Last edited 17 Dec 2020

Main author

Nathan Massey Website

Different types of service lifts and their uses

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There are many different types of service lifts, all designed to offer simple, quick and efficient solutions where lifting problems may occur. Service lifts and dumbwaiter lifts are designed for a variety of professional environments, but they are not intended for human use.

This results in service lifts being exempt from many regulations which apply to other lift types. They are also highly flexible, as they tend to occupy less space than other lifts.

Service lifts can offer improvements in productivity, adapting to businesses needs whilst following building regulations.

Dumb waiter lifts

Dumb waiter lifts, also known as micro-lifts, food lifts or kitchen lifts, are used for transporting food or drink between floors. They are most commonly found within restaurants, bars, pubs, or within the homes of individuals with limited mobility. They are sometimes also installed in retail, office and medical environments.

They were first invented in the 19th century, with the original meaning of the phrase indicating a device more akin to a serving tray. Dumb waiter lifts can be adjusted to suit premises which are restricted in terms of headroom and have problematic maintenance access and limited space.

Dumbwaiter lifts can carry an average of 50-100 kg, and can move at 0.35 m/sec to serve up to six separate floors.

Dumb waiter lifts can improve business efficiency by transporting meals, materials, or other objects in less time than would be possible by foot. Additionally, they can reduce the strain on a person’s body or the risk of injury from carrying objects.

Trolley lifts

Trolley lifts are useful in circumstances where larger and heavier loads need to be transported, and can handle loads up to 300 kg. Used in settings such as retail, hotel or commercial premises to transport trolleys and crates, they can serve the same number of floors as dumb waiters, generally up to six floors, but they are slightly slower, with an average speed of 0.17 m/sec.

Operating inside a structure-supported frame, a trolley lift is easy to install and causes little disruption to business, and, with no motor room or ‘load-bearing’ shaft required, they are also cheaper.

Continuing technological innovations result in a typically lower cost, and their quick installation causes minimal disruption.

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--Nathan Massey 14:22, 16 Oct 2017 (BST)

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