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Why Are Hydraulic Lifts Preferred Over Traction Lifts?

September 9, 2017 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Google+ News


Hydraulic lifts have been extensively used in the industrial sector for over half a century. These kinds of lifting mechanisms have also employed in commercial buildings and amusement parks. On the other hand, traction lifts are also being used for different kinds of applications, but are not as common as hydraulic lifts.

In this blog, we explain why hydraulic lifts are preferred, in general, over traction lifts.

Hydraulic lifts come with electric pumps that pressurize a hydraulic fluid (like oil) to lift a movable platform. On the other hand, traction lifts are mechanical systems that employ steel ropes and a pulley system to raise or lower a platform. The ropes are usually connected to a powerful motor that runs on electricity.

Why are hydraulic lifts better than traction lifts?

Although both lifts perform the same function, hydraulic lifts have a few attractive features that give them an edge over traction lifts.

Here are some of the reasons why hydraulic lifts are preferred over traction lifts:

  • Lower cost

The cost of installing and maintaining hydraulic lifts is much lower than that for traction lifts. If maintained properly, these lifts can provide decades of reliable service without requiring much maintenance work.

Modern hydraulic lifts are also as energy efficient as traction lifts and can help keep your energy bill in check.


  • Lesser space

Hydraulic lifts are more compact than traction lifts. On average, a standard hydraulic takes up 10% lesser space than traction lifts. This makes it very convenient to transport mobile hydraulic lifts to various construction sites.

  • Higher load capacity

Hydraulic lifts have a greater lifting capacity than traction lifts. They are heavy duty lifts that are ideal for the tough working conditions of the industrial sector. This is the reason why traction lifts are not as commonly found in the manufacturing and construction industries as hydraulic lifts.

Do hydraulic lifts have any disadvantages?

Yes, they do! Most hydraulic lifts are slower than traction lifts. These lifts cannot move platforms at rates greater than 150 feet per minute and are used in applications that do not require items to be raised or lowered at high speeds.

For this reason, traction lifts are more common in modern skyscrapers and towers. However, this is a minor disadvantage considering all the attractive benefits that hydraulic lifts provide.

Industrial Man Lifts is a leading provider of industrial mobile work platforms, industrial cranes, and aircraft maintenance stands.

For more information about the products we provide, call us at our toll-free number (888) 730-8377. You can also reach us via email at