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Goods Lifts: Frequently Asked Questions 

Goods Lift

Short on time? Here we answer the frequently asked questions about goods lifts.  

What is a Goods Lift? 

Goods lifts, also known as freight elevators or service lifts, are an essential aspect of many industrial and commercial facilities. These lifts are designed to transport goods, materials, and equipment between various levels of a building, making it easier for employees to move heavy loads without the need for manual lifting. Goods lifts are commonly found in warehouses, factories, retail stores, hotels, and hospitals, among other places. 

What are the main types of Goods Lifts? 

These practical lifts come in all shapes, sizes, and propulsion technologies.  

  • Hydraulic Goods Lifts – powered by a hydraulic pump and cylinder system. They are ideal for low-rise buildings and capable of carrying very heavy loads.  
  • Traction Goods Lifts – powered by an electric motor that drives either a drum with ropes or a sheave. Can travel long distances. A cost-effective solution for a variety of loads from the small 50kg to the large 2,000kg.  
  • Freight Elevators – are designed to carry heavy goods and are commonly used in industrial settings. Can be either traction or hydraulic.  
  • Mezzanine Lifts – These lifts are suited to moving materials between storage floors in warehouses and factories. 
  • Cage Lifts – A simple platform lift enclosed by an open mesh. It is commonly used to move items to secondary locations within facilities like stores, warehouses, and workshops.  
  • Pallet Lifts – Designed to move goods on pallets between floors. These lifts are ideal for warehouses and distribution centres. 
  • Service Lifts – Move goods between floors. Typically features a traditional lift car and a car gate for load protection, all housed within a completely enclosed structure. 
  • Goods Attendant Lift – A specific design of goods lift with the necessary controls and safety features to allow a person to travel with the goods.  

How do I choose the right Goods Lift?  

Each type of goods lift has its own unique features and benefits, so it is important to choose the right one for your business taking into consideration:  

  • What type of goods will be transported?
  • What is the maximum weight capacity required? 
  • How many floors will the lift need to travel? 
  • Is it necessary for a person to travel with the goods? 
  • What is the frequency of use? 
  • What is the available space for the lift installation? 

And remember, we are here to help! Contact us today to talk through your requirements.  

Can passengers travel in a goods lift?  

Yes, there are goods lifts specifically designed for carrying passengers. They are called Goods + Attendant Lifts. The main differences between these lifts are that the lift needs safety features and controls inside for the operator to be able to operate it safely. The SKG ISO-PE EASY Attendant Goods Lift can carry heavy goods alongside one passenger. It has load capacities from 750kg to 2000kg. 

How does a dumbwaiter work? 

Dumbwaiters are small lifts that transport items between floors by using a motor connected to a cable system. The user loads items onto the dumbwaiter on one floor, closes both the landing door and lift car door, and activates the control system via the buttons. The motor then lifts or lowers the lift car to the desired floor, where the items can be easily accessed by opening the door. 

Goods Lift - Dumbwaiter

How much does it cost to install a dumbwaiter? 

The cost of installing a dumbwaiter depends on factors such as the type of lift, the number of floors it will serve, and any customisations required (e.g., size, load capacity, finishes, cladding). Typically, prices for 50kg dumbwaiters start from about £10,000. Heavier duty commercial dumbwaiters may cost more due to their heavier load requirements and additional features. We offer a range of small goods lifts to suit diverse needs and budgets.  

How much can a dumbwaiter carry?  

Our range of dumbwaiters have weight capacities from 50kg to 300kg

Do service lifts fit in small spaces? 

Yes, dumbwaiters and small service lifts are compact and can be installed in various locations such as kitchens, offices, and shops. We will assess the site to ensure we give the options that would suit the space that you have. The SKG ISO-Z dumbwaiter is a great option for limited space because it has a double-decker design.  

Does a lift installation cause much disruption? What can I expect? 

We provide fast delivery and installation. Our aim is to minimise downtime and ensure that your business can get back to work as quickly as possible. Our main supplier SKG, packages the lifts from the outside in. Meaning our lift installers have exactly what they need to get started without requiring the lift package to be completely taken off the delivery pallet. This makes the installation process as straightforward as possible. A standard 2-floor dumbwaiter can be installed in a day without any additional building works.  

How would a goods lift benefit my business? 

There are many benefits to using goods lifts and dumbwaiters including increasing process efficiency, enhancing safety, and improving customer service. You can read about the different benefits on our blog including the benefits for home use, restaurants and businesses.  

Goods Lift

How often are inspections required?  

Lifting equipment – in this case goods lifts – and its related accessories used for lifting people should undergo inspection every six months according to LOLER regulations. If the goods lift is only transporting cargo, then a LOLER inspection is only required every 12 months. Read our guide to a Goods Lift LOLER inspection

How do I keep my lift safe and ensure its longevity? 

We would recommend the following and will discuss all of this with you during the purchase process: 

  • Regular Servicing: We recommend that you have your small goods lift serviced at least once a year.  
  • Cleaning: Regular cleaning of your small goods lift is important to prevent the build-up of dirt and debris.  
  • Lubrication: Proper lubrication of the moving parts of your small goods lift is important to ensure smooth operation. This can be taken care of during the service.  
  • Inspections: Regular inspections of your small goods lift are important to identify any potential issues. This is a requirement under LOLER regulations depending on the lift type. See LOLER inspection
  • Training: Proper training of your staff is important to ensure the safe and efficient operation of your small goods lift. Sometimes basic  

If you have any other questions, feel free to contact us or have a look at our guides on our blog.  

Picture of Oliver Mellor
Oliver Mellor
Life long learner. Passionate about food, travel, design and finding brilliant businesses to invest in. The UK Service Lifts team are a fantastic bunch. Their customer focus and dedication to doing it right convinced me to become a partner. Linkedin

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