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  • Writer's pictureJacqueline Tremblay

What are Freight Elevator Loading Classifications?

Updated: Oct 20, 2023

Freight elevators are an essential part of many commercial buildings and warehouses, used to move heavy items, equipment, and materials from one floor to another. However, ensuring that these elevators are used safely and efficiently requires a thorough understanding of the different types of freight elevator loading classifications.

In this article, we will explain what freight elevator loading classifications are, why they are important, and how to choose the right one for your building.

Understanding Freight Elevator Loading Classifications

Freight elevator loading classifications are a set of standards that specify how materials should be loaded onto a freight elevator based on their characteristics and handling requirements.

These classifications ensure that the elevator is loaded in a manner that guarantees safe transportation and prevents damage to both the goods and the elevator.

The different types of freight elevator loading classifications are determined based on the loading method and handling characteristics of the materials being transported. Let's explore the main types of freight elevator loading classifications:

Pallet Loading: This classification involves loading materials onto pallets or skids, which are then transported using forklifts or pallet jacks. Pallet loading is suitable for goods that are stable, easily stackable, and require minimal individual handling during transportation.

Hand Loading: Hand loading refers to the manual loading and unloading of individual items or smaller packages. It is typically used for smaller and lighter goods that cannot be easily placed on pallets, such as loose boxes or irregularly shaped items.

Vehicle Loading: Vehicle loading is employed when goods are transported using specialized vehicles, such as trucks or trailers. These vehicles are driven onto the freight elevator platform for loading and unloading purposes. Vehicle loading is commonly used in industries where large or heavy equipment, vehicles, or machinery need to be transported.

Importance of Proper Freight Elevator Loading Classifications

Using the proper freight elevator loading classifications is crucial for safety, efficiency, and the preservation of goods. Adhering to the correct loading methods ensures that the weight is distributed evenly, preventing overloading or imbalances that could lead to elevator malfunctions or accidents.

Improper loading can result in damage to both the goods being transported and the elevator itself. It may also pose safety risks to employees involved in the loading and unloading processes.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Freight Elevator Loading Classification

When selecting the appropriate freight elevator loading classification, it is essential to consider several factors related to the nature of the goods, the handling process, and the specific requirements of your building. Some of these factors include:

  1. Load Characteristics: Consider the size, shape, weight, and stability of the goods being transported. This will help determine the most suitable loading method.

  2. Loading Equipment: Assess the availability and compatibility of loading equipment such as pallets, forklifts, or vehicles.

  3. Building Infrastructure: Evaluate the dimensions and structural limitations of the building, including door sizes, ceiling height, and the space available for loading and unloading activities.

  4. Usage Patterns: Analyze the frequency of material transportation, the volume of goods being moved, and the anticipated traffic patterns to determine the appropriate loading classification.


Choosing the correct freight elevator loading classification is vital to ensure the safe and efficient movement of goods within a building.

By understanding the different loading methods and considering factors such as load characteristics, equipment, building infrastructure, and usage patterns, building owners can select the most appropriate classification and promote a secure and productive environment.

Consulting with reputable elevator manufacturers and experts such as Bramalea Elevator can provide valuable guidance in selecting the appropriate freight elevator loading classification for your specific needs.

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