Residential Cargo Lifts – 5 Key Terms To Know

A few words used in the cargo lift industry are everyday terms that you’re probably already familiar with, but some terms you’ll see for residential usage are less known or have special considerations.

Let’s learn about the 5 key terms you’re likely to see when evaluating and researching lift equipment designed for use in and around your home or property.

A Glossary of Residential Cargo Lift Terms

  1. Mast Technology: The mast makes up the structural support of a lift. Just like a flagpole mast, or sail mast, its function is to provide stability. There are 5 different levels of mast support. For a residential lift, dual masts are preferred. This level literally consists of two masts and provide more support than a single mast rig would. The mast(s) can be configured with the cargo cage in a variety of ways to accommodate the items being lifted. Good materials to look for in residential lifts are aluminum and stainless steel because they are more durable and resist environmental changes.
  2. Cargo Cage: This is the part of the lift that is designed to hold your stuff (the cargo). Another common term for this is a carriage. Anti-skid flooring is incredibly vital in a residential lift. The materials used to prevent skidding will not only keep your precious cargo from slipping off the cargo cage, but will also protect your household items from being scratched or damaged along the way.
  3. Rotary Limit Switch: Nearly all types of heavy lifting equipment which rotate or move up and down utilize something called a rotary limit switch. In a residential lift, you want the rotary limit switch to do more than just move the cargo cage up and down, though. The lift switch should give you the ability to smoothly control the stops, so household items (or individuals!) are not jostled around or damaged during transport.
  4. Winders: The winders are the mechanism in the lift that controls the cables. All residential lifts are different, so the number of winders in place can vary depending on the manufacturer’s specifications. When moving residential items (furniture, boats, or medical supplies for those with special needs) heavy-duty cables are used (such as aircraft cables which are made of stainless steel), so dual winders are preferred.
  5. Lifting Capacity: Not surprisingly, the lifting capacity refers to the weight that can be supported by the mast, cargo cage, rotary switch and winders. The gold standard for residential lifts is 1,000 pounds (or 450 kilograms).

There are a variety of other residential cargo lifting terms, but the ones mentioned above are some of the most commonly used. When installing a lift at your home or property, it’s pretty safe to assume that you will run into them. If you visit a vendor’s site and don’t see these terms, make sure you ask about them.

Since residential lifts are designed to transport more valuable “cargo” than commercial lifts, it is helpful if you understand some of the subtle differences between terms used for each purpose.