The vacuum lifter buying checklist: top questions to answer before you make a purchase

11th February 2022

At Palamatic, we pride ourselves on fantastic customer service and the highest quality vacuum lifters on the market to match. Our vacuum lifter purchasing checklist identifies the important things to consider when you’re making a purchase.

This guide outlines the minimum considerations to be taken when making an important vacuum lifting purchase.

Why is this checklist important?

It’s vital to take your time and ensure you are buying a piece of equipment that ensures a safe working environment for your operators. When the vacuum lifter is considered safe, and it’s used correctly and safely, the risk of health and safety incidents is reduced.

Safety isn’t the only aspect to consider here, you’ll want to make sure your vacuum lifter is the right one for you and it’s purchased from the right place.

Here are the top things we’d recommend considering, or asking the vacuum lifter supplier:

Does the vacuum lifter have innovative safety technology?

What features does the vacuum lifter have that contribute to the safe operation of the equipment? You’ll want to choose a vacuum lifter utilising innovative safety technology, to ensure it’s a long-term investment.

Palamatic’s vacuum lifters have a quick acting non-return valve, and a suction force vs. lifting force safety factor of 2.5 times. This prevents the load from being inadvertently dropped – even in the event of a mains power failure. You can read more about our innovative vacuum lifter technology here.

Is there ‘after-sales’ care?

When you’ve invested in capital equipment such as a vacuum lifter, it’s reasonable to expect post-purchase service from the supplier. 

When choosing a supplier for your materials handling equipment, consider purchasing from somewhere that offers this, so you benefit from support when it’s needed during the lifespan of your equipment.

Here at Palamatic, we provide end-to-end service, from your first enquiry, right through to after sales services. Our after sales team is always there to assist with parts, servicing, annual certification requirements or any questions you may have after installation, ensuring your new equipment provides many years of active service.

Will you receive maintenance guidance?

Even the highest quality piece of equipment will need to be maintained to ensure it remains at this high standard.

A reputable supplier of material handling solutions will provide advice on maintenance for the lifespan of your vacuum lifter. They’re the experts on their equipment, so you should expect this guidance from the supplier or manufacturer.

Don’t believe a supplier that says their equipment won’t need to be looked at ever again, even the best vacuum lifters will need maintenance, checks and updates.

At Palamatic, we offer regular maintenance by our experienced team. This avoids unnecessary breakdowns that can impact your production. We can also offer maintenance team training for our PalPharma and PalPowder handling equipment, which require more specialised support.

Does the vacuum lifter meet all the legal safety requirements? 

The HSE detail the main aspects of health and safety law you need to know about when buying new machinery, which includes lifting equipment. Make sure the equipment you buy meets all of this criteria before you make the purchase.

Does the supplier provide training on the equipment they sell?

According to HSE, “vacuum Lifting equipment should be operated only by competent persons who have been adequately trained in the safe use of the equipment and the findings of any risk assessment”: They also state that this training should cover:

  • Potential dangers from using the equipment.
  • Factors that may cause equipment or lifting operation failure and how to avoid them.
  • Equipment uses limitations.
  • Guidance on planning and carrying out safe lifting operations, including safe systems of work.
  • Specific directions on safe use issued by the manufacturer/supplier.
  • The location and operation of the lifter controls.
  • Scheme for examination, maintenance requirements and system for reporting defects.
  • Any emergency arrangements.

Therefore, it’s important that if you can’t provide this training yourself, the supplier can facilitate this.

Here at Palamatic, operator training and maintenance team training are included when you make a purchase. 

Is equipment installation included in the purchase?

Correct installation is as important as the features and capabilities of the vacuum lifter itself. Getting this wrong may mean the equipment gets damaged or health and safety may be compromised.

At Palamatic, our expert installation and commissioning team can ensure that your equipment is installed to suit your environment and your budget. 

What are the running costs? 

It’s important to find out from the supplier or manufacturer, about what the average running costs are, if there are any. Also, factors including corrective maintenance costs. Both of these are just as important to consider as the initial price of the vacuum lifter. 

What is the full range of items the vacuum lifter can lift?

While you may only have a specific need for the vacuum lifter now, it’s important to consider how else the lifter could be used in future business endeavours.

Palamatic vacuum tube lifters can lift almost anything from boxes, bags, sacks and drums to boards, reels, crates, pallets and sheets. Our experts can provide the full range on request.

Palamatic’s vacuum lifters help to protect your operators from serious back injuries and your business from damaging insurance claims. You can view our vacuum lifter applications here.