When you think of an elevator, you will usually picture one simple thing: a device that takes you to the floor you want to get to. You will picture them in your office, a block of flats or the mall. All of these devices have one thing in common (several if you consider the fact that they all broke down, or the fact that they have all been featured in Hollywood blockbusters). What they share is that they have all been designed for the same thing: transporting items from one point to the other. However, that doesn’t actually mean that they are all the same. Elevator companies can install a huge variety of elevators and it is important that you understand the three main categories, being freight, home and personnel.
These are used in industrial settings. They move heavy things like bulldozers, vehicles and other things to the right floor, generally on a construction site. They usually have steel reinforcements to enable them to carry as much as four tons. They also have very unique paneling, installed one panel at a time. This saves both time and money, because it enables the user to change individual panels if and when they get broken, instead of having to replace the whole thing.
Home elevators are surprisingly common. In years gone by, they would be used by the servants in a home to bring food and washing up and down the different floors of a property. Today, they tend to be installed in the homes of disabled people. The largest elevators hold a wheelchair and are strong enough to carry up to 900 pounds. Smaller options include the stair lift, which comes in a range of different models and options. Home elevators are now vital tools to secure the independence of people who would otherwise have to move.
Finally, there are the personnel elevators. These can carry up to 1,000 pounds in weight, although most only carry around 300. They are installed in places of work, often in such a way that only few people can access them. Other times, they are installed in larger public areas, such as malls, which is where it is also more common to have larger capacity ones. The original personnel elevators, however, most resemble a small box and they are still found to this day in work areas such as bridge towers, dams and power plants.
As you can see, there is actually quite a lot of variety in elevators. While they all share a common purpose and while they all pretty much look the same in terms of their mechanics, they are actually very different. They are also very different in their look. You may have seen large glass elevators shooting up along the side of modern buildings, for instance, which are completely different from the models you would see in an old Victorian property, which is generally nothing more than a wooden box that may even need manual operation.