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» Warehouse Lift Glossary

Lift Parts

If you currently have lifts in your shop or are considering buying one but have concerns about choose appropriately, then you need to know what to look for when making the purchase. After all, depending on the lift needed, you could be faced with a difficult and/or expensive decision. If you were shopping around for a lift, you will probably hear all types of wonderful promises about the actual lift. However, in many cases, the manufacturer will fail to tell you the real information so you can make the best choice.

Therefore, you end up with a great lift that works well for a while but then you notice a strange noise or loose parts lying on the floor. To ensure you are not faced with a disaster, you need to identify versatile lift designs, the companies that are the best to work and that offer the best warranties, and know which lifts would be the best investment on a long-term basis.

Typically, most lift manufacturers will offer common features. For this reason, your job is to identify the companies that stand out, making them a better choice. To do this, you need to go prepared with several questions so they know you have done your homework. Take the two-post lift for example. This particular type lift is by far the most popular on the market and although you may need a different type lift for your needs, you cannot beat the two post option. However, even with this being a top of the line choice, you could still run into problems if you do not buy quality. To help you make the right choice, we have put some information together on what to ask.


When it comes to building a column, there are about four different ways. The one most favored and used the longest is the heavy C channel. With this design, the column is rigid and looks somewhat like the forks on a forklift. Another option is the folded sheet metal column. In this case, the factors that determine the strength of the column are the number of bends and the thickness of the sheet metal used. Although this is generally a good option, if thin metal were to be used, the heavy loads would cause too much stress, thus breaking the lift. The other two column options include the I beam and folded sheet metal box with square tubing. Of the four options, the C channel is by far the best and most rugged choice.


The carriage is another important part of the lift. This part is what move up and down inside the column. The carriage is made from thick plates or folded sheet metal and welded into place. When looking at lifts, you want to know what guides the carriage and how the arm is held in place. Safety is a big issue with the carriage. Typically, the location of the safeties is located to the column do not operation below two, possible three feet. Instead, you want to buy a lift that has safeties that are active at all heights. For the carriage guides, the way this works is that when the lift is raised, the guides are what go between the steel portion of the carriage and column so they do not wear on each other. To accomplish this, several designs are used to include plastic slide, roller, and ball bearing.

You want to choose the ball bearing first, in that this is the best option. However, make sure it is sealed, self-lubricated, and fits tightly so you will not need to mess with maintenance. Next, you would choose the roller. Even though the roller is generally stronger than that of the plastic slide and does fit tighter so no slop occurs, it is most often made with material that will take the brunt of the wear. Therefore, you want to make sure the roller is such that it can handle the extensive wear. Additionally, the roller will need to be serviced regularly so the chain or cable does not fail.

Finally, you could choose a plastic slide and while they are very inexpensive, they require the most maintenance. Because the material used is plastic and hard, it can take a lot of pressure. The downfall is that the plastic slides do not turn while the carriage is raised. This means they need more play so they do not cause binding. The result is usually an uneven rise. Additionally, this option requires regular degreasing, cleaning, and lubricating, generally about once a month.

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