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7 questions to help choose the right goods or service lift for you

Choosing the right goods lift for you can seem like a difficult task. There is a wealth of options according to types, sizes and loads, so here at Stannah we are going to make it easier by asking these seven simple questions...

So you have identified the you have a requirement for moving goods, perhaps through manual handling issues or to improve efficiency. To help you identify the type of goods lift you require simply answer these 7 questions.

1. What tasks do you want your lift to perform?

This may seem a strange starting point but the whole idea is to make life easier, staff safer and customers happy with your standard of service. So we need to know what function you need the lift to perform and how many daily journeys (travel from one floor to another) it will make. 

2. How much do you need to move in one journey?

This identifies the weight and volume of each load (the items you put in the lift) and determines the capacity of the lift required. You may need to move large boxes of light objects or small boxes of heavy items. These two examples may not require the same lift car size but may need the same weight capability. It is essential to get this right as overloaded goods lifts will not function efficiently.

3. What distance do you need to move your goods over and is there more than two stops required at levels/floors?

This will determine the structure, size and position of your lift within your building.

4. Will you be loading at floor or waist level?

If you plan to move heavy or awkward goods on a pallet or trolley you will require a floor level loading lift. Here at Stannah we call these ranges our Trolleylift, Levelmaster and Goodsmaster ranges. An example is a goods lift used for laundry movement in a hospital or hotel where minimal manual handling is required. If your lift is to improve service in a café or restaurant then waist-height serving with a Microlift, or dumb waiter, is a must.

5. How many service lifts will you ideally need?

This depends on the size of your operation, the speed at which you need to move goods and the number of staff using the lift/s. It is also determined by the size and arrangement of your premises. Read our short guide to service lifts for more information. 

Dumbwaiters used for food and drink service are often installed in pairs, typically one dumbwaiter for service, one dumbwaiter for clearing. Alternatively a double decker, two service lifts in one shaft is an option. It is worth noting that catering lifts should be finished in stainless steel for cleaning ease and hygiene purposes.

6. Do you need an attendant to accompany the goods in the lift ?

Some larger goods lifts can also accomodate up to 2 attendants. If you ideally require this option, either due to accessibility or location, it narrows the goods lift choices. You will also need controls within the lift car if an attendant is travelling and may need to factor if a larger lift as your loading space within the lift car will be reduced. Goods attendent lifts are a good solution if the stairs are far away from the location of the lift, there is also an increasing trend to use them as bin/bike lifts in housing developments. For more considerations when choosing a goods lift and the answers of frequently asked questions have a look at this blog post

7. Can your premises meet your requirement?

The final decisions is how much floor space, pit depth or ramp required, and headroom you have available to fit your chosen lift type. A lift company should be able to conduct a survey of your premises and help you determine how your building can accommodate your ideal requirement.

If you have more questions about dumb waiters or goods lifts then please take a look at our free eBook, Goods lifts: your questions answered.

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We hope we have helped you with making your choice about a goods or service lift. If you'd like to arrange a FREE site visit then please get in touch - we know we can help!

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