Everything You Need To Know About Vacuum Lifters - 4 Cladding

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Everything You Need To Know About Vacuum Lifters

Vacuum lifters are fast becoming the must-have piece of equipment in the construction industry. They make lifting and placing heavy cladding quick and easy, saving you heaps of time in the process. If you are new to the vacuum lifter world, do not worry. We have gathered all the information you need to become an expert on all things vacuum lifters. If you want to shop for your very own vacuum lifting equipment, you can browse our range of equipment here.


  • What is a Vacuum Lifter?
  • How Do Vacuum Lifters Work?
  • Types of Vacuum Lifters
  • Benefits of Vacuum Lift Equipment
  • Vacuum Lifter Safety Precautions
  • Vacuum Lift Equipment FAQs


What Exactly Is A Vacuum Lifter and What Do They Do?

A vacuum lifter is a machine that can lift objects using a vacuum method – the clue is in the name. They use a low-pressure suctioning technology that has the ability to lift and move heavy items around a workspace. 

Vacuum lifters are invaluable equipment that offers a safe and efficient alternative to manual handling of heavy objects. Lifting heavy weights regularly can be strenuous and dangerous if not done correctly. Vacuum lifters are perfect for relieving your manual handling burden and improving everyday health and safety in the workplace. They will help you keep injuries to a minimum, reducing the need for employee downtime.


How Do Vacuum Lifters Work?

Vacuum lifters feature large suction pads at the end of a lifting tube that forms an attachment with the item you wish to lift. The strength of the suction power is so great that it safely lifts heavy items to where you need them without needing straps or other assisting equipment

You can get singular suction pads or a series of pads connected by a vacuum lifting beam frame. By changing the type of suction pad attached to the vacuum tube, you can pick up a range of materials beyond smooth and flat surfaces, such as concrete slabs, barrels, and plastic boxes. They provide a firm grip and can lift and lower any load with just one operator’s control, making your work as efficient as possible.


Types of Vacuum Lifters 


A VLT (Vacuum Lifting Tube) uses a suction vacuum to lift heavy loads. The suction feet contact the item you are lifting and form an airtight seal, blocking any airflow. As the vacuum level increases, the material is lifted effortlessly. The tube acts as both the vacuum and the lifting apparatus, all in one. 

You can lift items such as barrels, boards, and heavy boxes quickly and easily, giving you more time for other essential tasks. These lifters are great for the shipping industry, where heavy items require frequent loading and unloading.


A VLA (vacuum lifting attachment) is an alternative approach to heavy lifting. VLAs are a detachable suction feature that can be attached to another form of lifting machine, such as a forklift or crane. It is the best of both worlds for lifting, and vacuum lifter forklift attachments are better alternatives for on-site lifting.

This attachment will take your lifting to the next level, making day-to-day lifting easier. They help lighten the load by picking up items in one single movement, avoiding the need to manually load up your other equipment, such as forklift trucks, and reducing the risk of fatigue and injury. Designs are compact and provide safety and security when moving fragile items such as glass sheets or stone worktops.

Battery Operated Vacuum Lifters

If you want to reduce your company’s carbon emissions or simply lower your electricity bill, battery-operated vacuum lifters are an excellent option. These lifters have two primary batteries and can adapt depending on the task:

  • The Alpha battery is hand-operated, perfect for lighter lifts such as glass or concrete tiles.
  • The Beta battery is a more extensive operating system and requires more than one person. It has a strong suction, which is undone by a slide valve. The Beta is helpful for heavier tasks such as concrete slabs or large sheets of glass.

Hand Held Vacuum Lifters

Hand-held vacuum lifters remove the need for cranes or larger lifting systems. If you only have light loads to lift but need to avoid the risk of marking the material, such as lifting glass sheets or other easily smudged materials. They will allow you to lift effectively while keeping your materials in the best possible condition for the job at hand. 

Benefits of Vacuum Lift Equipment


Vacuum lifting represents a different approach to lifting objects and, therefore, boasts a wealth of unique benefits as opposed to manual handling or other types of lifting equipment.


One notable benefit of vacuum lifters is their cost. They are a low-maintenance piece of machinery. If regularly serviced and well looked after, you can avoid your machinery experiencing wear and tear. A well-maintained vacuum lifter will last a good length of time, making it a cost-effective approach to lifting.


Vacuum lifters remove the need for manual handling of heavy objects. This boosts health and safety in the workplace by protecting the workforce and reducing the chance of injuries occurring.


While using air to lift heavy objects may not sound like the sturdiest of strategies, vacuum lifters are considered one of the most powerful pieces of equipment. Their ability to move dense materials such as concrete and metal is unrivalled.


Vacuum lifters are the quickest and most efficient way of moving heavy objects. The process simply involves attaching the lifter to a load by hovering near it, at which point it is ready to be lifted and transported. To release the load, simply break the seal between it and the suction pad once it is in the desired position. There is no need for hooks or straps to aid the process, making it a seamless process that boosts productivity.


Vacuum Lifter Safety Precautions



It is important to remember that despite vacuum lifters making lifting much safer, there are always risks when lifting heavy materials. Before using any lifter, you must undergo sufficient vacuum lifter training to ensure your safety and the safety of those around you.

Regular Equipment Checks

The strong suction pads greatly minimise the risk of dropping items; however, if you fail to check whether the seal has formed fully and is airtight, there is a chance that heavy items can still fall. With the potential risk of falling loads,  it is essential that you still act with caution and stay alert around the movement of heavy objects.

Awareness of Lifting Abilities

There are also specifications on the types of objects and materials that vacuum lifting devices can lift safely. Materials with porous surfaces are not recommended for vacuum lifting as it is harder to create enough suction to carry out a solid and secure lift.


Explore Our Range of Vacuum Lifters

If you could benefit from introducing a vacuum lifter into your business, you have come to the right place. At 4 Cladding Services, we have a range of high-quality vacuum lifters designed to suit a range of industries. Contact our expert team today, and we will gladly discuss your lifting requirements and consult you on the best vacuum lifter for your business. We can also offer regular services by our highly experienced and certified technicians; we can diagnose any issue with your vacuum lifter over the phone or via video call and immediately schedule maintenance or a replacement machine.


Vacuum Lift Equipment FAQs

A glass vacuum lifter creates a vacuum between the suction cups and the surface of the glass. The pressure pushes down on the suction cup, creating a solid but temporary connection between the cup and the load, ensuring a safe transfer of glass objects.

How does a glass vacuum lifter work?

A glass vacuum lifter creates a vacuum between the suction cups and the surface of the glass. The pressure pushes down on the suction cup, creating a solid but temporary connection between the cup and the load, ensuring a safe transfer of glass objects.

Can I hire a vacuum lifter?

Yes, with 4 Cladding services, we offer a rental service for vacuum lifters for those who only require lift equipment for a particular job or time.

What is the lifting capacity of a vacuum lifter?

The lifting capacity for each vacuum lifter varies. Our Cool Boy can lift up to 375kg, whereas our Glass Boy can lift up to 1800kg.


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