VRC or Elevator: What’s the Difference?

You’ve decided you need to move things from one level to another. Almost immediately, your first thought is elevator. However, don’t let your first assumption prevent you from exploring all your options. Let’s start with one simple question: do you need to move people or materials? If the answer is materials, then a VRC will likely save you a significant amount time and money.

So when it comes to moving materials, what’s the difference between a VRC and an elevator? After all, they both move things from one level to another, right? Let’s take a look:

Cost of Ownership

VRC cost of ownership is always going to be significantly lower than an elevator’s. This is due to many factors including a major difference in safety codes. 

Since elevators are designed to move passengers or personnel, they come with a more stringent set of codes for their safety and protection. This means higher costs up-front, more frequent maintenance, and more time and money spent throughout the life of the elevator. 

VRCs are designed to move material only, so they only adhere to the ASME B20.1 Safety Standards. VRC codes are far more relaxed, but they still adhere to all the safety standards necessary for the safest possible operation.

Capacity and Application

VRCs are configurable to almost any size and capacity, which means they offer solutions for just about any application in any industry. While certain elevators may offer similar specifications, they often require extensive customization and are more expensive to implement as a result.

Regarding application, VRCs can be installed just about anywhere, inside or outside, and need minimal to no structure modification. For example, a VRC can be easily placed on the side of a mezzanine. The same can’t be said for many elevators which require that they operate in a shaftway or hoistway.

Operation and Safety

One of the most obvious differences in operation between a VRC and an elevator is where the call station is located. While elevators have the operator’s call station located on the inside of the moving car, VRCs require that that call station be located outside of the carriage. This prevents the operation of the lift from the inside, which is safer for the operation and material transportation.

The Bottom Line

To put things simply, if your primary objective is to move materials, products, or goods from one level to another, then a VRC is a much better alternative to an expensive freight elevator. Start with a free quote and discover the difference today.


VRC vs elevator