Lifting Made Easy

Lugging products up and down stairs all day can be a pain, or, even worse if they are heavy enough. Multi-floor facilities with high quantities of freight need smart solutions to move products between floors safely and reliably while maximizing efficiency so that they never find themselves limited by performance. Without the proper equipment, it is impossible for storage space to be fully utilized or maintained efficiently, which puts limitations on productivity without even trying.

If you are struggling with these issues in your facility, it’s time to go vertical with a VRC lift. But what exactly are VRC lifts, and why are they superior to other vertical material transportation systems? That’s what we’ll break down here.

What is a VRC Lift

VRC lifts are industrial equipment that help you move heavy items between floors in your facility. VRC stands for “Vertical Reciprocating Conveyor,” which is a fancy way of saying it moves things up and down on different levels within the building.

Close up of lift chains

Most notably, these lifts are quick, efficient, and safe methods to transport materials from balconies or other parts of buildings that lack easy access points. They’re often used by people who need freight brought onto mezzanine floors, so it is not uncommon to hear the term “mezzanine lifts” applied to them. This process is much easier than any alternative because there is minimal physical struggle in the moving process.

VRCs come in handy for warehouses, distribution centers, and component factories. From hotels to schools and libraries – you’ll find them everywhere they’re needed!

VRC lifts are the perfect solution if you’re looking for a high-capacity vertical transport option. In terms of vertical transportation, elevators may be an option, but, unfortunately, not everyone has that option. And even for those that do, there are some key differences to keep in mind.

Why Install a VRC Lift Instead of an Elevator?

Elevators are seen as the more reliable option for moving things between floors, but VRC lifts have one significant advantage: they require no passengers.

Elevators must be constructed and maintained with national elevator codes in order to safely transport people up and down flights of stairs. This means you’ll pay a hefty price upfront while construction is underway, plus additional costs every year thereafter from ongoing maintenance fees that will keep your ride safe.

With VRCs however, there’s nothing stopping these lift systems from being completely autonomous; meaning lower initial cost for investors who want an easy return on their investment and less hassle when it comes time to maintain them too!

However, this is not to say VRC lifts are unsafe. They just follow a different set of rules. In fact, many VRC lifts come with a variety of safety features and other unique advantages.

VRC Lift Advantages and Safety Features

It’s important to use a lift designed to meet or exceed national safety standards. VRC lifts should follow a strict series of guidelines and pass any audits with flying colors. Professional installation is key for these high-quality machines, as it will best prepare you for successful operation. On top of all this, VRC lifts also help to minimize another industrial hazard – forklifts.

The entrance of a VRC lift

An Alternative to Forklifts

Forklifts are often used to transport heavy freight from trucks and storage areas because they can move such large loads with relative ease. But this machinery also brings many safety risks for the operator as well as any staff who work around them. Make sure that your crew is trained on how to safely navigate their way around these devices before allowing anyone to operate them.

VRC lifts are a safe and practical option for your facility. While they do require an operator, they are stationary machinery that can be installed with minimal risk of workplace accidents or congestion in the area you need to use them. You may still have some forklifts on hand, but installing VRCs will reduce their necessity and make everything safer by minimizing human error.

Preventing Workplace Injuries

VRC lift systems are the perfect solution for keeping forklift traffic to a minimum and guaranteeing your employees’ safety. VRCs can be installed in most facilities, saving you time and money on machinery that would otherwise cause issues with injury prevention efforts.

In addition to keeping forklift traffic at a minimum, VRC lifts also protect your well-being by making tasks like floor-to-floor movement easier. Without a VRC system being put into place within many facilities across America, any task involving heavy lifting up or stairs will require direct manpower from an employee – which is extremely dangerous.

VRC lift technology is one of the best ways to prevent injuries and workers’ compensation payouts when it comes to moving freight between floors. Not only will you be able to keep your employees safe, but this will allow them more time for other tasks that are important for productivity.

Optimize Your Floor Space

When you use a VRC lift as your go-to warehouse lift and industrial equipment transport, it does not mean that you need to dispose of staircases and ladders. As stated above, personnel cannot be co-passengers with the materials in the VRC lift, so while this may seem like an inconvenience to some companies who want their employees working on multiple floors at once, sticking to transporting material is what makes such lifts more cost effective than elevators for most businesses. This is what makes VRC lifts among the simplest vertical storage solutions available.

You’ll be able to go up and down stairs without worrying about bumping into somebody carrying heavy materials. With VRC lifts doing the heavy lifting, you can travel freely on your mezzanine’s stairs at all times.

