Lift consultants are best-placed professionals to explain why it is essential to maintain your lift regularly. Regular maintenance of the lift equipment is required to help the building owner preserve the lift’s proper functioning, improve its durability, and comply with legal obligations.
Luckily for building owners/operators, lift maintenance services are not all expensive; you need not incur huge costs to secure a lift maintenance contract. On the contrary, a good lift maintenance plan preserves the equipment’s efficiency, and in the long run, saves money for the owner.
The following is a discussion with David Pickering, a lift engineer, to provide further insight on the importance of lift maintenance for commercial and residential establishments.
About David Pickering
David Pickering is an Associate Director at ILECS. David began his career as an apprentice and accumulated over twenty years of lift design, manufacturing, installation, and servicing experience. He also served as the senior engineer in Dublin before joining consultancy work in the United Kingdom in 2002.
David holds a Master’s in Lift Engineering from the University of Northampton and is a member of the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE). Here are some of the questions we asked him.
How Does Maintenance Safeguard Reliability in a Lift?
I often find myself using a car analogy to give clients an overall impression of why the lift equipment in their building needs regular maintenance. Generally, people tend to grasp new concepts better when the explanation is in engaging and easily-comprehensible language.
Like a car, the general design features in a lift include:
- motor machine
- electronic control system
- braking system
- features for user control, and
Some of the lift equipment parts as listed above are consumable items, meaning they will require the building owner to replace them regularly during the lift’s operating life.
Consumable items in a lift may include rollers, oil, and ropes. For a car, the owner will have to replace the tyres, oil, and filters after a particular use duration.
Like cars, lifts come in varying designs. Lift manufacturers, such as EZE Lifts, also vary depending on product quality and customer base/reputation.
Like in cars, we expect a certain level of mobility efficiency and reliability when using a lift. Upon entering a lift or a car, we all want to get to our destination in a simple, quick, and reliable fashion. Nonetheless, the car and lift will lose some operational efficiency when used constantly over some years.
A preventative maintenance plan schedules regular servicing and inspection all through the lift equipment’s useful life to ensure it performs faultlessly.
Are You Saying Adoption of a Good Maintenance Plan is the First Requirement for Having a Reliable Lift?
At the basic level, yes.
A preventative maintenance plan protects the lift’s proper functioning and ensures the lift operates in compliance with essential safety and regulatory laws and guidelines. In other words, a building owner/operator relies on a programme of planned preventative maintenance to satisfy legal obligations.
Safety regulations often affect both residential and commercial buildings such as office blocks. The guidelines include:
- The Provision and Use of Work Equipment regulations
- The Lift Operations and Lifting Equipment regulations, and
- The Health and Safety at Work Act.
Compliance with the above regulations requires the building owner/ building operator to ensure the lift is in a good and safe state all the time.
How Much Will It Cost to Acquire a Maintenance Plan For My Lift?
Continuing with the car analogy, the scope of maintenance practices for a lift varies across various lift equipment types.
The cost of a good maintenance plan for your lift depends on the following factors:
- The level of usage
- The age of the lift equipment
- The original quality of the lift equipment, and
- The type of use.
If we compared a well-installed and heavily engineered lift to a value-engineered lift installation working in the same environment, the former would require a lower-level programme for preventative maintenance than the value-engineered lift installation.
The robust nature of components in a well-installed and heavily-engineered lift boosts the lift’s durability. It minimizes the scope of maintenance practices compared to a lift of lesser quality.
Like most equipment, a lift and its components wear out with age and usage. Compared to a new lift installation, an old and worn-out lift will require a higher degree of maintenance services to avert failure and reliability hindrances.
On average, a new electric traction lift can function for about twenty years. Adopting an ideal maintenance plan throughout the lift’s entire operating life guarantees the lift’s long-term usage.
What are the Available Types of Lift Maintenance Plans?
There are different types of lift maintenance packages depending on the lift maintenance contractors. The numerous maintenance plans on the market can make it difficult for a homeowner to select a suitable plan.
Selecting the ideal lift maintenance plan necessitates that you consider a wide variety of contractors and contract types and the inclusion and exclusion clauses in the maintenance agreements. You are hardly likely to find two lift maintenance contractors with similar proposals for your lift maintenance.