What are Material Lifts?


Material Lifts move materials in factories, warehouses, industrial plants, institutions, retail stores or anywhere that products or supplies need to move from one level to another.  In other states, material lifts are known as Vertical Reciprocating Conveyors (VRC's).  In Washington State we know them as Material Lifts and only recognize VRC's as automated systems, fed by automated conveyor on the input and exit.  We do handle VRC's too!

Material Lifts are not elevators, but they are governed by the Elevator Division of L & I.  In fact, they have their own WAC code.  Pace Material Handling is an elevator contractor and specializes in Material Lift application, installation, and service.

Material Lifts provide fast, efficient, convenient and safe access to/from mezzanines, balconies, basements, and between levels in multiple story buildings. They can be installed for through-floor, interior or exterior applications. The principal components of Material Lifts include guide columns, carriage and a mechanical or hydraulic actuating mechanism and the enclosures, gates and interlocks.

Custom Designed for Your Needs


Pace Material Handling has the experience and technical expertise to help solve a variety of vertical lifting problems.  Pace has installed material lifts to move product that weighs 50 lbs to over 25,000 lbs, with carriages from 36”x36” to 14’x30’, and vertical heights from 4’ to 60’.  

At Pace, we know each material lift application is unique.  That’s why we pride ourselves in addressing the little details of every job.  We carefully review your needs, cover all design and construction issues, provide complete code-approved engineered drawings and deliver unmatched, ongoing service support.

With our experience, we will design a customized material lift application tailored to your needs.  Our focus is always to provide the best solution operating in the safest and most efficient manner possible. 

What Are VRC's?

Occasionally, an automated vertical conveying system is more appropriate for the application.  These Vertical Reciprocating Conveyors would have the following characteristics:

  • Custom designed to fit your exact application
  • Powered conveyor in lieu of a platform
  • Powered conveyor in-feed and exit
  • Load capacities up to 15,000 lbs
  • Carriage sizes up to 15' x 15'
  • custom speeds to match through-put
  • Multi-directional systems provide both vertical and horizontal conveying
  • Flexible loading/unloading patterns

Maintenance Control Plans (MCP's)

Washington State requires that all owners of conveyances governed by L & I and the City of Seattle have an MCP as prescribed by the ASME A17.1, section 8.6 and 8.11 of the Elevator Code.  This plan is to ensure that a conveyance is maintained correctly throughout its life.  Pace Material Handling is one of very few companies to have demonstrated to the State, the ability to create a code compliant Maintenance Control Plan according to code requirements and specifically for Material Lifts.

So, What is a Maintenance Control Plan? 

The MCP must be site-specific to each lift application.  There are MCP logs that specify the intervals required to examine the equipment and also specify the intervals for maintaining the equipment, including cleaning, lubricating, adjusting and testing.  These intervals are based on equipment age, condition, accumulated wear, usage, environmental conditions, and manufacturer's recommendations.  These logs are to be left on site, either with the lift or in the owner's possession. 

The second component to the MCP is the procedure manual (for licensed mechanics only).  This too, must be specific to the type and manufacture of equipment and tells the mechanic exactly how to correctly fulfill each task.  This is like a Chiltons manual for a car and helps assure that every one of our licensed mechanics will fulfill each task the same as the last mechanic.  While the MCP logs are kept on site, the MCP procedure manuals are kept by the elevator contractor, Pace Material Handling.  The owner of the material lift can ask to see these manuals at any time.

Pace Material Handling offers customized MCP Programs to keep your lifts operating in the safest and most efficient manner.