Product Spotlight: Wildeck’s RiderLift Rideable VRC

Wisconsin-based Wildeck, Inc.  has been in the business of providing mezzanine platforms, safety guarding products, ladder and stair products, and VRCs for four decades now. They recently released two interesting new products geared at improving the effectiveness of retail backrooms, warehouses, distribution centers, logistics centers, and other similar operations. The NetGate and RiderLift were both released in April of 2017 at ProMat in Chicago.

Wildeck-RiderLift-RML

The RiderLift: Rideable Material Lift

The new RiderLift is interesting for a few reasons, but one in particular: it’s the only rideable VRC in the United States. All other VRC’s are non-rideable. The RiderLift is a rideable material lift that meets the requirements of a “Type B Rideable Material Lift.” Therefore, it’s technically not a VRC (Vertical Reciprocating Conveyor). It’s better described as a VRC/elevator hybrid. Because of this, it introduces an entirely new product category in the material handling industry: the RML, or Rideable Material Lift. 

VRCs are regulated by safety codes and by definition can not permit riders. In order to accommodate a rider, the RiderLift is regulated under the ASME A17.1. In meeting these requirements, it becomes an RML instead of a VRC. It’s important to note that these requirements are not the same as an elevator intended for passengers. These elevators require additional infrastructure and must meet different requirements. Under its current regulations, the RiderLift is limited to carrying a single passenger. 

Rideable VRC Applications

The primary advantage of a warehouse is to save time and streamline warehouse workflow. Given this, the RiderLift would typically be most useful in large warehouses where the stairs are located far away from the current VRC.

The RiderLift can also be used to transport valuable products that require authorized personnel to ride along with them, and for unstable products that need balancing or stabilizing. Motorcycles, for example, would be more secure and stable if a person were to ride along and hold it in place than if it were sent up on its own.

Benefits

The main benefit of the RiderLift is that it provides an approach for a more effective and efficient mode of transporting material to a second level. Other employees don’t have to be pulled away from their tasks to help operate or walk the length of the warehouse to reach the stairs. Depending upon the size of the warehouse, activities like these can eat into operational efficiency over time.

The idea behind implementing a RiderLift is to cut labor time and cost, as well as add security by having authorized workers ride along  with the product. It could also make transferring the material itself easier, helping to reduce the risk of accidents and injury.

Specifications:

  • Designed and manufactured in the USA
  • Lifting capacity of 2,500 lbs.
  • Lift Structure: Guide columns are 6” wide-flange structural steel
  • Car Size: 6 ft W x 6 ft L x 80” H (standard)
  • Car Construction: Structural frame with 14 gauge sheet metal panels removable for maintenance 
  • Lift Speed: 20 feet per minute 
  • Top Lift Height: 14 ft — Ground plus one level
  • Perimeter Guarding: Full lift height expanded metal guarding in a steel frame
  • Landing Gates: 96” H bi-panel swing gates constructed of expanded metal in a steel frame. Including certified interlocks
  • Installation requires an authorized elevator contractor and necessary permits
  • Restrictions: 
    • Not a public elevator and must not be accessible to the general public
    • Authorized personnel only
    • Only one operator is permitted at a time
  • Location: Installation at floor edge or through one “non-fire-rated” floor only
    • Fire-rated floor penetration not permitted
    • Pit mounted or floor surface mounted with ramp 

The NetGate: Rack Pick Module Safety Gate 

Wildeck, Inc. also released their NetGate on the show floor at ProMat. The NetGate can be described as a Pick Module safety gate. It provides safe access to palletized materials at elevated levels of pick modules or rack systems. It’s constructed with InCord netting and uses a cable and pulley system that’s easy to install onto new or existing rack structures. When one side of the gate is lifted the other side closes, providing complete fall protection for workers and product. The NetGate aims to provide improvement upon current safety and security conditions, while simplifying operations.

NetGate-Operation

Benefits

According to Wildeck, NetGate’s primary value lies in added safety. It protects the workers from falling off the mezzanine or elevated levels by having the netting covering the opening. It also protects the opposite side from falling materials when forklifts are loading or unloading. The NetGate is made from netting rather than steel, allowing it to operate on a pulley system. The pulley system reduces the strain of repeatedly lifting and lowering the gate.

The NetGate complies with OSHA and IBC regulations, and can also hold tall pallet loads and carts that other gates for rack pick modules can’t store. It has knocked-down packaging and a lightweight design for cost effective shipping. The NetGate is an option that can solve footprint issues with minimal added weight. It also has an easy installation process that bolts onto existing holes in the rack uprights, requiring no drilling. 

NetGate Pick Module Safety Gate

Specifications:

  • Mounts onto most rack manufacturer’s uprights
    • Free standing options available
  • Standard size is for 8’ W x 7’ H x 42” D rack bays
    • Custom sizes available per customers’ request
  • Gate is mostly contained within the rack bay
    • With the gate protruding only 6” from the rack (front and rear)
  • Netting spans the full width and height of openings
  • Net Info:
    • Rachel Knotless Netting
    • Fiber: High tenacity, polypropylene (HTPP)
    • Mesh Break: Designed to meet or exceed applicable safety codes