Which Construction Elevator is Right for My Project?

Posted on April 18, 2022 in Scaffolding

Construction elevators help get workers and materials safely to upper-level floors. However, not all elevators are created equal. Some are made to only move people, others only materials and still others are ideal for moving people and materials together. 

Scaffolding Hoist in Richmond, VirginiaYou can start the hoist selection process for your project by asking yourself a few questions.

  • Do I need to move people or just materials—or both?
  • Are there any potential access issues at the job site?
  • What capacity do I need?
  • How many floors will the elevator service?
  • How many people do you need to transport daily?
  • What’s the maximum weight the elevator will move?

Once you have a better understanding of your needs, you’ll be able to make a more informed decision—and potentially save money. 

Read on to learn more about the different types of construction elevators and which is right for your project. 

Alimak TPM 1300

The TPM 1300 is the lowest capacity transport platform. Depending on your selected option, it can move both men and materials and lift loads from 2,866lb to 5,000lb. It comes with the following features:

  • The elevator car size is 5’ x 13’, which allows you to get 10’ drywall into the car. 
  • Well-suited for buildings under 100ft. (about a 10-story building)
  • 39 feet per minute if moving people
  • 79 feet per minute if moving materials
  • Well-suited for anchoring to wooden structures

Material-moving elevators are governed under ANSI Code A92, which means there are no requirements for a concrete foundation or state inspections. You also won’t need a dedicated elevator operator as you would when moving workers. Since the anchor load is less on a material-moving elevator, it doesn’t require a concrete pad.

The TPM 1300 can also be set up for material-only with a call box on the base. We can pre-program the hoist to stop at different floors, thereby eliminating the requirement for an operator. This can save you $15k to $20k over six months in salary, workers comp, etc.

Scando 650

The Scando 650 has an identical deck size to the TPM. However, it’s considered a “buck hoist” and ideal for over 100’ (10+ story building) applications. It features a 7,100lb capacity and runs at 177 ft. per minute. 

You will need a concrete pad (foundation) and a full-time trained operator to run this house (Scaffolding Solutions will train). ANSI A10.4 governs the Scando 650, and that means there are more code requirements you’ll need to meet versus the TPM 1300. 

Dual Scando 650

The Dual Scando 650 has two 5’ x 15’ cars that run at the same speed as a singular Scando. Capacity is slightly lower at 7,050lbs. The dual-car design eliminates the need for workers and materials to wait for a ride, as you can use one car for people and the other for materials.

HEK Scando 650

The HEK Scando 650 runs at 300ft/minute for 500’ and above heights. The car is always perpendicular to the building— this is ideal in a space-limited environment as you can enter the cab from the C door of the long side of the car. 

In situations where access is minimal, such as downtown environments, we can configure the HEK Scando 650 to work another way. For example, Clancy & Theys Construction Company hired Scaffolding Solutions to set up a Scando 650 on one of their construction sites.

The building itself was originally built out to the street easement, and the Fire Department required the street to remain open. Instead of setting up the Scando 650 perpendicular to the structure, we set it parallel to the building to allow street access. 

Cost Savings & Other Considerations

Installation costs the same for all three options. However, there’s a 15% to 20% savings using a TPM as a “material only” lift. The particular brand of the elevator can also affect the cost.

For example, the Alimak Scando 650 is considered the Mercedes of elevators. That’s not to infer that other lifts are inferior or unsafe, but rather that large construction sites tend to favor the Alimak brand.

Elevator uptime is also another essential consideration. Alimak has a huge onsite tech team that includes highly trained technicians coupled with trucks and the necessary equipment to get the elevator back up running quickly. They also have workers within close driving distance of your job site.

“When it comes to choosing the right construction elevator or buck hoist for your project, it always goes back to being able to have confidence in your men and your equipment. We have confidence that our equipment is going to be reliable and provide uptime. And if there is something going on, we’ll have trained personnel on-site in order to diagnose, fix, repair, and get them back up and running as quickly as possible.”

~ Brian Lish,
Carolina Business Development Manager for Scaffolding Solutions

Scaffolding Solutions Construction Elevators

It’s essential to carefully consider your needs before deciding which elevator is right for your job site. At Scaffolding Solutions, our highly trained and experienced team members can help advise on the best construction elevator option that will add the most value to your job.

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