If you’re facing a space crunch, or if your ceiling height is limited, there are different lift models to suit your unique needs. For example, there’s the Cantilever Lift and C-Series VRC Lift, which can be installed in facilities with less overhead space and low hanging structures. And then there’s our TLM Series lifts, which will fit perfectly into tight spaces to provide much needed storage solutions where other options won’t work!

A VRC Lift with the doors closed

Safety Enclosures and Door Interlocks

The enclosures on these lifts prevent materials from leaving while it is moving, even in the event of a mechanical failure. These features also include door interlocking systems that ensure the lift never moves when doors are open.

Brake and Cable Fail-Safes

VRC lifts have a series of safety features to make operation safe and efficient. One such feature is slack cable switches, which ensure that no one gets caught in any loose cables if something goes wrong with the equipment or operator error occurs.

The lift’s motor is engineered with a variable-frequency drive. The VFD regulates the speed and start and stop of transportation to protect all of its brakes and cables.

The design features for this type of lift include accommodating different types/sizes loads with adjustable height, which makes using them more convenient than other options.

Call Stations, Control Panel, and Emergency Stop Buttons

Call stations and control panels keep the operator up to date on what’s going in their lift at all times. The call station is connected directly to the platform so that if a passenger falls out of an open door, for example, that information will show up immediately. If there are any issues with safety systems or machinery, they can be identified by pressing buttons on the self-diagnostic panel, which also has manual override switches for emergency situations.

Safety should always be a top priority, especially when moving heavy materials. With these features, you can rest assured that your products are protected, and your employees can work with less potential safety hazards.

Not all lifts are built equally, however. So, how do you know which will be the ideal fit for your company?

Should I Purchase a Hydraulic or Mechanical Lift?

Simply put, hydraulic lifts are for those looking to save money on labor, while mechanical lifts offer superior functionality that will increase your ROI over time.

The Downside of Hydraulic Lifts

The word “hydraulic” is often associated with power, and many people may opt for a hydraulic lift without considering other options. Hydraulic lifts operate by pumping fluid into the cylinder of an air-operated piston. The amount that it moves up or down is in proportion to how much liquid has been pumped in will depend on its operation.

There is no doubt that this is a viable method for vertical transportation. In fact, hydraulic lifts can carry extremely heavy loads and are relatively inexpensive to install. However, there are some issues involved with hydraulic systems that make them less than ideal.

Hydraulic lift systems can only do so much before needing to take a break. These breaks have the potential to cause serious consequences for your work and business as it interrupts workflow on-site. This means you’ve likely spent less money than expected on installation, due to these machines needing more care throughout their lifetime. Which will of course lead to downtime, causing a loss in overall productivity.

Hydraulic lifts require constant maintenance and downtime. They use toxic fluids that leak from the system occasionally, so you have to shut down if there is any sign of leakage.

Save Time and Money with Mechanical Lifts

Mechanical vertical lifts utilize an electric motor that rotates a large drum. Several feet of steel cable are wound around this drum, and when it is rotated, the rope will coil or uncoil, propelling the platform up and down.

Compared to hydraulic systems, these machines offer many advantages because they operate more smoothly than their counterparts.

A huge benefit of mechanical lifts is that they are more efficient. Mechanical lifts do not have the issue of limited lift cycles, which means you will never experience downtime and can continue working without delay.

Hydraulic lifts can be noisy, jerky and can drop items to the ground. Mechanical lifts don’t have these same problems. They’re also a quieter option.

Mechanical lifts are a greener option as well, since they don’t use any toxic fluids. This helps keep your workplace safer and cleaner in general. Furthermore, without fluid, these machines can never leak, so the only routine maintenance needed is to keep them clean – which saves you money in the long run!

How Do I Install a VRC Lift in My Facility?

A full view of a VRC lift

If you want to build a new warehouse lift in your facility, it’s important that you partner with an industrial equipment solution provider. Martin Vertical Storage Solutions is the sister company of R.W. Martin, and provides products from several distinguished manufacturers. The mezzanine lift cost will be well worth it when consulting the  professionals at Martin Vertical Storage.

Choosing Martin Vertical Storage Solutions for your lift ensures you receive superior solutions while working with experts who offer invaluable expertise in the installation and maintenance of VRC lifts. In fact, they can develop a configuration that is tailored to your needs, so floor space isn’t wasted and employees aren’t wasting time figuring out how to operate it on their own. 

They’ll also ensure proper operation after installation and provide technical support throughout its lifespan.

Contact Martin Vertical Storage Solutions at 330.673.8712 or visit their website at to learn more.

By Published On: July 28, 2021Categories: Digital Marketing for Manufacturers

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