8 types of lifting equipment to make material handling easier

We explore the different material handling equipment employees can use to enable the free movement of goods around a building, from A to B, or G to 1,2,3,4 or more. 

Material handling process 

Material handling occurs whenever heavy goods and loads are being transported around a building with the help of manual or automated mechanical equipment, making them easier to move, protecting goods from damage, as well as saving you from manual handling costs

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Material transport helps staff manage cargo, speed up productivity and helps to establish a safer working environment. Lifting aids are used in any sector manual handling work is required, such as retail shop floors, warehouses and factories, back of house locations, construction, distribution and disposal of any types of materials etc.


Vertical movement up 1,2,3,4, or more! 

Service lifts and small goods lifts

Dumbwaiters and trolley lifts fall under the umbrella of service lifts. These light-duty lifts have a load capacity starting from 50kg for micro lifts reaching up to 500 kg for custom-built trolley lifts; they can transport anything from office and dental equipment, coffee, food and drinks to small goods, barrels and large boxes.  You can find them supporting all kinds of business needs of any office, small retail, catering sector, restaurant, pub and light industry. 

Goods only lift 

And then you have the choice of larger goods lifts. Goods lifts and cage lifts have a load capacity of up to 3000kg to transport heavier warehouse merchandise and materials in retail and industry.

goodsmaster liftThey can be supplied in a stand-alone structure and can move heavy loads between two or more floors. Most come with bump rails, a ramp option, and interlocked gates to limit the movement of loads inside the lift. 

The lower rise small scissor lifts can assist with moving trolleys and cages over a small change of level and to a mezzanine floor.

Plus, there are ranges of goods attended lift which gives you the extra benefit of moving your goods along with two attendants. So, you don’t have to worry about your staff’s safety when the staircase is located away from the lift. 

Heavy goods/passenger lifts

heavy goods liftHeavy-duty lifts are ideal for demanding environments such as infrastructure, airports, hospitals and retail. These lifts have larger capacities and tougher finishes, which allow them to carry heavy machinery, hospital and medical supplies, theatre and scenery equipment, even cars and aeroplanes!



Bucket elevator 

Need to move and elevate free and semi-free-flowing materials? The bucket elevator is the solution and operates by being attached to an endless spliced loop of either belt or chain, which moves continuously. The buckets are loaded during the cycling movement and travel around to where they dispose of their content, returning to their never-ending cycle. 


Horizontal movement from A to B 

Pallet truck (aka pump truck or pallet pump and pallet jack) 

A pallet truck is a manual lifting device with wheels used to lift and move around pallets. With the cart’s tapered forks beneath the pallet and the pump handle, the equipment can raise, move, and lower any material from A to B. One of the most common devices used worldwide in warehouses, storerooms and retail environments to move around the stock.

Forklift truck   

The forklift truck is used to move pallets, heavy goods and materials. Due to its sturdy composition, size and weight it can lift, forklifts are used in warehouses, factories, industrial units and construction sites. Depending on the weight of the goods, the type of business, there is a choice of electric forklifts to choose from, but only trained employees can use them. 

Lifting hoists and overhead cranes  

Lifting hoists and overhead cranes are used in warehouses and factories. An overhead crane is made of parallel beams with a travelling bridge crossing the gap; the hoist is the part that aids in supporting, lifting and moving along the bridge. You can find different types of cranes and hoist, from manual to powered, even lifting hoists that help move the elderly or disabled. 

Belt conveyors  

When you think of these, you may think of moving walkways. They’re similar, transporting through a long runaway/belt large volumes of loads, boxes, and materials effortlessly, allowing companies to ship and receive greater stock quantities with smaller warehouses and fewer labour expenses.  


Want to make material handling easier in your building?

When assessing which material handling systems best fits your needs, you must consider your building layout and the type of goods/loads/materials you need to transfer around. No company can offer all the above solutions and products. Depending on the needs and requirements of your business, you have a variety of manufacturers to choose from. 

When it comes to service and goods lifts and heavy-duty lifts, you know you can rely on a lift designed and manufactured by Stannah. With over 150 years in installing and servicing a range of lifts, we can help.

Explore our Goods & Service Lifts

Still unsure? No problem! Click here to download your FREE guide to service and goods lifts

Last updated: 17/3/2023

With over 50,000 installations across the UK and nearly 100,000 units in our service portfolio, we offer a wide range of lift solutions and services to move people and goods. Take a look at our product range or simply get in touch.

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