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Vertical Reciprocating Conveyors


A vertical conveyor moves product from one level to another, and they are typically found in distribution centers, factories, warehouses, and any other industrial setting. A VRC lifts products straight up, which uses up a lot less floor space than an incline conveyor to move products between levels. They are classified in their own national code that is separate and specifically exempt from the national elevator code. A vertical reciprocating conveyor provides efficient transportation of product between levels, whether atop a mezzanine, balcony, or levels in a multiple story building.


Vertical reciprocating conveyors can either be fully automated or manually operated, and they can be installed in an existing space inside, through floor, or outside depending on your application. They are also less costly than a traditional elevator to maintain and operate, and can actually be installed in an old or unused elevator shaft. VRC’s allow for the transportation of up to 200,000 lbs. vertically, which is far more than a forklift could lift.


ASI has used vertical reciprocating conveyors in stock at almost half the price of used, and ours have been tested, cleaned, and inspected prior to shipment. We have been in the business of buying and selling used industrial equipment for over 20 years, and have a sales team dedicated to providing material handling solutions for your facility. Used vertical reciprocating conveyors go in and out of stock because of high demand, but we are constantly acquiring more inventory. If you are interested and we do not have one in stock, we will keep your information and let you know when we do get one.


Conveyor Safety Tips


Safety around any equipment in a warehouse facility is crucial, and this is especially true around conveyor equipment. With many moving parts, chains, gears, and pinch points, it can be dangerous for anyone nearby. Regardless of whether its power or gravity conveyor, these simple tips can help improve the safety of the employees and other personal within the facility.


Proper attire: It is important that conveyor operators are all wearing uniforms or attire suitable for working on the system. This means no loose garments or jewelry, and it is important to keep all body parts clear as well. If someone is visiting your facility, make sure they keep a safe distance away from moving parts and machinery, and are aware of the basic conveyor safety procedures.


For product only: We have all see it in Hollywood, but conveyors are not designed to transport people. There are many pinch points and other areas where clothing and body parts could get caught and seriously injure the rider. Aside from damaging the person pulling the stunt, you also put the actual conveyor system at risk. Many conveyor systems can hold much more than the weight of the average person, but this weight is evenly distributed. They are not designed to hold that much weight at a single concentrated point.


Perform maintenance duties when system is disconnected: Make sure that all electrical and hydraulic power sources are blocked out and disconnected before performing any maintenance duties. There are also lockout systems that prevent the conveyor from being started up when maintenance is being performed.


Know the locations of all controls: It is crucial that all employees that are working on or near conveyors know the location of all safety buttons. Employers should train conveyor workers on the location of the controls, when to use them, what they do, and how to mark them to avoid any confusion. This is extremely important, especially for any emergency buttons or kill switches.


Report any inconsistencies to your supervisor: Don’t wait! The damage done by a malfunctioning conveyor system can be minimized if it is promptly brought to the attention of the supervisor. Allow for no consequence information submissions so that employees don’t hesitate, hide, or deny the damage they may or may not have caused. This will encourage employees to report any problems without worrying about losing their job, which will also make the conveyor system and facility safer.


Proper training: All conveyor operators should be required to go through safety training to ensure their safety and the safety of workers around them. Refresher courses, literature, updates, and reminders are all ways to constantly encourage safety to your employees. Visitors should also be briefed on proper behavior while in the facility.


For additional literature on specific safety standards while operating conveyor equipment, visit They have regulations for all portions of the industry, including general, construction, maritime, agriculture, recordkeeping, state plans, and more. You can also contact ASI with any safety problems or concerns. We have a variety of safety equipment and an experienced sales team to help ensure the safety of your facility.


Strapping Methods


Strapping is the process of securing pieces of equipment together for shipment or for storage, and is also known as bundling or banding. This improves the organization of product being stored, which frees up costly warehouse storage space. Bundling your used material handling equipment secures it in racking, and makes it easier to retrieve, and virtually ready to ship.


Some of the common items that would get strapped include:

  • Boxes, crates, pallets, and skids
  • Coils of steel or paper
  • Packaged glass
  • Metal Parts
  • Concrete blocks or bricks


The four types of strapping that are commonly used are steel, polyester, nylon, and polypropylene. Steel strapping is the most commonly used in the industry and comes in high tensile and regular duty. Regular duty steel strapping is comprised of low carbon steel, which is good for medium and light duty applications. High tensile steel strapping utilizes high carbon steel that is heat treated. This allows the strapping to stretch slightly when under pressure to absorb shock. This is ideal for securing loads on a full trailer or an open top rail car.


Polyester strapping and nylon strapping are the strongest plastic strapping products, mainly due to its ability to provide retained tension on rigid loads. Nylon used to be utilized in its place, but due to its high price, is becoming a less realistic option unless the additional strength is needed. Nylon has the highest strength of the three types of plastic strapping. It also does not creep in cold applications, meaning it doesn’t become deformed due to mechanical stress.


Polypropylene strapping is one of the most economical material for strapping light to medium loads, and is available in various widths and thicknesses. Although it has high elongation at break, it can lose about 50% of applied tension within one hour. Strap slackness can occur if being used with a solid product like beams. Polypropylene strapping is also susceptible to UV damage, so it is better for products being stored indoors. Certain colors of polypropylene strap will also slow the UV ray’s effects, such as black.


