Passenger Lifts

Passenger Lift Sizes

When looking for a passenger lift you may be surprised by the massive variety of types and sizes available. Passenger lifts are available with either hydraulic or traction machinery, capable of loads ranging from just 1 or 2 to 35 or even more passengers, and operating at a large number of vertical lift speeds.

Passenger Lift Types

Passenger lifts are available in two main types: hydraulic and traction. A traction elevator is the type most commonly thought of when speaking of lifts and they have had much screen time in dramatic film moments in the cinema. Basically a traction elevator works by utilising a motor to pull cabling over pulleys and raise the lift. The lift will be attached to the shaft on runners and will have safety brakes fitted to these runners that activate upon mechanical failure to prevent the lift from falling. Hydraulic lifts on the other hand work by pushing or pulling the lift car using a set of long vertical tubes and hydraulic pressure equipment.

Both types of lift are available with roughly the same size, capacity and speed ratings, but hydraulics tend to be slightly more advanced (and costly), less prone to malfunction and much quieter to operate.

Passenger Lift Capacity

When most people think of lift size they think capacity. It makes sense that the bigger the lift the more people can be carried right? Well, not always. Some lifts are simply designed large to fit into a particular space but still have their load limited to just a few people. Some are designed to handle access and mobility issues for disabled persons and so must be large enough to house a wheelchair or two. Still others are simply designed large to avoid crowding passengers together but still cannot handle more than a few at one time. This last type often has seating too for the ultimate in passenger comfort or to aid those such as the elderly who may have trouble simply standing in a moving elevator car. So, although a lift designed for more passenger must be large enough to fit them in, a large lift doesn't always mean a high capacity lift. When purchasing lift equipment, you should always check first the passenger numbers it is built for.

Passenger Lift Speed

One of the most common complaints among lift passengers is frustration at long waiting and transit times in lifts. More important in very tall buildings, but still an issue in smaller ones is the lift speed rating. Carrying people from bottom to top of a thirty-something storey building at 0.5m/s for example isn't exactly pleasant for the passengers to say the least. Passenger lifts exist that operate at 2, 3 and even 3.5 or 4m/s and these are much better suited to high rise buildings. A hydraulic or traction lift designed to operate at these speeds will still offer smooth starts and stops but provide a much quicker journey from floor to floor, decreasing waiting times and frustration and increasing passenger comfort significantly.

Lift speed doesn't have to be inversely proportional to the number of passengers either. Many lifts designed to carry very high numbers of passengers can still operate at high speeds without risk.

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