1 Enterprise Drive Ste 305

Shelton, CT 06484

(203) 208-3445

Talk about your case

24 Hours / 365 days

Always there for you

Types of Elevators: Freight Elevators

While you might commonly think of an elevator as something that transports people between different floors in a building, this is not the only purpose of an elevator. There are different types of elevators, designed to do different things. One common type of elevator is the freight elevator. This elevator is designed to transport goods instead of people. Despite the fact that people are not supposed to travel in freight elevators, accidents can still happen, and injuries can result. Here, I will discuss the freight elevator in greater detail, as well as what might go wrong with it.

What is a Freight Elevator?

Freight elevators are large elevators designed to move goods from different floors in a building. Because of this, they are oftentimes larger than regular commercial elevators designed for passengers. Freight elevators usually hold between 2,300 and 4,500 kg of weight, and they usually have rugged interiors to help prevent damage during times of loading and unloading goods.

While freight elevators are designed to carry goods, some also allow passengers. This can happen through an inconspicuous riser that allows people to travel with the goods. Most freight elevators use traction instead of hydraulics, since this is more efficient for carrying heavy weights. But, hydraulic freight elevators do exist.

Types of Freight Elevators

There are five major types of freight elevators, designated by loading tactics and weight distribution. The Class A freight elevator is designed for general freight loading. Class A freight elevators distribute the weight so that no one good is more than one fourth of the weight of what the elevator can handle. Loading on and off the elevator happens with the use of hand trucks or happens manually.

Class B freight elevators are used for motor vehicle loading. They solely carry trucks and other automobiles up to the weight that they are capable of carrying.

Class C1 freight elevators are used for industrial truck loading. Four wheeled vehicles can load or unload Class C1 elevators. The weight of both the load as well as the vehicle can’t be more than the rated capacity. If this is the case, the load and the vehicle can go onto the platform together.

Class C2 freight elevators are also used for industrial truck loading. But, the Class C2 elevator differs from the Class C1 elevator in that when loading and unloading, the load that is on the platform can be up to 150% of the rated capacity. The car can be loaded and unloaded with a forklift.

Class C3 freight elevators are used for other forms of industrial truck loading. The rated capacity can’t be exceeded during loading and unloading for this type of elevator.


Because freight elevators are not meant for passengers, they must display a notice claiming that passengers are prohibited. If this warning is missing, and a person does not know that they should not go in the elevator, any injuries that result could be the fault of whoever is responsible for that sign.

Accidents and injuries can also happen when loading or unloading an elevator car. If these issues are a result of improper maintenance, you might have a personal injury case. But, if the injuries happen because you knowingly load the car past capacity or travel in the elevator with the goods, you will likely be held responsible for your injuries.

If you were injured in a freight elevator accident, contact my office. We can help you determine who is at fault and if you have a personal injury case.

Scroll to Top