We are lift consultants and cannot stress enough how critical it is to maintain your lift on a regular basis. For both legal and functioning reasons, you don’t need to spend a fortune to have a well-maintained lift and in fact, it can actually help to save you money.
To provide some information on why it is so important to keep your lift well-maintained, we spoke to ILECS Associate Director David Pickering. David started out as an apprentice and has more than 20 years of industry experience. Before he moved into consultancy in 2002 in the UK, he worked in Dublin as a senior engineer. Pickering has a Masters from the University of Northampton in Lift Engineering and is a Chartered Institution of Building Service Engineers (CIBSE) member.
How Essential Is Lift Maintenance to Ensure a Dependable Lift?
When explaining lifts to my clients I sometimes use a car analogy (or a taxi more specifically). It is often much easier to explain how various lift components function in a language that most people can easily understand.
Similar to a car, a lift usually features the following components:
- user controls
- electronic controller
- a motor (machine).
Some of them are considered to be consumable items and need to be replaced regularly throughout the equipment’s life. For example, ropes, oil, and rollers on a lift, are similar to filters, oil, and tyres on a car.
Similar to cars, there are different designs of lifts, from various manufacturers with different levels of reputation and quality. Like with cars, people expect to enter a lift and travel immediately to their destination reliably, quickly, and easily.
Staying with our analogy, over the course of a lift’s life, it should be serviced regularly, have a planned preventative maintenance plan in place, and have routine inspections conducted (statutory or otherwise).
So Instituting a Regular Maintenance Plan Is the First Step Towards Having a Reliable Lift?
Basically, yes, Although having a planned preventative maintenance programme in place goes beyond ensuring that your lift will continue to function correctly. In addition, it covers important regulatory and safety issues that you must comply with. That is to satisfy the legal obligations as an owner or a building operator.
Regulations can apply as well to office buildings and residential blocks, including the following:
- Use of and Provision of Work Equipment Regulations
- Lifting Equipment and Life Operations Regulations
- Health and Safety at Work Act.
Ensuring that your lift is safe and in good working order is critical to ensuring compliance.
How Much Maintenance Does My Lift Need?
Like a car, the amount of maintenance required by a lift will vary from one lift to the next. It will depend on several different factors, including the following:
type of use
level of use
the original equipment’s quality.
In similar operating environments, a heavily engineered and well-installed lift will usually need a lower preventative maintenance level compared to a value-engineered installation because its components are more robust. Also, as a lift continues to age, and its components become older and worn, it will probably need more attention compared to new lifts, to protect against reliability issues and failures.
New electric traction lifts are able to last for around 20 years. However, in order to ensure that the lift stays reliable for that long all comes down to a suitable maintenance level applied throughout the lift’s entire operating life.
What Kinds of Lift Maintenance Are Available?
A majority of lift maintenance contractors provide several different maintenance packages for you to choose from, with some offering cosmetic lift upgrades. It can often be hard to select the best plan from a contractor.
There is a wide range of different types of contracts to consider. They each have their own inclusions (and more importantly, sometimes, exclusions). It is quite rare to find two contractors that offer identical plans.