Although the company is just over a year old, Crossco Lift is rapidly developing as a major provider of vertical reciprocating conveyors (VRCs) designed specifically for self-storage applications. Established in 2002, the La Verne, Calif.-based company serves clients throughout the United States including Alaska and Hawaii.
VRCs are free-standing lifts that don’t need special architectural requirements such as major electrical, concrete shaftways or concrete footing. Since VRCs do not allow passengers to ride with the loads, their cost can be considerably less than those of a passenger lift—an important consideration when designing a new facility or converting a multlevel structure into storage.
“We are a new name with many years of lift experience behind us,” says Gregg Cross, president. Cross and David Smart, Crossco’s general manager, have known each other for more than 10 years. Cross has been an owner/operator of construction businesses since the early ‘70s. Smart’s experience includes 250 new and retrofit lift installations in U.S. facilities. His years in sales and management in the vertical-lift industry makes him an expert in the needs of self-storage and building manufacturers.
“Before starting this company, we did a bit more research than what we might have done if we started it 20 years ago,” Cross says. The partners researched the needs of storage owners and the capabilities of lift-manufacturing companies before selecting one that would produce the product they wanted to offer the industry. “We made some modifications and design changes, and developed a superior product.”
“Although every job site is different,” Smart adds, “installation of a Crossco VRC lift can save 55 percent to 75 percent over the cost of a passenger lift.” In addition to new installs, Smart has several years experience with conversions. “Architects and owners built a lot of facilities in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s, with no thought to installing lifts,” he says. These older storage companies are forced to remodel and retrofit their buildings to stay viable as large competitors, such as Storage USA and Public Storage, move in with new, multilevel facilities.
As part of its staff, Crossco employs two engineers to handle customers’ specifications and needs. Each project is evaluated, taking into account the facility’s square-footage, distance from the farthest unit to the lift, number of units, what competitors are offering, and what type of customer the facility is trying to attract.
A Superior Product
Crossco lifts are designed and engineered exclusively for the self-storage industry. The lifts are manufactured from standard steel fabricated into a selfsupporting rigid structure comprised of a back frame with integral uprights. The back frame, which contains the power unit, is trussed and cross-braced for strain relief and resistance to twist. The lifting platform and back guard are fabricated of steel plate and welded to the structural-steel arms of the lifting carriage.
Safety features include a system that is mounted on the lifting-platform carriage. Spring-loaded cams with case-hardened teeth ensure the lift is held if the lifting chains slacken for any reason. All moving parts are encased or guarded. A fail-safe, solenoid-operated valve prevents the platform from falling or lowering in the event of power failure.
Cross and Smart are not content to rest on their current success; the partners plan to expand internationally. “We know a product of this nature is not available in some countries. People from Australia, Canada, England and Europe, for example, come to the United States to research products,” Smart says.
“Due to land prices and the rising demand for more storage by the general public, many more facilities are being built as two- and three-story structures,” Cross says. This increase in demand and need for multilevel construction ensures Crossco will continue to develop new clients and expand.
Crossco’s marketing program consists of print advertising and exhibiting the product at industry- related tradeshows throughout the country. “Although we are a new company in the selfstorage community, our name is rapidly becoming known,” Cross says. The foundation for all his business practices is a simple philosophy—he treats people the way he wants to be treated, with highly personalized service delivering a superior product.
“We offer excellent service and our lead time is very good. If we schedule a delivery date, we stand by it,” Cross says. “We are becoming known throughout the industry for offering our clients the quality and service they deserve,” Smart confirms. For more information, call 800.819.5438; visit www.crosscolift.com.