Vertical reciprocating conveyors are an essential component of many industrial and commercial facilities. They offer a safe, efficient, cost-effective solution for transporting materials and equipment between building levels. With many benefits and applications, VRCs are becoming increasingly popular across various industries. (Check out more of our industrial storage solutions here.)

Read on to learn about:

  • What is a vertical reciprocating conveyor?
  • Vertical lift applications
  • Factors to consider when choosing a VRC
  • Benefits of VRCs

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What is a Vertical Reciprocating Conveyor?

Warehouse mezzanine lift dumbwaiterVertical reciprocating conveyors (VRCs) are material handling equipment for transporting goods between different building levels. They provide a safe and efficient way to move heavy or bulky items.

VRCs are also called mezzanine lifts, vertical material lifts, vertical conveyors, freight lifts, cargo lifts, and freight elevators, among other names. However, VRCs are not classified as elevators since they transport materials only, not people. VRCs fall under the national code ASME B20.1 safety standards and are exempt from the national elevator code. Since they are not subject to the rigid safety standards of elevators, VRCs are less expensive to install and maintain.

Vertical Lift Applications

VRCs can be customized to fit the requirements of many different applications, including:

  • Manufacturing facilities
  • Warehouses and distribution centers
  • Automotive dealerships
  • Loading docks
  • Airports
  • Retail stores
  • Restaurants and breweries
  • Self-storage centers
  • Government and military facilities
  • Construction of multi-story buildings

Factors to Consider when Choosing a VRC

Load Capacity and Size

vrc vertical conveyorWhen choosing a VRC, consider the loads you need to transport. VRCs come in various models designed to carry loads of various sizes, from the light-duty 3’x3′ box lift with a lifting capacity of 500 pounds to the heavy-duty 30’x30′ four-post lift with a lifting capacity of 30,000 pounds.

Lifting Height

How many levels does your VRC need to travel? The smallest vertical lift is limited to two levels, with a travel height as low as eight feet. Larger lifts can travel up to six levels with a travel height of up to 60 feet.

Loading Configuration

When choosing a VRC, consider how you will load and unload materials from the lift. The two most common VRC configurations are “C” (loading and unloading from the same side) and “Z” (loading from one side and unloading from the opposite side). Specific models also allow 90-degree and pass-through configurations.

Learn about the five models of mechanical mezzanine lifts we offer here.

Benefits of VRCs


VRCs improve the safety of workers and materials during transportation. The vertical lifts eliminate the need to transport heavy and bulky materials up and down stairs or by forklift, reducing the risk of injury to workers or damage to materials. The VRC also has several safety features, including security enclosures and emergency stops.


VRCs can help your facility operate more efficiently by reducing the time and labor required to move materials and equipment between levels. Efficient time management increases productivity, reduces labor costs, and provides a high return on investment.

Cost Effectiveness

vertical reciprocating conveyor benefitsVRCs are much more affordable than alternatives such as elevators. Because they don’t have to adhere to the same strict safety standards, VRCs can be four to five times less expensive than elevators. Moreover, they install easily in existing buildings with minimal modifications needed, and they require low maintenance.

So how much does a VRC lift cost? A vertical material lift’s price varies widely depending on the lift model and optional equipment add-ons. Visit our store to view estimated prices for the industrial mezzanine lifts we offer.


VRCs are highly customizable and can be tailored to fit specific application requirements. They are available in various sizes, capacities, and configurations and can handle various materials, from small parts to heavy machinery.

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See specifications and pricing for open & closed shelving, sliding bin shelving, shelving with drawers, and bulk rack.

Contact Us for Vertical Reciprocating Conveyors

Southwest Solutions Group® provides design and installation services for vertical reciprocating conveyor lifts. We will also provide a free consultation to determine your needs and specifications before the design begins. To learn more or to speak with a specialist, call us at 1-800-803-1083 or send us a message today.



Industrial Testimonials


“Working with Southwest Solutions including Matt, Susan, and especially Brad was great. They provide amazing customer service. Brad and the install team were especially great. Very professional, easy to work with, and did the work quickly and very well with very little input from us. If we need help with carousel storage moves, parts, or new equipment we will start with Southwest Solutions. ”

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“The team at Southwest Solutions were nothing short of fantastic. First meeting with Craig, I received a customized design, in person, based on my office needs while still maintaining an efficient layout and being cost effective. Craig explained everything clearly, allowing me to understand that as modular mill-work, I would be able to move it if I ever changed offices, but without the added sales pressure to immediately make a decision. Once I had decided, I worked with Chris who assisted in picking out the finishes and scheduling the delivery and installation. The professionalism of Craig and Chris spoke volumes and I would highly recommend anyone looking to transform or fit-out an office to contact Southwest Solutions.”

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“I want to let you know that we all really appreciated your team mentality, professionalism and dedication shown on this project. It was a pleasure working with you and your office and we look forward to many more. Please pass along my gratitude to everyone who worked on this project. Thanks! ”

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“I just want to take a minute to let you know how good of a job your install crew did yesterday. They were quick, fast, courteous and very consensus during the install. They were awesome to say the least. Being in the service business ourselves, we know that you can never hear the words “Good Job” often enough. Please pass this along to your crew.”
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