Distribution sector growth shows no signs of slowing. Competition is fierce, with warehouse managers looking for solutions to help secure the most lucrative contracts. Cost reduction and increased efficiency are top of the agenda. In this warehouse lift guide, we explore how to find the ideal warehouse lift for every facet of warehouse operations.

Warehouses come in all shapes and sizes, and so do warehouse lifts. Get the edge with fast, safe, and efficient handling processes. Not only does efficient goods handling have a direct impact on profit, but it also has a positive long-term effect on both worker and customer satisfaction. Eliminate the safety risks of manual handling or manoeuvring a forklift truck around a busy warehouse with a goods lift. Whichever warehouse lift is installed, there are 6 key benefits every warehouse manager will enjoy:

✓ Efficient working practices
✓ Move heavy or awkward loads safely between floors
✓ Low running costs
✓ Increase usable space
✓ Avoid manual handling injuries
✓ Prevent damage to goods
✓ Easy to use with minimal training

The Complete Warehouse Lift Guide – Penny Hydraulics Ltd

Access Lighting Fixtures at a High Level

One of the most cost-effective warehouse goods lift models, handloaded lifts are the ideal handling solution for individual boxes and crates. Secondary storage areas tend to be located away from core warehouse operations, on a storage mezzanine floor. Relocating goods from one level to another often means lugging boxes up and down stairs, one at a time. Not only is this highly inefficient, but it also increases the risk of manual handing injuries.

Install a handloaded warehouse lift to transport goods safely from one warehouse level to another. The lift platform should dock 800mm above the finished floor level at both landings, allowing goods to be stored and retrieved faster. As a result, shopfloor colleagues receive a better service, with a consistent supply of parts.

TOP TIP: look for a goods lift manufacturer specialising in free-standing, pit-less warehouse lift design. This avoids the costly and disruptive structural building changes.

A typical handloaded warehouse lift specification:

✓ Capacity 250kg
✓ Platform size 1000 x 800mm
✓  Platform docking height 800mm
✓  Travel height up to 4m
✓  No pit
✓  Full, self-supporting, mesh-clad enclosure
✓ Custom configuration available

The Complete Warehouse Lift Guide – Penny Hydraulics Ltd

Light-Duty Warehouse Goods Lift

Light-duty means transporting goods up to 250kg between 2 or 3 floors (including ground level) several times a day. Commonly used in warehouses, factories, and workshops, a light-duty warehouse lift is ideal to transport a single pallet, picking trolley, or bins.

Many warehouses have restricted storage options due to mezzanine level access. It is simply not safe or efficient to de-palletise goods for storage on an upper level, despite the need to get goods off the warehouse floor. Installing a warehouse goods lift will open a multitude of opportunities to reorganise workflows and storage of fast- and slow-moving lines.

TOP TIP: look for a goods lift manufacturer offering different lift entry options. Through-car loading is the standard configuration and suitable for most warehouses. Entry and exit of goods from the lift, particularly palletised goods, can be same side or adjacent side.

A typical light-duty warehouse lift specification:

✓ Capacity 250kg
✓ Platform size 1300 x 1100mm
✓ Travel height up to 8m
✓ Full, self-supporting, mesh-clad enclosure
✓ No pit
✓ Custom configuration available

Medium-Duty Warehouse Goods Lift

This warehouse lift design is suited to moving pallets up to 500kgs, trolleys, and roll-cages across multiple floors, several times an hour. One of the most popular warehouse lifts, medium-duty is an all-rounder, fitting the needs of most operatives. Warehouse lifting equipment of this kind tends to be manufactured to order. Therefore, bespoke features and custom platform sizes are easily accommodated without an unreasonably inflated price tag.

The enhanced duty cycle delivers a capability of 10 cycles per hour – that’s 10 trips up and back to ground floor again. The implications of permanently boosting warehouse productivity and freeing up forklift resources are hard to ignore.

TOP TIP: look for a goods lift manufacturer providing a consultation service to determine the perfect-fit. Before any project commences, a warehouse goods lift specialist should undertake a full site survey to determine the exact lift specification for the required application.

A typical medium-duty warehouse lift specification:

✓ Capacity 500kg
✓ Platform size 1300 x 1300mm
✓ Travel height up to 8m
✓ Full, self-supporting, mesh-clad enclosure
✓ No pit
✓ Custom configuration available

Heavy-Duty Warehouse Goods Lift

For high throughput operations or those handling heavy-weight goods this is the ideal solution. Heavy-duty goods lifts are capable of transporting a sizable load of 1000kg across three floors – that’s two stops above ground floor. Double access gates easily accommodate fully loaded roll-cages and pallets with overhang. Even the tallest roll-cages – usually up to a maximum of 1830mm – are accommodated with standard 2000mm high access gates.

TOP TIP: All mechanical lifting equipment is subject to Lifting Operation and Lifting Equipment Regulations – LOLER. Look for a goods lift manufacturer with a comprehensive servicing and maintenance programme to keep your warehouse lift safe, reliable and on the right side of the law.

A typical heavy-duty warehouse lift specification:

✓ Capacity 1000kg
✓ Platform size 1500 x 1500mm
✓ Travel height up to 8m
✓ Full, self-supporting, mesh-clad enclosure
✓ No pit
✓ Custom configuration available.

How to Create More Space in Your Warehouse – Penny Hydraulics Ltd

How to Find the Perfect Fit

When assessing the need for a warehouse lift, there are several considerations to determine the ideal model:

  • What is the maximum working load required? Accurately determine the weight of existing products and consider future plans
  • What is the maximum size of goods to be carried? The lift supplier will establish the ideal platform size to enable speedy and safe loading and unloading, avoiding damage to the lift or goods
  • What loading and unloading directions are required? This dictates lift design, factory layout and will be carefully considered with the goods lift supplier
  • How many times an hour does the lift need to operate? Performance can be adversely affected if under specified, or incur unnecessary costs if over-specified.

Warehouse lifts must be manufactured in accordance with:

  • Machinery Directive 2006/42/EC and be CE or UKCA marked.

Owning or operating a lift will put certain legal requirements on the owner as directed by:

Any lift supplier should be clear how legal requirements will be met. Look for a goods lift supplier with a fleet of support engineers to assist with maintenance and rectify any issues under warranty.

There are several safety features which should come as standard with any warehouse lift:

  • Level gates fitted with electrical and mechanical interlocks
  • Hazard warning safety signs
  • Comprehensive O&M manual
  • Spare parts diagram and locally stocked spares
  • Emergency stop button fitted to all control stations.

Not sure which type of warehouse lift is right for you? Try THE SELECTOR. The perfect-fit warehouse lift is just 8 clicks away.