Heavy Duty Vertical Lifts Now Available

March 07, 2011 | By Doug Boydston

Do you feel that the standard vertical platform (wheelchair) lifts available are “Light-Duty”, flimsy, slow, or clunky? There is an option that won’t break the bank. Sometimes you need a heavy-duty vertical solution that will give you the ride quality you are looking for without the cost of a LULA (limited use limited application) Elevator.

Vertical Platform lifts are not limited to having 42” high platform side walls. If you put a standard cantilevered open platform style vertical lift in a sheet rock and metal stud runway, the end user is left feeling a bit exposed, and traveling 10-14 feet at 10 feet per minute can feel like a long time.

If you extend the platform sides to full height and add a top to the platform, it would make the end user feel more comfortable during travel, and you would be able to use a drive system (2:1 roped hydraulic) that is more robust than the standard vertical platform lift offering. You could also speed up the lift a bit to the code maximum of 30fpm. Your lift contractor would also provide code-compliant entrances that close flush to the finished inside surface of the runway and are complete with all hardware, interlocks, and power door operators, making trade coordination easy.

This is what we call Accessibility with Dignity: fast and quiet, with a smooth quality ride, instead of slow, loud, and clunky.

When designing the accessibility solution, architects should consider the versatility of the product and the frequency of use. Most standard off the shelf vertical platform lifts meet the letter of the law and go up and down, but are not designed for heavy use. If you have an application where heavy use is anticipated you may want to consider a LULA Elevator, which is basically a small commercial elevator. However, you may be able to get the ride quality and speed without all of the cost if you specify a heavy-duty vertical lift like the Elvoron CPL by Garaventa.

Author Bio

Doug Boydston Photo
Doug Boydston founded Handi-Lift, Inc. with his parents in 1975 and became President of the company in 1990. Mr. Boydston is a Past President of National Association of Elevator Contractors and past chairman of the Accessibility Committee of NAEC. He is a member of NAEC and the Accessibility Equipment Manufacturers Association. Mr. Boydston is also active in codes at the local, State and National levels and is Chair of the main committee of the ASME A18.1 Safety Standard for Platform Lifts and Stairway Chairlifts.

Contact Doug Boydston: dboydston@handi-lift.com