Lift maintenance is essential for any building owner, as any lift consultant would be happy to explain. Regular maintenance of lift equipment can help building owners preserve the proper functioning of a lift, keep it running well for longer, and, of course, help a building owner comply with all of their legal obligations.
The good news is, lift maintenance services are not usually expensive, so there’s no need to worry about being faced with large service or inspection bills. Regular lift maintenance can actually save lift owners a lot of money in the long term.
We talked to lift engineer David Pickering, and asked him for some insight into lift repairs and lift maintenance for commercial and residential properties.
Who is David Pickering?
David Pickering is an Associate Director with ILECS. He started his career as an apprentice and has more than two decades of experience in designing, manufacturing, installing and servicing lifts. He spent a lot of his career in Dublin, before eventually moving to the UK to become a consultant.
David has a Master’s Degree in Lift Engineering from the University of Manhattan, and also holds membership to the Chartered Institute of Building Services Engineers. We interviewed David to learn his views on lift reliability and safety.
How Does Lift Maintenance Help to Safeguard Reliability?
David says he likes to use the analogy of a car to help clients understand why lift equipment should be regularly maintained. People usually find it easier to understand this, since they’re familiar with cars already.
A lift has many similarities to a car because they both include:
- A motor;
- An electronic control system;
- A braking system;
- User control features;
Some of those parts suffer from wear and tear and need to be replaced more than once during the lift’s operating life. Some of them are much more hardwearing, and can be expected to last a long time.
In some cases, this depends on the manufacturer. Just as some cars are more reliable than others, some lift manufacturers are more reliable and have a better reputation than others. Consumers (or building owners) have the right to expect a certain level of reliability and efficiency when they use a lift or a car. Everyone wants to be transported safely, quickly, and reliably. It’s only natural for wear and tear to have an impact on a vehicle’s performance or how well a lift moves.
Having a regular maintenance plan will help to keep a lift running smoothly for many years.
Is a Good Maintenance Plan Essential for All Lift Owners?
Yes, at the most basic level, if you want to have a reliable lift then a preventative maintenance plan is an important starting point. Building owners are required to perform a variety of maintenance tasks and have a clear schedule and plan for these so they can satisfy their legal obligations. If a property has members of the public coming into it regularly (whether tenants, customers or employees) they must make sure the building is managed in accordance with guidelines such as:
- The Health and Safety at Work Act;
- The Provision and Use of Work Equipment regulations;
- The Lift Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations.
Any property owner who is proactive about complying with all of those regulations should find they end up with a lift that is in a good condition and fully operational at all times.
How Much Does it Cost to Get a Maintenance Plan for My Lift?
The cost of maintenance plans will depend on the scope of the plan and who provides it, as well as the type of lift. When quoting for a plan, a service company will consider several factors, including:
- How much traffic the lift gets;
- The age of the lift;
- The make/model of the equipment;
- Whether the lift is transporting passengers or heavy goods.
A high-quality lift that is used to transport office workers on an occasional basis would require less intensive maintenance than an older, budget lift that is used to transport heavy pallets.
If you’re considering installing a new lift, bear in mind that well-installed and engineered lifts are more durable, and are less likely to need extensive maintenance to keep them working well.