Lift Company FAQs: Hydraulic Drive or Traction Drive?

Lift Company FAQs: Hydraulic Drive or Traction Drive?

In modern western society, the lift has become an all but mandatory fixture for buildings more than a few storeys tall, and more and more property owners seek out the services of a lift company each day.

Naturally, these customers tend to have questions about the device they are planning to purchase, and a lift company such as Sheridan Lifts will typically answer any number of queries relating to the technical and functional aspects of lifts every day. One of the most frequent has to do with which of the two most common types of lift drive system to choose, traction or hydraulic. The lines below seek to help customers make this decision.

Traction Drive

Traction drive systems are the traditional, pulley-type lift set-ups, manoeuvred through ropes attached to the car and counterweight. These systems tend to boast higher speeds and a wider range of control as opposed to hydraulic systems, making them best suited for long travel lifts. However, they do also require larger or more spacious control and machine rooms, a load-bearing element above the car, are harder to wind by hand, and tend to be more expensive to install than hydraulic drive systems, factors which should be taken into account prior to purchase.

Hydraulic Drive

Hydraulic drive systems are operated by a hydraulic ram. When compared to traction drive systems, this type of mechanism stands out for being easier to hand-manoeuvre in case of an emergency, more energy- and space-efficient and less noisome, as well as for requiring no load-bearing element. The disadvantage is that they are only suitable for short trips, tend to be slower than traction lifts, and may require additional elements, such as a heat exchanger.

In the end, there is really no right or wrong answer to whether a hydraulic system is better than a traction system, or vice-versa; however, an expert lift company such as Sheridan Lifts will be able to analyse customers’ needs on a case by case basis and steer them towards the most appropriate solution.



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