There are also less common types of strapping that are still acceptable for certain applications. Corded or woven strapping has a higher elongation than other strapping, so it is typically used for sea and rail shipments. Paper strapping can also be used to strap paper products in between stages in the production process. Composite strapping is considered “synthetic steel” in the industry because it has filaments embedded into it.


As you can see, there are many different types of strapping to package your shipments. Make sure you are using the correct type of strapping for your specific operation, as product that gets loose and gets damaged is very costly to replace. Still unsure what type of strapping you should be utilizing? Give ASI a call, our sales team would be more than happy to give you some advice.


Warehouse Safety Tips


Warehouse facilities can be hazardous to your safety in a number of ways if the proper safety procedures aren’t being followed. Some of these scenarios are more common than others, but we will discuss the potential hazards and various ways to avoid them. A safe facility is one of the key components to maintaining a successful material handling operation.


Some of the most common hazards are also the most commonly overlooked. These include potential hazards that could cause an employee to trip and fall while transporting material. This is generally caused by spills, uneven surfaces, and equipment improperly stored in aisle space. To avoid this, employees should make sure that they are only manually transporting product that isn’t too heavy for them, and utilizing lift equipment when appropriate.


Another common hazard caused by the improper storage of inventory is falling objects. If pallets or items aren’t neatly stacked, they can potentially fall out of the racking or shelving. This will not only compromise the safety of your employees, but will also damage valuable products. Properly and neatly storing pallets or loose product is one way to avoid this, but accidents do happen. Make sure all forklift and lift equipment operators are properly trained to minimize human error, as this is typically the main cause.


Some common safety procedures that will reduce the amount of incidents in your warehouse include the following:

  • Never block emergency exits, first aid and eye wash stations, or fire extinguishers
  • Never leave sharp tools or parts out where people could accidentally cut themselves on
  • Keep wires and cords off of floors and away from moisture
  • Properly store all items, don’t leave in aisle space
  • Clean up any debris and spills immediately


Probably the most straightforward but still noteworthy safety procedures is having common sense. This includes reading and obeying warning labels, staying aware of your surroundings, carefully handling tools and equipment, and most especially, not fooling around. This could probably apply to any job in any facility, but the consequences are much more dramatic in a warehouse facility. Bumping into a desk might spill a coffee on some important paperwork, but an inattentive forklift driver bumping a rack in a warehouse might collapse the entire structure.


For a complete list of effective warehouse safety procedures, review OSHA regulations. There are several thousand regulations, so by no means is it realistic to learn all of them. They do come in handy if you are questioning the safety of a specific procedure, because OSHA outlines the proper safety techniques when utilizing virtually any piece of material handling equipment.


This is just a brief overview of our safety recommendations. Reading up on OSHA regulations and carefully reading all safety instructions on all equipment will also help ensure safety within your warehouse facility. American Surplus Inc. also carries a wide variety of used industrial safety products. This includes column guards and protectors, guard rails, hand railings, end of aisle guards, safety gates, wire enclosures, and more. This will help protect your equipment and facility from the occasional bump or collision.


Unsure of what you need for safety equipment? A member of our sales team will come to your warehouse facility, and provide recommendations as to what safety equipment could be utilized. Give us a call today, we will happily work with you to provide solutions to your material handling concerns. We have been doing so for over 20 years, and have over 30,000 clients to prove our success.


Save Money and the Environment!


National and global attention is shifting towards the responsible use of energy, and it is being implemented in homes and businesses via solar panels, wind turbines, paperless billing, and more. What is stopping you from implementing this in your warehouse? Here are some things to consider to reduce your carbon footprint, and save you some money in electrical bills.


Take advantage of vertical space. We have touched upon this in many articles because it is one of the easiest ways to increase storage capacity while not increasing the overall square footage of your building. By making your storage area denser instead of bigger, you reduce your carbon footprint and keep energy costs consistent.


Make sure equipment is only being used when scheduled. This will make it much easier to track the use of your forklifts and other lift equipment, which also makes it easier to forecast your future energy costs and compare them to what you were spending. Equipment down time will also be lessened on these machines because they will following a proper maintenance schedule. The equipment will be less likely to break down unexpectedly if it is only being used when it is supposed to.


As you can see, from either your business or home, electricity is one of the biggest factors for cutting down on your energy consumption and reducing your footprint. Buying efficient light bulbs and putting lights on timers will significantly lessen your energy bill, and will cut back on the waste produced from burnt out bulbs.


Along the same lines of monitoring your electricity use is making sure you are using a responsible HVAC system. Especially in the winter, make sure the heated areas of your warehouse are making efficient use of the heaters and only running them when necessary. There are many energy efficient heating systems out there, both electric and propane, that will save you money in the long run. Some models of propane heaters are appropriate for indoor use because they have a low oxygen shutoff system that will shut down the heater when it detects insufficient levels of oxygen in the air.


American Surplus can help your company reduce your carbon footprint, saving you money and electricity. We have everything from high density used pallet rack and mezzanines to efficient heaters, air curtains, and strip doors. Give us a call today! Our sales team would be more than happy to work with you on a current or upcoming project.