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Freight Elevator Classes

Every elevator is assigned a classification related to its weight capacity and the type of loading method that can be used. The loading classification must match the elevator’s intended use for it to operate safely.

Most passenger elevators and standard freight elevators are assigned to Class A, or “General Freight Loading.” The weight of a one-piece load being moved on or off the elevator cannot be more than 25 percent of the elevator’s capacity. Freight can only be loaded or unloaded manually or with a hand truck. If a hand truck is used, its weight must be considered as part of the 25-percent loading restriction.

Standard elevators are designed for Class A loading. Other types of loading place more stress on the elevator. If an elevator’s loading class is not known, it should be treated as if it is Class A. Using a loading method from any other class could be dangerous. 

Class B applies to freight elevators that are intended only to transport motor vehicles. These elevators can transport a vehicle with a weight up to the stated capacity of the elevator. 

Class C1 allows for the use of an industrial truck to load or unload an elevator. The combined weight of the truck and the load cannot total more than the weight capacity of the elevator. The truck can remain in the elevator while it is in operation. 

Class C2 allows for loading at the platform up to 150 percent of the elevator’s stated capacity. A one-piece load with a weight equal to the capacity of the elevator can be loaded with a forklift or lift truck onto the platform. The loading device must be removed before the elevator can be operated.

Class C3 allows for heavy concentration loading where the static weight during loading and unloading is not more than the rated load. The weight of the load and the equipment used to move it must not be more than the elevator’s stated capacity. Class C3 elevators are usually used to transport one-piece loads equal to the capacity of the elevator.

Class C loading is not permitted for limited use/limited application (LULA) elevators or accessibility lifts.

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