Vertical Reciprocating Conveyors


What You Should Know About Vertical Reciprocating Conveyors

Vertical reciprocating conveyors (VRCs) move freight from one level to another in warehouse facilities. Unlike rideable material lifts (RMLs), VRC material lifts only carry product, not personnel. These automated freight elevators make moving and handling large loads easy. 


VRC lifts prevent personal injury from carrying products up and down the stairs and improve warehouse operations and efficiency.


VRC elevators are most commonly used together with mezzanines. Mezzanines are elevated work platforms that create additional levels in warehouses. There are two different kinds of freight lifts: mechanical and hydraulic. Keep reading to learn more. 

Vertical Reciprocating Lift Benefits

Freight lifts:


  • Prevent damage to your product
  • Prevent personal injury
  • Improve workflow
  • Are cost-effective (half the cost of an elevator)
  • Include full safety features
  • Include diagnostic features

Vertical Lift Styles

Vertical Reciprocating Conveyor

Mechanical Lifts

Mechanical lifts utilize a motor and rope/counterweight system to hoist the car from one floor to the next.


They tend to run faster, more quietly and can run continuously – a luxury that hydraulic lifts cannot provide. Because of their complexity and ability to run throughout the hour, mechanical lifts come with a heftier price tag.

Mechanical VRC lift

Hydraulic Lifts

Hydraulic lifts use pressurized hydraulic fluid to propel the elevator car upward. These lifts work well for slower warehouse operations as they run slower and should only run six times an hour. They use less electricity and occupy less space than mechanical lifts.


The biggest concern with hydraulic lift systems is pollution. Hydraulic freight lifts, as with other hydraulic systems, tend to leak fluid that is not environmentally friendly.

Hydraulic VRC lift

Vertical Reciprocating Conveyor Manufacturers

WPRP is a proud partner of vertical reciprocating conveyor manufacturers like:


  • Wildeck
  • Autoquip
Shop Autoquip
Shop PFlow Industries
Shop Wildeck Mezzanines

How to Quote a Freight Elevator

Ask the Right Questions

When quoting a VRC lift, or any freight elevator/lift product, it is essential to ask the right questions to understand the customer’s intention for the system. 


Ask these questions to understand your customer’s needs better:


  1. How many times per hour will you operate your lift? 
  2. How much capacity will your lift carry daily?
  3. What type of product are you handling?
  4. What size products/pallets?
  5. What will you load/unload product?


  1. These questions will help you and the manufacturer determine what size, style, and carriage capacity best suit your customer. Where the elevator doors go also plays a part in lift design, functionality, and loading/unloading patterns. 

Be Aware of State Permitting/Installation Requirements

In the state of Minnesota, installers must be licensed elevator installers. Your ordinary rack installer won’t be able to work with these systems in states like MN where regulations are in place. 


This scenario may drive a customer to forfeit a material lift for another option. Mezzanine safety gates, for example, are an alternative to material lifts that allow access for forklift arms that do the heavy lifting. 

Reach Out for Help

Lastly, don’t hesitate to ask for help! Safety and proper quoting are vital when dealing with large automated systems like freight lifts. It’s easy to get the process wrong. 


We are a dealer resource and will happily answer any questions about the systems and quote process to ensure your customer receives an accurate and helpful quote. Call 888-578-1579 or fill out a quote form today.

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