Hydraulic Passenger Elevator

Hydraulic elevators are powered by a piston attached to an oil-filled hydraulic cylinder called a hydraulic ram. An electric motor exerts pressure on one end of the hydraulic cylinder, causing the piston to smoothly drive the lift cabin.

Typically, hydraulic passenger lifts do not have a cable attached to the top of the lift cabin and do not require extensive machinery above the cabin. Hydraulic passenger lifts are commonly found in buildings that are four or five stories tall, but can reach up to eight stories in height.

There are three types of hydraulic passenger lifts:

  • Holed hydraulic lifts

    This lift uses an underground hydraulic cylinder to push the piston attached to the lift cabin. They are very common in buildings with between two and six floors. They usually have a speed of approximately 1 metre per second.
  • Holeless hydraulic lifts

    Developed in the 1970s, this form of hydraulic lift uses above ground cylinders to push the lift piston. This type of installation is ideal for buildings which have limited space or where lift pit excavation is impossible.
  • Roped hydraulic

    This form of hydraulic passenger lift uses above ground cylinders with a rope system to achieve more travel range for the lift. In many cases the piston travel distance is four or five floors and there lift cable allows the cabin to travel two-three more floors.

Hydraulic passenger lifts are mechanically very simple and ideal for any low-rise building.



  • Low-noise

    The main noise source for hydraulic passenger lifts is the hydraulic pump machinery. This can be located at the bottom of the lift shaft or in an isolated room to reduce that noise. Cable driven systems may have to deal with noisey machinery above and/or below the lift cabin.
  • Space advantages

    A Hydraulic passenger lift has less restrictions on the shape of the cabin compared to other types of lifts. They take up less room than some other types of lifts and the machinery can be placed in a seperate location. This give architects more design freedom when planning a building. It also makes hydraulic passenger lifts ideal for locations with low pit or headroom restrictions and for listed buildings where substantial excavation is impossible.
  • Maintenance and service

    Hydraulic systems are generally very low maintenance and simple to maintain. Lift engineers do not have to worry about pulleys or ropes becoming worn and it is easy to maintain a hydraulic system that is outside of the lift shaft. Hydraulic lifts are very reliable and replacement parts are rarely needed.
  • Safety
    A Hydraulic passenger lift is one of the safest types of passenger lifts. Because there is no counterweight and cable system, maintenance is also less dangerous for lift technicians.
  • Very cost-effective
    Hydraulic elevators are extremely cost-effective in buildings under five floors.
  • Installation Speed

    Because of the simplicity of the design, hydraulic lifts can be installed and tested very quickly.
  • Comfortable and smooth ride

    The hydraulic system driving the lift is very smooth and precise, unlike some cable systems where the lift can sometimes “jerk” if incorrectly setup or poorly maintained.
  • Capable of high payloads

    Because hydraulic systems are very strong and stable, hydraulic passenger lifts can carry substantial loads. That makes them ideal for commercial buildings, warehouses and factories.