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What Are the Main Types of Goods Lift? A Guide to Different Lift Options 

Types of Goods Lift

As businesses expand and grow, the need for efficient and safe transportation of goods becomes increasingly important. Goods lifts are an essential part of many commercial and industrial premises, providing a convenient and reliable way to move goods between floors. Understanding the main types of goods lifts is crucial to making an informed decision as to which lift would suit your needs.  

Key Takeaways 

  • An overview of the different types of goods lifts available. 
  • The choice of goods lift depends on factors such as load capacity, travel distance, and space availability. 

Understanding Goods Lifts 

When it comes to moving heavy goods or equipment between floors, a goods lift is an essential piece of machinery. It can save time and effort, making the transportation of goods a much smoother process. In this section, we will discuss the main types of goods lifts and their features. 

What are the main types of Goods Lift? 

There are several types of goods lifts available on the market, each with its own unique features and benefits.  


A dumbwaiter is a small service elevator designed primarily to carry food, dirty dishes, and other small items between floors of a building. You might have also heard them be referred to as food lifts, and restaurant lifts. Small but mighty, our Dumbwaiters start at 50kg can carry up to 300kg. They are commonly used in hospitality but are also becoming increasingly popular in homes.  

Trolley Lifts 

A Trolley Lift, also known as a small pallet/service lifts or a roll cage lift is a versatile and durable goods lift designed for moving small or large loads between different floors or mezzanine levels. They are often used for moving stock in retail, restaurants or small industry factories and warehouses. Trolley lifts operate at floor level and can carry up to 500kg

Platform goods lifts 

Platform goods lifts are a great example of a modern scissor lift. These lifts can move quickly, and handle loads up to 10,000kg. They are ideal for warehouses and distribution centres that need to move large quantities of goods quickly and efficiently. 

Small goods lifts 

A small goods lifts are designed to be compact and easy to use, making them ideal for use in a wide range of settings, from small retail stores to large warehouses.  These lifts can move goods up to 300kg between a maximum of three floors.  

Goods attendant lifts 

A goods attendant lift is designed to carry heavy goods alongside one passenger such as the SKG ISO-PE EASY with load capacity from 750kg to 2000kg. The main difference with these is that the lift has additional safety features and controls inside the lift car for the passenger to be able to operate and to ensure safety. 

ISO PE Easy Goods Lift
ISO PE Easy Goods Lift

Freight Elevators 

Freight elevators are designed to move large and heavy goods between floors. They are often used in industrial settings and can carry loads of up to several tonnes. 

Choosing the Right Goods Lift 

When it comes to choosing the right goods lift, there are several factors that need to be considered. We have compiled a list of the most important things to keep in mind when selecting a goods lift for your business. 

1. Load Capacity 

How much does the lift need to be able to carry? As described in the types above, a Dumbwaiter can carry a very different load to a goods attendant lift.  

2. Space Availability 

You need to ensure that the lift you choose fits within the available space and can be easily installed. Most goods lifts come with a choice of door configurations for example. Hinged doors give the largest opening, or concertina doors that fold back to save space in front of the lift. 

3. Goods Lift Type  

You’ll need to think about the types of goods that will be transported. For example, enclosed lifts are ideal for moving goods that need to be protected from the elements or for moving goods that are hazardous. A Mezzanine lift on the other hand is suitable for moving goods inside a warehouse or factory.  

4. Frequency of Use 

You also need to consider how frequently the lift will be used. If it is used frequently, you may need a lift with a higher load capacity and more durable components. If it is used infrequently, a smaller lift may be sufficient. 

5. Cost 

Goods lifts can vary in price depending on their load capacity, features, and other factors. You need to ensure that you choose a lift that meets your needs and fits within your budget. 

Types of Goods Lift
Types of Goods Lift

Goods lifts are a vital part of many businesses, allowing for the efficient and safe transportation of heavy goods and materials. By choosing the right type of goods lift for your needs, you can ensure that your business runs smoothly and efficiently, with minimal disruption to your daily operations. If you need help finding a goods lift that will meet your needs and help to streamline your operations, contact us today. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

How does the design of a hydraulic goods lift differ from a traction lift? 

Hydraulic goods lifts use a hydraulic system to raise or lower the platform depending upon the direction of travel. The hydraulic system is powered by an electric motor, which pumps fluid into the cylinder to lift the platform. The design of hydraulic goods lifts differs from a traction lift which requires ropes and a motor which drives the sheaf to raise the lift.  

What factors determine the size of a goods lift? 

The size of a goods lift is determined by several factors, including the type of goods being transported, the weight of the goods, the size of the building, and the height of the floors. It is important to choose a lift that is appropriately sized for the specific application to ensure safe and efficient transportation of goods. 

What does a dumbwaiter lift and how is it used? 

A dumbwaiter lift is a small goods lift that is used to transport goods between floors in a building. It is typically used in restaurants, hotels, and other commercial buildings to transport food, dishes, and other small items. Dumbwaiter lifts are designed to be compact and easy to use, making them ideal for small spaces. 

What distinguishes a service lift from a goods lift? 

A goods lift is designed to transport people and goods between floors in a building. It is typically larger than a service lift or dumbwaiter and can accommodate larger items such as furniture and equipment. Service lifts are often used in hospitals, hotels, and other commercial buildings where the transportation of people and goods is required. 

What are the different types of cargo lifts and how are they used? 

Cargo lifts are designed to transport heavy loads between floors in a building. They are typically used in warehouses, factories, and other industrial settings to transport large items such as machinery, equipment, and raw materials. There are several types of cargo lifts available, including hydraulic cargo lifts, scissor lifts, and platform lifts. Each type of lift has its own unique features and benefits, making it suitable for specific applications. 

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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