The latest from our blog

A short guide to service lifts

In this blog post we'll clear up some of the most common questions we've heard about service lifts. A service lift can range from a dumbwaiter or a 'microlift' in a home or restaurant or a trolleylift that moves roll cages in a supermarket.  

What do you mean by the term 'service lift'? 

When we say service lift we are referring to a lift that helps you move goods around your workplace or home that are too dangerous or cumbersome to lift manually, carry up multiple flights of stairs or a change in level. A service lift can range from a dumbwaiter or 'microlift' in a home or restaurant to a trolleylift that moves roll cages in a supermarket, typically covering capacities from 50kg up to 300kg.

How can I assess whether I need a service lift in my premises?

If you are repeatedly moving goods over two or more floors by hand then a service lift will improve efficiency and safety. You are legally responsible for the welfare of your staff during their working hours and also for the health and safety of everyone on your site. You can read more about how to assess your workplace and see how helpful a lift could be to you in our blog on Manual Handling Regulations.

Can I install a dumbwaiter in a private dwelling?

You certainly can. We have installed many Microlifts, or dumbwaiters, in town houses where carrying goods such as shopping, over several stairways is challenging. Historically most grand houses had a dumbwaiter from kitchen to dining room. We have even seen a lift to a bedroom that delivers pizza from a restaurant downstairs!

Do I have room for a goods lift?

There are all sorts of options for conveniently fitting a service lift into your new or already existing building. A goods lift provider, such as Stannah, can visit your premises and carry out a survey to advise you of the best position and product for your needs. 

Will I need to manually lift goods in and out of the lift?

If you have a small service lift or dumbwaiter, then you will usually have this installed at waist height for loading/unloading plates and cutlery. Larger service lifts such as a Trolleylift will be loaded at floor height and take the goods to another floor level, so your goods would be on a trolley or a pallet. Our Manual Handling blog gives guidance on how to lift correctly. 

Free infographic: A short guide to service lifts

How far can a service lift travel and how much can it carry?

Our dumb waiters can travel up to 30 metres or 12 stops and carries up to two standard loads - 50kg or 100kg. If you require a larger lift, our Trolleylift can travel up to 18m with up to 6 stops and carry loads of up to 300kg. If you need a bespoke option, then please do get in contact.

Can these lifts withstand being used all day?

Service lifts are workhorses, built to last and to be well used. Our longest serving Microlift on our service records is over 39 years old and still going strong!  The average loads are 360 per day for a Microlift and 180 per day for a Trolleylift. Like a car the key to the longevitiy is proper care and regular maintenance with a lift service provider.

Can I have a Microlift open on different sides on each floor?

Yes, most configurations are possible. Single is the same entry side on each floor, after that there's through and adjacent entry lifts available. You can even have two entrances on the same floor if required.

I run a business where we serve meals. Is there a way to keep the food hot?

Yes, at Stannah we offer a heater in our Microlifts. There are two options, the first is to go for an infrared heated lift car, the second an option to have some or all of the shelves heated. A lot of the time customers typically have two lifts, one for service and one for clearing, either side by side or stacked (double decker arrangement of two lift cars using one shaft). 

Can I run the lift from a domestic 240 volt power supply?

Yes, you should not have any problems with small service lifts from our range.

Do I need an existing lift shaft to be able to install a service lift? 

Yes, although many goods lifts will be supplied with their own structure supported framework you will need to provide an enclosure to meet health and safety requirements. This may not need to be load bearing if your lift has its own structure.

My premises haslow headroom. Is this a problem?

Not a all. There are service lifts that are designed to overcome low headroom on the upper floor and also models that address premises with an inability to have a standard pit.

How long does it take to install a service lift?

We supply most of our Stannah service lifts from our warehouses in the UK, meaning we can supply and install them in just a few days, subject to builder’s work. We always do our best to minimise interruption time to your business.

MG - Days to install.png 

How do I compare between the two types of lifts?

If you're not sure what type of lift and the differences between them then take a look at our Service Lifts Infographic for more information. 

All you need to know about Goods Lifts

If you have a question that isn't covered here then please do get in touch and we'll be happy to help!

Know someone else who might enjoy this article? Share it!