Traction lifts

Traction lifts, also known as cable lifts or rope lifts, are another common type of lift that differ from hydraulic lifts in their mechanism and functionality. Here’s a breakdown:

Traction lifts

How they work:

  • Core principle: Unlike hydraulic lifts, traction lifts use the friction between steel ropes or belts and a grooved pulley (sheave) to raise and lower the lift car.
  • Components: The main components include a motor, sheave, ropes/belts, counterweight, and control system.
  • Operation: The motor turns the sheave, creating friction with the ropes/belts. This friction pulls the ropes, lifting the car and simultaneously lowering the counterweight. The counterweight helps balance the weight of the car and passengers, reducing energy consumption.

Types of traction lifts:

  • Geared traction lifts: These have a gearbox between the motor and the sheave, offering slower speeds but higher load capacity.
  • Gearless traction lifts: These don’t have a gearbox, resulting in higher speeds and smoother operation but lower load capacity.


  • High-rise buildings: Due to their ability to travel long distances efficiently, traction lifts are the preferred choice for tall buildings.
  • Mid-rise buildings: They offer a good balance of speed and energy efficiency for buildings of moderate height.
  • Commercial and residential buildings: Widely used in office buildings, hotels, apartments, and other structures.


  • Higher lifting heights: Can reach significantly higher levels than hydraulic lifts, making them ideal for tall buildings.
  • Faster speeds: Offer faster travel times compared to hydraulic lifts.
  • Energy efficient: Counterweight system helps reduce energy consumption.
  • Smooth operation: Gearless traction lifts provide a smoother and quieter ride.
  • Versatile: Available in various configurations and speeds to suit different needs.


  • More complex and expensive: Installation and maintenance costs are generally higher than for hydraulic lifts.
  • Larger space requirements: May require a dedicated machine room for housing the motor and other components.
  • Not suitable for low-rise buildings: May be overkill for buildings with only a few floors.

I hope this explanation clarifies the distinction between hydraulic and traction lifts and their respective characteristics. Feel free to ask if you have any further questions!