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A freight elevator, (or service elevator, cargo elevator, or goods lift in the United Kingdom) is an elevator designed to carry goods, rather than passengers.[1]

Freight elevator[]

Freight elevators are generally required to display a written notice in the car that the use by passengers is prohibited (though not necessarily illegal), though certain freight elevators allow dual use, sometimes through the use of an inconspicuous riser.

Freight elevators are typically larger and capable of carrying heavier loads than a passenger elevator, generally from 2,300 to 4,500 kg capacity. Freight elevators may have manually operated doors, and often have rugged interior finishes cab (which called enclosure[1]) to prevent damage while loading and unloading. Both traction and hydraulic freight elevators exist. These elevators are specially constructed to withstand the rigors of heavy loads.

Classes of Freight Elevator[]

Class A: General Freight Loading[]

Freight elevator with this class has the load distributed, the weight of any single piece is not more than 1/4 the capacity of the elevator and the load is handled on and off the car platform manually or by means of hand trucks.

Class B: Motor Vehicle Loading[]

Freight elevator with this class is used solely to carry automobile trucks or passenger automobiles up to the rated capacity of the elevator.

Class C1: Industrial Truck Loading[]

A four-wheeled vehicle may be used to load and unload in the elevator with this class. The combined weight of the vehicle and the load cannot exceed the rated capacity and may be rolled onto the platform as a single unit.

Class C2: Industrial Truck Loading[]

In this class, during loading and unloading, the maximum load on the platform may be up to 150% of the rated capacity. This enables the user to use a forklift to load a car with freight weighing up to the rated capacity.

Class C3: Concentrated Loading[]

Loading and unloading without a truck or forklift, but the load increments exceed 1/4 of the rated capacity. The carried load cannot exceed the rated capacity


Door configuration in some smaller freight elevators are normally center-opening or two sliding telescopic doors, Larger freight elevators normally have three or four sliding telescopic doors.

Very large or heavy-duty freight elevators with very large capacity (up to 7000 kg) may have six-sliding telescopic doors.

Older freight elevators in the United States and Hong Kong normally have two vertical sliding doors, either manual or automatic.


Main article: Dumbwaiter

Vehicle elevator[]

A vehicle elevator (or car lift) is used within buildings or areas with limited space (in lieu of ramps), typically to move cars into the parking garage or manufacturer's storage. Vehicle elevators are mostly hydraulic drive and have a weight capacity of 2 tons.

Geared hydraulic chains (not unlike bicycle chains) generate lift for the platform and there are no counterweights. To accommodate building designs and improve accessibility, the platform may rotate so that the driver only has to drive forward.

Notes and references[]

Drive systems: Traction • Winding Drum • Hydraulic

Types of elevators: Double DeckDumbwaiterFireman'sFreightIncline • PassengerResidentialWheelchair lift

Concept: CapacityDestination dispatchElevator algorithm • Elevator control systemElevator machine room • Elevator maintenance • Elevator monitoring systemElevator modernizationACOP & UCMPMachine room less elevatorMajor alterationsRated speed

Elevator systems, controllers and equipments: Elevator emergency automatic rescue device • Elevator fixtures • Elevator keys • Elevator special modesElevator doorsDoor camDoor interlocks (Interlock wiring communication system) • Door restrictorElevator Inspection CertificateEmergency stop buttonFloor designatorsGate switch • Old Deadman controls • Overspeed governorMotor-generator set & Silicon-controlled rectifier (for DC-powered elevators) • Insulated-gate bipolar transistor (for AC-VVVF-powered elevators) • SelectorTape headRegenerative converter (for AC-VVVF-powered elevators)

See also: List of elevator fixtures guide • List of elevator and escalator companies • Elevator door sill guide (Non-proprietary elevator component door sill guide) • Floor numbering (Unlucky floor numbers) • Elevator incidents and accidents