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This widely used term can include a vast range of machines that lift or hoist people and objects. Individuals may want a domestic passenger lift that in fact is a stairlift. Amusement parks use scissor lifts to lift passengers onto or off-of their rides: Yet these very different machines come under the loose definition of “passenger lift” for the simple reason that they lift passengers.
Commercial lifts, those used in public buildings to transport passengers between floors, are what the industry thinks of when it hears the term passenger lift. The most common type of commercial passenger lift was hydraulically activated, a hydraulic cylinder raising the lift car via a system of belts and pulleys. It would typically be capable of transporting eight passengers, and have four or five stops or landings. The hydraulic passenger lift has now been superseded by solid state electronically controlled machines. These have fewer moving parts and no hydraulics which reduces maintenance.
Stairlifts are special machines that are intended for domestic applications. They run up the staircase being attached to its structure. These single person machines are supplied and maintained by specialist stairlift manufacturers.
These devices get their name from the scissors that lift their working platforms. They are different in that they are generally mounted in pits and require no supporting mechanism above the platform. Hydraulic cylinders force the scissor arms together lifting the platform. They can handle very heavy loads and are widely used as car lifts. Small scissor lifts are the most widely used lifting equipment device in industry and commerce. They are ideal work positioners and working platforms.