Glossary of Terms

With VRC lifts, the more you know, the better choice you can make.

VRC lifts have been around for a long time and have an entire vocabulary associated with the products, components and technology. Below are common terms and definitions in the VRC industry.

2-Post Straddle

A style of VRC where the carriage rides suspended between two masts that are located on opposite sides of the carriage. This style of lift will accommodate “C” and “Z” type loading patterns.

4-Post Dual Drive

A style of VRC similar to the 2-Post Straddle as it utilizes four masts as opposed to two masts. This type is capable of lifting large capacities and sizes. This style lift will accommodate “C”, “Z” and “90” type load patterns.


American National Standards Institute

Approach Ramp

An access ramp used to load on/off of a platform.


American Society of Mechanical Engineers

Authorized Person

Trained or qualified personnel approved or assigned to perform a specific duty or duties.

Back Frame

The vertical portions of the carriage on a cantilever VRC.

Back Stop Panel

Panel that is installed opposite the loading edge at upper loading levels of a VRC platform, to prevent personnel and /or the load from falling to the lower level. This term should not be confused with the term “backstop” as defined in ANSI/ASME B20.1.


Wire rope.

Cable Dead-End Mount

The segment of the carriage where the lifting cables mount. This mount serves as the leveling adjustment for the carriage.


A style of VRC where the carriage rides along masts that are located on the same side of the carriage. This style lift can accommodate “C”, “Z” and “90 Degree” loading patterns.


The maximum load for which the VRC is designed.

Carriage or Carrier

The entire structural assembly that travels on the mast and carries the load.


Device used to lift a carriage on certain types of VRCs.

Constant Pressure Push Button

A push button, which to activate, must remain pressed by the operator in order to perform a desired operation.

Control Box

The device housing all controls, circuits and breakers used to operate the lift. Does not include limit switches and push-button stations.

Control Voltage

The secondary voltage, which typically originates at a transformer and provides power to the control devices.


Any electrical device used in the operation or control of a lift. Normally Includes push button stations, control box, limit switches, interlocks, etc.

Drop Test

A test performed (required in some states) to insure emergency systems perform within specified guidelines.


The device used to extend and retract the lifting cables.

Effective or Clear

The actual usable space available to load material without obstructions.

Electro-Mechanical Interlocks

A type of Interlock requiring electrical power to disengage the Interlock allowing doors/gates to be opened.

Enclosure (lift guarding)

Structure surrounding a VRC to prevent outside interference with its normal operation and to safe guard personnel. Typically 8’ high panels composed of expanded metal or other materials that will prevent a 2” diameter ball from passing through. This is a requirement of ANSI/ASME B20.1.

Explosion Proof

Electrical devices tat are designed to operate safely in a specific location or area where potentially explosive environments can or do exist.


A device that opens and closes manually or automatically t allow access to the carriage to loading and unloading. It is normally a swing, sliding, or vertical acting device constructed of similar expanded metal as the enclosure.

Guarded by Location

Describes moving parts so protected by their remoteness from the floor, platform, walkway, or other working level, or by their locations with reference to frame, foundation, or structure as to reduce the foreseeable risk of accidental contact by persons or objects. Remoteness from foreseeable, regular, or frequent presence of public or employed personnel may in reasonable circumstances constitute guarding by location.

Guide Beams

see “Masts”

Guide Rails

see “Masts”

Guide Rollers

The device mounted on the carriage that rides along the inside of the mast to prevent wobble, noise, wear and to maintain alignment.

Interlock (Gate/Door)

A locking system used on the access doors or gates of a VRC to prevent its operation unless all such doors/gates are closed and to prevent the opening of any such gate/door unless the VRC carrier or carriage is present at that particular landing or opening.

Intermediate Stop

Usually a stop between top and bottom floors or levels.

Knockdown Platform/Carriage

see “Spliced Carriage”.


A permanent-working surface at a fixed elevation used for loading/unloading a lifting device.

Limit Switch

An electrical control device by which the position or movement of the lift may be controlled within predetermined limits.

Load Height

The maximum height of material for which the VRC has been designed.

Load Pattern

A method to describe the direction a load will be moved on and off a platform at different landings or levels.

“90” Type Load Pattern

The method of loading material onto the platform from one side and unloading at another level to the right or left.

“C” Type Load Pattern

The method of loading and unloading material onto the platform from the same side at each level.

“Z” Type Load Pattern

The method of loading material onto the platform from the opposite side at different levels.


The vertical members by which the carriage is guided throughout its vertical travel.

Mechanical Stop

A mechanical means of stopping travel at a predetermined position.

Momentary Contact Push Button

A push button, which only has to be pressed for an instant to activate the desired operation.

Non-operating End

The side(s) of a carriage or carrier not used for loading/unloading. Handrails with mid-rail and kick plate are normally supplied as minimum guarding.

Operating End

The side(s) of the platform used for loading/unloading. The side(s) are normally equipped with a safety chain as minimum guarding.

Overall Height

see “Vertical Rise”.

Pallet Master

A modular style of VRC based on the 2-Post Straddle design. This type of lift is fully enclosed to provide the best overall safety. The modular design aids in expedited installation.


A sunken area of the floor where a VRC will be mounted. This allows the platform to align flush with the lower/ground level and eliminates the need for an approach ramp.

Pit Mounting

The installation of a VRC in a pit.


The horizontal floor surface of the carriage or carrier where the load is placed.

Platform/Carriage Enclosure

The structure designed to prevent material from falling through or against a non-operating side of a VRC.

Primary Voltage

The main electrical power being supplied for operation of the equipment.

Push Button Station

The wall mounted or hand held device used to control the operation of the equipment.

Qualified Person

A person, who by possession of a recognized degree, certificate, professional standing, or skill, and who by knowledge, training and experience, has demonstrated the ability to deal with problems relating to the subject matter, the work, or the project.


see “Approach Ramp”.

Roll off Panel

A structure used on upper levels to prevent personnel and/or products from falling off the platform when loading or unloading.

Safety Brake

see “Enclosure”

Security Enclosures

see “Enclosure”

Security Panels

Device (pulley) which is designed to guide or change the direction of a wire rope or cable.


Device used to signal, interrupt power or alert of a slack chain condition.


Carriage that is split or in several pieces and will be field assembled. This design facilitates ease of

Slack Chain Device

Installation and handling.

Spliced Carriage

see “Spliced Mast”.

Spliced Guide Beams

see “Spliced Mast”.

Spliced Guide Rails

Mast or Guide Beam that is fabricated and delivered in two or more sections necessitated by manufacturing, handling, or installation constraints.

Spliced Mast

The mounting of a VRC directly onto a flat/level surface or floor (not in a pit). This method usually requires/recommends an approach ramp for ease of loading and unloading material at the ground/lower level.

Surface Mount

The distance the surface of the platform must travel from the lowest point to the highest point.

Travel Height

A reciprocating power or gravity actuated lifting device (not designed to carry passengers or an operator)

Vertical Reciprocating Conveyor

Receives objects on a carriage and transports these objects vertically from one elevation to another.

Vertical Rise

The distance from the lowest (bottom) part to the highest part of the VRC.


Abbreviation for Vertical Reciprocating Conveyor.