The RAM Team gets a significant number of questions on a regular basis. We
have tried to take some of those that we get more often and provide you some
information below. If you donât find what you are looking
for here you can also find more in depth information in our
1. What is the difference between and elevator and a lift?
The main difference between an elevator and a lift is that an elevator can
operate with automatic one touch controls where a lift must be constant pressure
operation requiring the user to maintain pressure on the floor selection
button to keep the lift moving.
2. What design or safety codes apply to these types of
Depending on the application the Trus-T-Lift can be configured to meet ADA,
ASME A18.1, CSA B613, CSA B355, ASME A17.1 section XX and XXI. The RAM Crystal
product can also be configured to meet the above codes and in addition can
be configured to meet ASME A17.1/CSA B44 Part V, which includes LULA (Limited
Use\Limited Application) elevators for commercial buildings under 25ft travel
and Private Residence elevators up to 50ft of travel. For guidance on how
to proceed in determining your local needs please see
3. What should I be looking for when considering which type of elevating
product (Lift or Elevator) to use?
A lift typically meets a specific need to provide wheelchair access in a
home or commercial building where an elevator is often installed as a feature
in multi-story homes adding the convenience of moving people and freight
in a safe manner. An elevator will offer faster speeds (up to 50FPM), taller
lifting heights (50ft Travel), and higher lifting capacities (up to 1400lbs).
Elevators also can be customized to fit in a range of available spaces and
offer a wide range of car finishes. The added features of an elevator can
certainly bring a good architectural finish to a home but there is a cost
for this. If you are looking for the mobility and a smaller price tag our
lifts can be enclosed in a shaft as well.
4. What should I be looking for when considering what brand of elevating
product to use?
When looking at lifts, it is important to consider the ease of which a lift
can be installed in your home or building. Lifts requiring minimal modification
can be relocated easier at a later date should the owner no longer require
the lift or would like to take it with them when they move. An elevator is
typically installed for the life of a building and consideration should be
given to operational/maintenance costs and environmental factors, such as
machine noise and unpleasant fumes/smell coming from the elevator lifting
mechanism. Many elevators also occupy additional costly floor space in your
home or building to locate the driving machines. When adding an elevator
to an existing building pit depth and overhead clearance in the shaft can
add major costs to the site preparation.
5. How can I obtain a RAM Lift or Elevator?
RAM works with a multi-channel distribution network that services almost
all of Canada and USA. In cases where you need some assistance with an
installation a local dealer is really the best option. In the case where
we donât have dealer near by you can also purchase directly
from us (the manufacturer) and we can help you determine if you are up to
installing the lift yourself or if you need a local contractor to assist
you. Contact us today if you need some help finding a dealer or
need a quote.
6. Where can I get more information on RAM products?
Our webpage is an excellent source of information but if it all seems a little
over whelming please donât hesitate
to contact us so one
of our customer service representatives can work with you.
7. What is the difference between a commercial lift and a home or
A commercial lift typically requires a number of additional features to meet
public or commercial building codes. Although a particular inspector or local
authority may require more the typical additions for a commercial lift are:
Upper landing gate, carriage gate with lock, solid platform with safety plate,
control wall extension, solid hand rail, 18â³ toe plate
ramp, emergency alarm with light, and a lower keyed remote call station.
For lifts with travel heights exceeding 60â³(US)
96â³(CDN) commercial lifts must be installed in a fully
enclosed shaft with full height door at the lower landing.
8. What is a LULA elevator?
A LULA (Limited Use/Limited Application) elevator is a special type of elevator
that operates and looks like a commercial passenger elevator but is limited
to a travel height of 25ft, a max weight capacity of 1400lb, and a maximum
speed of 30 ft/min. The other major difference is that a LULA, if it meets
your needs, can cost less than 50% of a standard commercial elevator.
9. What are âsoft touchâ
âSoft Touchâ Controls are a patented
design by RAM to allow people with limited mobility to more easily interact
with one of our Trus-T-Lift products when trying to move it up or down. In
essence, it requires very little strength to start the platform and this
can be very important in cases where someone has limited use of their hands.
10. What is a âzero loadâ start
on a lift and what is it for?
A âzero loadâ start is one where the
motor and drive system have an opportunity to start spinning before any
engagement of the platform or âloadâ
that a person rides on. This is very important when trying to ensure long
reliable life from the drive systems and the electric motor. RAM has a patented
method accomplishing this task and it also ensures that lift that are installed
in cold weather are reliable and ready for use down to -35C.
