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Purchasing A Vertical Reciprocal Conveyor

Vertical Reciprocal Conveyors, commonly referred to as VRC's

, are a vertical moving platform going between two or more floors. Some customers refer to these as "freight lifts," "freight elevators," "vertical lifts," or "material conveyors."

One important difference to note about VRC's is that they are NOT elevators as they do not move people. Elevators, per American National Standards Institute (ANSI) codes, typically move people and have an entirely different set of building codes to follow.

Why Purchase a VRC?

VRC's are much safer, and more economical, than using a forklift to move materials between levels. Also, they are less costly to maintain and operators do not need Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) forklift training. They can transfer pallet loads, carts, boxes, tires, etc. that may not fit on a forklift. Also, VRC's can be designed to handle nearly every weight load requirement.

Types of VRC's

Typically there are just two types of VRC's, either hydraulic or mechanical. Your VRC experts can help you determine which best suits your needs. As a rule of thumb though, hydraulic is good for "light use" about ten lifts or so a day. Mechanical is perfect for heavy use and multiple floor operations.


VRC's can be designed to move boxes between floors (they can be integrated with your existing conveyor system), pallet size goods, automobiles of all sizes or even boats and buses! For the most part, every VRC is custom designed and built just for your needs. The industry leaders do produce certain "standard" size lifts, but the pricing difference isn't typically that much different than a customized lift.

Applications for VRC's

VRC's have been installed with great success in: warehouses, auto dealership part rooms, self storage facilities, schools and universities, hospitals, airports, churches, casinos, hotels, restaurants, bars and just about anywhere else where product needs to be moved.


Keep in mind that VRC's can be "shaft mounted" or installed with their own fencing per OSHA guidelines. VRC experts can tie-in all safety locks with your existing/planned doors. With mechanical lifts, you can eliminate the need for "mechanical rooms" thereby saving valuable floor space.

Next steps

If you are interested in moving on to the next step contact your material handling expert and verify their experience in designing and installing VRC's. If questions still persist, feel free to contact the Material Handling Institute of America or the experts at a VRC supplier.

by: Jenn Weesies
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Purchasing A Vertical Reciprocal Conveyor