Weighing the Options: Explore These Extremely Useful Freight Lift Features

If you’re lifting heavy materials or moving product from one level to another, a freight lift or Vertical Reciprocating Conveyor is essential for safe, efficient, and productive daily operation. While many VRCs or freight lifts may look similar, their overall operation can vary based on the features and options included with the VRC.

When deciding on a VRC for your business, it’s important to explore all the features and options available and work with your account manager to determine which are necessary and best-suited for your business. Here are a few of the most effective and useful VRC features in the industry:

Illuminated Call Stations 

Illuminated push-button call stations are used to bring or send the platform of the freight lift from one level to another. Each call button has a legend plate indicating the level associated with that button. The station is also equipped with an Emergency Stop button, making it easy to stop the lift in the event of a hazardous condition.

Most operations prefer these types of interfaces, as it makes it incredibly simple for lift operators to use and understand. From a simple glance at the panel, the operator will know whether the lift is functioning normally and where the platform is located at that time.

Simplified Drive System 

A simplified drive system allows a lift to run more efficiently in general. Here at CIP, almost all our VRCs use a cable system as opposed to a chain system, which offers a quieter and lower-maintenance alternative to chain-drive lifts.

High-Performance Motor 

A VRC’s or freight lift’s motor is arguably one of the most important components, so it’s crucial to feature a high-quality and efficient motor to operate the lift.

All CIP VRCs come equipped with a Sumitomo motor. These are well-known as being one of the best motors for this type of material-lifting equipment. Sumitomo motors are incredibly efficient and feature a fail-safe brake for added safety.

Furthermore, these motors are 100% duty cycle, which means they are designed to run continuously without any required breaks in your daily operation.

Factory Pre-Wire

Installation can be one of the costliest parts of implementing a VRC or material lift into your operation, which is why it can be important for businesses on tight budgets to minimize this cost as much as possible.

Factory pre-wire includes the mounting of the electrical components and connections for the lift motor, switches, and call stations. This is a great option for faster and fool-proof implementation, which ultimately means a lower installation bill.

Motorized Roll-Up Gate Interface

Many of our customers explore the option of a motorized roll-up gate which is great option for operations who are looking to maximize efficiency and space utilization.

While CIP does not build these doors in-house, we do offer a motorized roll-up gate interface and lift control panel modification to effectively accommodate this feature.

Soft Start – Soft Stop Feature

While our standard VRCs and material lifts promote a 100% duty cycle rating, there are other features to fully maximize this feature, especially in lifts that are truly running on a consistent and regular basis.

Soft start – soft stop is a feature that improves the overall performance of the lift motor through controlled acceleration and deceleration. As the lift platform begins to move, the motor accelerates smoothly to speed. Likewise, as the platform approaches the desired level, the motor decelerates to a reduced speed before coming to a smooth and controlled stop.

In addition to improved lift reliability and reduced maintenance costs, this feature also reduces vibration on more delicate loads and promotes an overall smoother lift operation.

Sur-Lock Platform Locking System

The Sur-Lock Platform Locking System is a fantastic feature for VRCs or material lifts that are transporting particularly large and heavy loads. It is designed to provide added platform stability when transitioning large loads on and off the platform. This system increases safety and reduces stresses on the lift for improved performance.

Sur-Locks are recommended on high-capacity lifts with large platforms, particularly where handlers or fork trucks will be moving onto the platform during the loading and unloading process.


Here at Custom Industrial Products, our engineers and manufacturing team are equipped with a variety of tools, options, and features to design a VRC that perfectly meets your specific operation needs.

However, it’s important to note that not every model offers every single one of these features. You will need to work directly with your Account Manager to determine which features you need for your operation, as they will match you with the right VRC model upon completion of your application analysis.

If you have any questions about our extensive VRC features or would like to get started on your free quote today, please contact our office at 800-699-2212 or request a quote online today.

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