Material Lifts (VRC’s)

Material Lifts, also known as Vertical Reciprocating Conveyors (VRC), are an economic and efficient method of moving materials through vertical distances in retail, industrial, warehouse and manufacturing applications. VRC’s provide fast and safe access to/from mezzanines, balconies, basements, and between levels in multiple story buildings.


Material Lifts are safer than manual methods or forklift trucks for moving materials between levels and are easier and less costly to operate and maintain than freight elevators or forklift trucks. VRC’s can handle large loads that may or may not fit on a pallet and are equally well suited to handling loose containers or boxes that cannot be easily lifted using other methods.

VRC’s may be mistaken for freight elevators, and while they are similar in function, they are not the same. In fact, VRC’s have their own national code (ASME B20.1), as they do not allow riders and are specifically exempt from the national elevator code, resulting in simpler inspection and maintenance requirements. Moreover, unlike forklift trucks, no special training is required to operate a vertical lift.

The elements of a material lift system consist of a lift platform, guide columns and mechanical or hydraulic actuating mechanism. While the basic construction of all lift systems is similar, the lifts can be adapted to suit a range of applications including through-floor, interior or exterior applications.


McKinley offers vertical lift solutions from several leading VRC companies including Pflow, Autoquip, Custom Industrial Products and Wildeck. Each vertical material lift application is unique and requires a careful needs analysis in order to provide a code-compliant system for your application. Whether you require a simple VRC platform or a complex pallet loading vertical material lift solution, the combined product offering and services provided by these three manufactures allows us to design the right solution for you. Our commitment to you extends beyond installation of the lift. We provide ongoing service and support for all our material lift systems.

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