how I use and organize this awesome system. Hell, it demands I do.
Right now, all six rolling cabinets are in and installation and assembly were easy thanks to the provided directions. I will say that the hardware bags could've been labeled better, as the labels themselves were sorta small and hard to read with quick glances. Nothing I couldn't fix with a Sharpie though. I put them all together in about two hours using my favorite impact driver, a ratchet set, and that’s about it. The set also came with a slat wall that goes onto the uprights themselves, but I haven’t decided where I want them. I’m leaning toward the upright that overlooks the cabinets themselves.
I have denoted that the first set of cabinets will be my tool area, and I installed the slat walls onto them; one for power tools, the other for my most-used hand tools. Although, I’m not sure that the hand tools section is warranted. Why, because I installed the two drawers that are slowly getting filled with said hand tools.
I do reserve the right to reorganize everything at a future date.
Below the slat walls, I have shelves dedicated to my ratchet and socket sets, accessories for power tools, ratchet straps and tie-downs—which I grabbed a set of milk crates to contain—and other tools. Though, there are Levrack accessories that could do this too. I still need to figure out where my collection of hatchets go. Can’t have the kids grabbing them.
The other cabinets also have a few things in there, but I’m not sold on locations and what’s been dropped in so far. My two archery targets, some cooking equipment, my wife’s gardening gear, and more have been moved in to see what space I have elsewhere. I just haven’t had time to live with the system properly yet, nor returned everything that once was in my garage from my shed. There are still paint supplies, my table saw, and more.
I have begun using the overhead storage, which has been excellent for holding my ladder, motorcycle ramp, UTV storage boxes, and even my paddle board and kayak oars. Even in the back near the wall, they’re pretty easily accessible thanks to the wire shelving openings.
One piece I’ve used extensively, however, is the workbench. Made of what felt like 50 pounds of stamped steel, it’s perfect for both setting gear up—like my hunting bow—or assembling parts—the Ridgeline’s brakes—as well as using it as a workstation to write and hold meetings. I’ve been in my garage far more than previously thanks to this setup, and I even hung an elk antler shed from the wire shelves just to give it that extra oomph.
My future plans
Live with it to start. I’ve jumped the gun so many times with things and then had to redo them, that I don’t want to do that here. I want to use my garage properly, working on my Can-Am project, on the Ridgeline, our house, and really see what works and where things need to be for easy access.
I’m also going to use the workbench for better product photography, which I’ve already started doing. If you want to see a cool gif I made using the shelving, check out our story on the best ratchet straps.
There’s also the plan to talk about the similarities, differences, and price points between Hank’s NewAge system and the Levrack system. Comparing the two, showing what your cold-hard cash gets you, and how the two can complement your space depending on your needs.
Now, that customization and bespokeness comes at a price. It’s not what I’d call crazy for what you get—I’m looking at you, Snap-On—but it is an investment in making your garage your ultimate workspace. My specific system totaled $8,420 and that’s nothing to balk at for the average consumer or DIY’r. But for those that need a clean system that’s adaptable, capable of withstanding a nuclear bomb ala Oppenheimer, and ready to get you going in a hurry, few manufacturers offer anything close to Levrack’s systems.
I’m going to go further into detail later on when I’ve lived with the Levrack more and got it more set up to my liking. So stay tuned and let me know in the comments below what you want to know about the Levrack system so I can address it in the full-length review.