Melbourne Elevators Blog

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What to consider when purchasing a Commercial lift:

Cost is an ever increasingly important factor when selecting a commercial lift for disabled access, apartments, medical facilities, schools, offices etc…

Cost will be determined by:

  • How many floors is the lift travelling?
    a. From 2 to 4 floors you can select a hydraulic lift as their speed is more than adequate at around 0.6 M/second. The machinery is at the lowest level so there is reduced noise in the building. Hydraulic lifts are cheaper to buy and cheaper to maintain and repair. In some cases, hydraulic lifts will actually save the purchaser the purchase price of the lift over a 25 year period when compared to a traction (all electric) lift. Commercial hydraulic lifts start at around $52,000 + GST.
    b. Traction lifts can be used from 2-4 floors but are the most appropriate choice from 4-5 floors plus. Traction lifts (all electric lifts) are generally faster than hydraulic lifts at 1.0 M/second +. The machine room-less traction lifts for low rise applications have all the equipment inside the shaft so there is no need for a large machine cabinet or machine room, an important design consideration. The downside is that they are more expensive to maintain and repair than hydraulic lifts. Commercial traction lifts start at around $60,000 + GST.
  • The speed of the lift will affect the price.
    Try a range of lifts before you buy so you know what 0.5 M/second and 1.0 M/second feels like. This will be your best guide as to selecting the correct lift for the number of floors you want to travel up to in low rise application. For medium rise to high rise contact a lift consultant for professional advice and be prepared to pay what is required.
  • The rated load of your lift is determined by its floor area.
    The bigger the lift the more expensive. For low rise lifts with rated loads in excess of 1500kg you will find hydraulics considerably cheaper than traction lifts. Above 4 floors traction lifts are the solution.
  • Country of manufacture.
    There are many reasons why equipment manufactured in countries like Switzerland and Germany is regarded as being high quality and with the quality will generally come more attention to safety and longevity of the equipment. Quality lifts should last 30 years or more but most “globally sourced” lifts now have a relatively short lift expectancy of 15 years. Consider how long you will occupy or own the building and ask which country the gear comes from and tell the supplier you will be reading the labels on the crates when it arrives!
  • Finishes in the lift.
    The cheapest finishes are the vinyl wrapping such as “skinplates”. Skinplate finishes look great initially but are easily scratched so are poor value. Stainless steel finishes are durable and mid-range in cost but be careful when selecting mirrored stainless as it damages easily and will look tatty fairly quickly. 80% to 90% of commercial lifts are “brushed” or “linished” stainless steel. Glass is about the most durable but is more expensive. Fitting out your lift locally to compliment your building can be cost effective but consult your builder and lift company first for pricing.

The above list is a general guide to purchasing the most suitable lift for your project. For expert advice contact a lift consultant and/or visit a range of lift companies with display lifts.

Published: August 12, 2019

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