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Everything You Need to Know About Hydraulic Elevators

Updated: Sep 5, 2021

An ever-expanding business community, Vancouver has about 1500 low-rise to high-rise buildings, so it’s no surprise that elevators are in wide use across the city.

When it comes to moving cargo across these multi-floor structures, freight elevators are commonplace in Vancouver, and many businesses rely heavily on them for smooth freight transport every day.

Many industrial freight elevators in Vancouver are hydraulic elevators, and there are many reasons businesses choose them.

The Two Types of Elevator Systems

Elevator systems are classified by the mechanism by which they operate. Currently, there are two such mechanisms. The first is the traction system, which uses a pulley mechanism. The other elevator system is the hydraulic system, which refers to lifts powered using pistons mounted inside a cylinder.

Oil-based fluids are used to propel the pistons. In Vancouver and across North America one of these two types of industrial freight elevator systems are generally used.

How Hydraulic Elevators Work

The hydraulic elevator systems operate through the compression of fluids. Its operation is very simple.

To go up: The Pump pours oil stored in the tank into the Cylinder, which propels the Piston upwards.

To go down: The Cylinder’s valves open, allowing oil to return to the tank, thus lowering the Piston.

The elevator car rests on the Piston, held steady by the fluid trapped in the Cylinder. Hydraulic systems can use electrical valves to regulate the oil release, ensuring smooth rides for the cargo.

The car’s controls send electric signals to the Pump, thereby moving the oil and the Piston.

Use Cases for Hydraulic Elevators

Although freight elevators can be installed in any building in Vancouver, hydraulic freight elevators can’t be installed in high-rise buildings or skyscrapers.

Hydraulic elevators are only recommended for low to mid-rise buildings with a maximum of 5 to 7 storeys. There are two reasons for this limit.

Firstly, the system requires a lot of energy to lift the cab, making it unsuitable for skyscrapers and other similar tall buildings.

Speed is the other major reason. With an operating speed of about 150ft/min, this system is largely unfit for buildings higher than seven storeys because of the time it will take to travel up and down the building.

Types of Hydraulic Elevators

  1. Holed Hydraulic Elevator: With this type of elevator, hydraulic cylinders extend into the ground and are placed inside of a drilled hole. The car of the elevator is mounted on a piston that travels inside of the cylinder.

  2. Holeless Hydraulic Elevator: Invented in the late 1970s, holeless hydraulic elevators do not require pit depth and is best suitable for buildings where drilling is not viable.

  3. Roped Hydraulic Elevator: This is an improved Holeless hydraulic. It uses ropes and sheaves to extend the elevator to 60 feet, thus eliminating the need for an underground cylinder. Roped hydraulic elevators are usually fitted with a governor to eliminate the risk of free falling if the rope breaks.

  4. Machine Room-less (MRL) Hydraulic Elevator: This elevator type has the lift’s machinery stored in the elevator pit.

At Bramalea Elevator, we specialize in both holed and holeless hydraulic industrial freight elevators suited for the Vancouver market.

Advantages of Hydraulic Elevators

  • Fast installation

  • Cheap installation and maintenance costs

  • Occupies little space

  • Great for transporting heavy cargo

  • High safety standard

Cons of Hydraulic Elevators

  • Not suitable for buildings with more than 7 storeys

  • Slow travel speed

  • Slightly noisy

  • Requires more power

Choose From The Best Freight Elevators in Vancouver

For more than 25 years, our team of expert technicians at Bramalea Elevator have helped businesses choose and install the safest industrial freight elevators in Vancouver. Your hydraulic elevator will be uniquely customized to meet your building and business needs. Contact us today to get started or for more inquiries.

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