11. What does the weight rating mean in the RAM product?
The weight rating of a RAM product means that you can have a total weight
of people and equipment in addition to any of the options you outfit on your
lift. So, if a rating says 750lb on the equipment then no matter whether
you have a solid platform with safety pan or just an expanded metal platform
the lift will still raise 750lb. That being said the design functions best
when you load the lift from the center as opposed to offset (for instance
your elderly 110lb person near one edge and a 400lb person at the
other is not recommended)
12. How many Trus-T-Lift units does RAM have installed to
RAM has been manufacturing lifts for over 25 years and has thousands of lifts
in services all over North America. The total just keeps getting bigger every
13. Why does the size of platform matter on a lift and how big a
platform does RAM offer?
Platform size is important as it will allow you and your wheelchair or an
attendant if necessary to ride the lift comfortably. RAM offers a wide range
of platform sizes with a standard size of 34â³ x
54â³ for the Trus-T-Lift. Please contact our office for
information on our full platform size range.
14. Why does RAM offer an expanded metal platform rather than a solid
platform and where can that be used?
The expanded metal platform is a practical and sensible alternative to protecting
the area underneath the platform and is code compliant for residential use
in some North American jurisdictions. Essentially the expanded metal platform
gives the user full visibility of the area underneath the platform allowing
them to stop the carriage should they notice an object in the travel path.
It is comparable to driving a power wheelchair or scooter where the driver
must be aware of persons and or objects in their travel path.
15. Where can I use the RAM Trus-T-Lift product?
The RAM Trus-T-Lift product can be used in many applications such as home
porch lifts, schools, churches, community centers, commercial buildings,
both inside and outside, for flood location applications where your house
or building is on stilts, in extreme climates such as the Canadian North
and Coastal Areas of the USA.
16. Does RAM offer a battery back-up system?
Yes, RAM has a very advanced power back-up system called the
âTower of Powerâ. This is one of the
most robust power back-up systems on the market and weâd
love to tell you all about itâ¦.just
17. What are the benefits of RAMâs battery back
up system over others?
RAMâs Tower of Power provides full operation of your lift
(30 to 40 full load cycles) during a power failure for longer than then any
other lift on the market. It is also the most reliable system as it will
automatically switch over to building power when the batteries
âdieâ. This means you never get
âstrandedâ on your lift or elevator and
you get an immediate indication as soon as your batteries become a problem.
18. What happens if there is something or someone in the way as the
platform is lowering on a Trus-T-Lift?
The Trus-T-Lift is equipped with safety systems to avoid causing damage to
the system or something beneath the platform for exactly this concern. The
platform will come to a stop safely before any damage occurs.
19. How noisy are these lifts?
The Trus-T-Lift is one of the quietest lifts on the market today. This is
accomplished through having a drive system that is very simple as opposed
to hydraulic or friction V-belt drives that can stretch causing slippage
and belt squeal.
20. Can the Trus-T-Lift be used in coastal environments that we prone
Yes, this is one of the areas Trus-T-Lift excels due in large part to the
location of the drive mechanism being at the top of the unit so that as long
as the power connection is made at the top then there is no reason why the
unit will not be functional even after a flood. We do, however, recommend
that in coastal areas you service the lift at least once a year to ensure
long life and reliable serviceâ¦.blowing sand and fine dust
build up can cause pre-mature wear if not cleaned off the drive system.
21. What happens if the power stops while I am using the
Every Lift that RAM produces is made with a manual override system that can
be used to raise or lower the platform in the event that you have no power
available. Even better than that you can also purchase a
âTower of Powerâ back up system and then
you never have to worry about that.
22. What do inspectors do when it comes to a commercial lift
Many jurisdictions require that you be a licensed contractor to install lifts
in commercial buildings. We recommend you contact your local elevator authority
to confirm the enforced codes and any additional requirements they may have
before proceeding with a commercial lift installation.
23. Do I need an inspector to approve/inspect my lift or elevator
for a home or residential application?
Most jurisdictions in North America do not require home elevators or lifts
to be inspected. However there are a handful that do inspect residential
installations and we recommend that you contact your local building
permit/ inspection authority to confirm what your local requirements
are. RAM can, however, make any lift you need for your application.
24. How often do I need to have my home elevator maintained and/
Depending on the frequency of use we recommend the Trus-T-Lift be maintained
and inspected annually. Ask us about having a dealer work with you on a service
plan so you know your lift will always be there when you need it.
25. How big or how much travel can I have on a portable
Portable lifts are limited to 52â³ travel height.
26. What are the standard travel sizes for a Trus-T-Lift?
Trus-T-Lift comes in standard travel sizes of 28â³,
52â³, 72â³, 96â³,
120â³, 144â³ and 168â³.
27. How should I plan to mount my RAM âTower of
Powerâ battery back up system to avoid damage?
RAM recommends that our Tower of Power battery back up system be mounted
off the ground, in a ventilated area, not in direct sunlight and not in extreme
cold. Best location is in a garage or basement. In flood zones the unit should
be above the anticipated flood line.
