VRCs and RMLs: Advantages of Each

VRCs in a large warehouse facility.

Wildeck VRCs and RMLs


Flexibility and Options - When it comes to moving materials from one elevation of your facility to the next, Wildeck offers the flexibility of two solutions that will get the job done with the push of a button: Vertical Reciprocating Conveyors (VRCs) and Rideable Material Lifts (RMLs).

While these two solutions both look alike, are both safe and cost-effective methods for moving material between multiple levels, they have some important differences. Based on those differences, and your application needs, typically, one is going to be a better solution than the other.



What are Vertical Reciprocating Conveyors (VRCs)?

Vertical reciprocating conveyor in a warehouse.The “Material Only” option - Wildeck VRCs are a cost effective, safe, and efficient means of moving “material only” between levels. They are typically easier and less costly to operate and maintain than elevators or forklift trucks. While they may look like elevators, VRCs are classified as a “material conveyor” under the ASME/ANSI B20.1 Safety Code for Conveyors – so people cannot ride them.

VRCs are typically custom designed to a customer’s specific application requirements, including travel height, travel speed, carriage size, capacity, and more. They can safely transfer pallet loads, as well as carts and boxes that may not be best moved by a forklift. They can also be integrated into new or existing automated systems. VRCs can also be integrated into AGV (auto-guided vehicle), or robotic systems for factory automation.


What are Rideable Material Lifts (RMLs)?

Man in a rideable material lift (RML) in a warehouse facility.

The “Rideable” option - Wildeck’s RiderLift™ RMLs (Rideable Material Lifts) allow an authorized person to safely travel with their material, between levels, at a fraction of the cost of an elevator. Unlike VRCs, Wildeck RMLs are in fact elevators. Specifically, they are designed and manufactured as Type B Material Lifts as regulated under the ASME A17.1/CSA B44 Safety Code for Elevators and Escalators. This section of the code allows one rider/operator to accompany their material to the next level.

However, RMLs are not passenger elevators, should not be accessible or used by the general public and can only be operated by trained and authorized personnel. RMLs are not an alternative for ADA compliance, and are most often installed in industrial environments.



VRC vs RML Differences

When to use Vertical Reciprocating Conveyors (VRCs) over Rideable Material Lifts (RMLs)

You should choose a Vertical Reciprocating Conveyor (VRC) if your lifting application requires:

  • The smallest possible equipment footprint
  • Lifting heights more than 16’-0”
  • Traveling to more than two levels
  • Carriage travel speeds over 17 feet per minute
  • Integration with automated/conveyor systems
  • Any special customizations
  • A lower cost means of moving material (only) between elevations.


When to use Rideable Material Lifts (RMLs) over Vertical Reciprocating Conveyors (VRCs)

You should use a Rideable Material Lift (RML) if your lifting application requires:

  • An operator/attendant to accompany the materials being moved
  • There is not ready or convenient access to stairs between the levels
  • Your safety analysis of your application demonstrates it would be better not having persons walking between elevations, or
  • Your cost/benefit analysis demonstrates a savings by having the operator accompanying the material.


Flexibility – Whether your application requirements call for a “material only” VRC or a “rideable” RML, Wildeck provides you with the flexibility to discuss your application needs and options with one provider, and obtain a safe, reliable, and cost-effective lifting solution to meet your needs.

Additionally, Wildeck can provide this lifting solution in combination with our mezzanine systems, providing additional capacity for your operations; and our guarding product line, providing a higher level of safety and protection for your valued assets, both personnel, equipment, and property.  Let Wildeck help you choose the best solution and provide the best equipment for application needs. Wildeck, providing flexibility and options.


Wildeck® RiderLift™ RML

ASME – A17.1/CSA B44 “Safety Code for Elevators & Escalators”
Material, plus One Rider/Attendant
Not for Public Access
Trained & Authorized Operators Only
Not an ADA, Wheelchair, or Platform Lift
Not a passenger elevator
Maximum Lift Height: 15'-6" (ground plus one level)
Capacity: 2,500 lbs. (including Rider; higher capacities may be available)
Car Size: 6 ft. wide x 6 ft. deep; Car Height: 80 in. (6' 8" High) per Code
Operator Controls on Car/Cab

Typical VRC

ASME – B20.1 “Safety Standard for Conveyors & Related Equipment”
Material Only, No Riders
Not for Public Access
Trained & Authorized Operators Only
Not an ADA, Wheelchair, or Platform Lift
Not a passenger elevator
Maximum Lift Height: > 125 ft.
Capacity: > 25,000 lbs. (Material Only)
Carriage Size: 3 ft. wide x 3 ft. deep to > 16 ft. wide x 30 ft. deep
No Operator Controls on Carriage

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