10 Different Types of Lifts

Different Types of Lifts
Photo by Aditya Chinchure

Lifts have undoubtedly become an essential part of our day-to-day activities. Most people work and live in high-rise buildings, providing convenience and ease, especially for the physically challenged.

However, there’re different types of lifts and the purpose they serve, which we shall discuss in this article. Read on!

What Is a Lift?

A lift is a system that travels in a vertical shaft to transport people or cargo between building floors. It is sometimes called an elevator; you can find it in offices or multi-story buildings. Again, it’s also mandatory for these buildings to have lifts because of wheelchair accessibility.

Different Types of Lifts

Here are the different types of lifts:

1. Passenger Lifts

Passenger lifts are commonly found at malls, hotels, hospitals, offices, and residential buildings. These types of lifts are there to transport people and come in various forms and sizes.

This depends on the number of passengers they can carry at a time and the speed at which they travel.

For passenger lifts, the interior decoration in and outside of the cabin matters, as well as comfort and hygiene. Users can beautify the cabins according to their taste.

Lift inspections should be made periodically by approved elevator repair companies. The lift needs to be repaired immediately if an inspection reveals any problems. Human life is valuable, and whoever uses the lift should be able to feel safe at all times.

2. Platform Lifts

You can find these types of lifts at homes and low-rise buildings. Unlike passenger lifts, platform lifts only travel a few floors; in some cases, others may opt for stairs. Although they move slowly, their installation is fast and can also serve as decoration for your homes.

3. Freight Lifts

You can call freight lifts the workhorses among the different types of lifts. They transport goods and materials in warehouses, industries, ports, etc.

Freight lifts are firm, but the more load capacity it has, the less the recommended speed. They can carry loads that weigh between 500kg and 5000kg.

However, one should put certain factors into consideration when installing freight lifts. An example is the size and weight of the goods or materials and the characteristics of the building itself.

4. Firefighting Lifts

A firefighting lift is built to provide additional protection, with controls that enable it to be utilized under the direct supervision of the fire and rescue department in fighting a fire.

These lifts are usually equipped with ladders, hoses, and other equipment necessary to fight a fire. Firefighting lifts may also have a water tank mounted on them, allowing the firefighter to douse any flames that might occur during the operation.

5. Hospital Lifts

Lifts are essential for use in hospitals, nursing homes, and clinics. They help move patients and hospital equipment across different floors of the hospital. As a result, you can also call it one of the life-saving devices.

Hospital lifts should have additional protection so that they can function in the absence of electricity. As you know, a minute is very vital in the life of patients. Thus, the hospital needs to pay special attention to their safety.

6. Capsule Lifts

Capsule lifts are lifts within a glass enclosure, meaning they have glass walls. Their main feature is the design, as they enhance the beauty of a building. You can find them mainly in the building exterior and lobby. Lastly, they serve as a means of transportation while maintaining the style of the building.

7. Hydraulic Lifts

This is one of the different types of lifts that uses water pressure for motion. A piston at the bottom of these lifts acts as support and lift assistance.

An electric motor helps with forcing the hydraulic fluid down the piston. Then as the system descends, the valve releases hydraulic fluid from the piston.

Regular inspection of hydraulic fluids is necessary because even a minor leak could have disastrous effects.

Hydraulic lifts have three types, namely:

  • Roped hydraulic lifts
  • Conventional hydraulic lifts
  • Hole-less hydraulic lifts

8. Traction Lifts

A traction lift is a type of lift that uses cables instead of hydraulics to move passengers. Traction elevators were invented in 1884 by Charles A. Ellis.

The first traction elevator was installed at the Grand Hotel in New York City. Meanwhile, the first commercial installation was built in 1890 in Chicago. Since then, traction lifts have become very popular because they are safer and quieter than hydraulic lifts.

Traction lifts are similar to escalators, except they use a counterweight instead of a chain to lift the passenger car. The two types of traction lifts are; geared traction lifts and gearless traction lifts.

9. Stairlifts

Stairlifts are most commonly used in homes and provide an easy way to get around for those who cannot walk. These lifts are often motorized and allow you to sit in a chair that moves up and down the stairs.

However, this isn’t suitable for individuals who are in wheelchairs. Stairlifts are also helpful for those who need to go up and down stairs regularly.

10. Trolley Lifts

It may sound funny, but trolley lifts are also one of the different types of lifts available. Trolley lifts can transport large items on trolleys and roller cages. They are often used in a shop setting or anywhere you might need to move large objects around.

Trolleys are usually made out of steel and are very sturdy. Roller cages are generally made out of aluminum and are also quite strong.


There you have it, the different types of lifts and their purposes. Although one kind of elevator may be more expensive than another, they cannot nevertheless perform each other’s tasks. Thanks for reading!

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