28. Can the RAM Crystal product be used as either a
âLiftâ or an
Yes, in some cases the Crystal product (that looks like an elevator) can
also be used in some commercial applications where installing a lift is easier
and more cost effective, from both an initial equipment cost and a maintenance
cost perspective, than a commercial passenger elevator. At the same time
the Crystal is RAMâs residential elevator product.
29. Why is the Crystal product so good for building retrofits?
The Crystal is great for building retrofits because it can be installed into
a simple wood frame shaft with no pit, no machine room and just
96â³ overhead clearance at the top landing. The Crystal
guide rails are uniquely designed as a rigid frame allowing it to be mounted
directly to 2 x 6 wood construction with no back plates. This means easier
installation and less demolition in any existing structures.
30. Why does the Crystal product need so little maintenance?
The Crystal product is based on a counter-weighted sheave design that has
a âU-grooveâ pulley system. This U-groove
means that the pulleys donât wear like other pulley systems,
hydraulics, or geared chain drives. It also means that the cables
donât wear out and this is inherently safer with lower
maintenance costs. Also the guiding of the Crystal is achieved utilizing
high wear polyurethane roller system that has lubricant imbedded into the
material. This results in a clean dry guide rail system with a high roller
31. What are the impacts of a smaller than standard
âcabâ on a Crystal product?
Frequently RAM is asked to do smaller
âcarriageâ sizes on the Crystal product.
RAM does custom sizes regularly but when a cab gets smaller the controls
can no longer be on board and this can led to increased costs and complexity.
This is not a RAM design or policy but simply a code related requirement.
In addition, RAM has found that in most cases a
âcabâ with interior dimensions less than
36â³ by 36â³ the product can feel very
cramped and may not be as visually appealing.
32. How can I get service and installation support for RAM
Depending on your location, RAM has an extensive dealer network that can
supply installation, maintenance and repair services. If you contact one
of our customer service representatives we will be happy to assist you with
figuring out whether there is a dealer in your area. In the case where there
may not be a local dealer RAM has excellent technical support that can walk
an electrical or mechanical contractor through troubleshooting and repair.
33. What is the difference between a commercial elevator and residential
Commercial elevators are installed in public buildings and have to follow
specific commercial codes. Residential elevators are installed in private
residences and follow a specific residential elevator code.
34. What is the difference between a traction sheave drive and a
Traction sheave is a quiet and energy efficient drive that is utilizes a
completely sealed gear box drive. The traction unit is located at inside
the shaft and does not require any additional space in the building. Hydraulic
elevators use a tall piston that weeps a small amount of oil each time the
carriage is lowered. Over time the weeping hydraulic oil will cover the outside
of the cylinder causing hydraulic oil fumes to permeate throughout your home
as air will always flow through the elevator shaft due to natural pressure
differences between floors in every building. Hydraulic units require a space
in your home to locate the pumping unit, which can be costly when considering
the construction cost/SQFT.
35. What is the difference between a traction sheave drive and a
geared chain drive?
Traction sheave drive utilizes wire rope that wraps around a grooved cast
iron sheave and has a counterweight that is heavier than the empty carriage
weight. When the carriage is loaded with approximately 1/2 the rated load
the car and counterweight are balanced and can move the car with very little
energy. A geared chain drive is consists of a chain that wraps around a sprocket
and is attached to a small weight that maintains tension on the chain and
is not a true counter-balance. Traction sheave cables have a very long smooth
and quiet service life. The chains of a geared chain drive dry out similar
to the chain of a bicycle and require regular lubrication to keep them quiet.
36. At what travel height should a Commercial Trus-T-Lift be enclosed
in a shaft?
Over 60â³ in the US and over 96â³ in Canada
or if the lift penetrates a floor or if the lift serves more than two landings.
37. At what travel height should a Residential Trus-T-Lift be enclosed
in a shaft?
If the lift penetrates a floor or if the lift serves more than two landings.
38. Does RAM offer financing options?
Not at this time. If you find that the initial cost for your needs is too
high then there are lending agencies and some grants or charities that may
be available in your area. RAM is not familiar with what my be available
in your area but local charities or government offices may be able to help
point you to the appropriate channel.
39. How quickly can I get a Trus-T-LIft?
Depending on the specific product you need RAM frequently ships Trus-T-Lift
products in as little as 2 days after you place your order. Shipping times
vary depending on location and the loading of our shop but in the
majority of North America it is less than 10 days during regular volume periods.
If we get a little busy weâll do our best to meet your
40. How quickly can I get a Crystal Elevator or Lift?
A Crystal lift or elevator takes between 4 â 8 weeks to
manufacture but in some cases RAM can expedite should you need it faster.
There may be a charge for faster deliveries depending on factory loading
at the time of your request.