The traction lift is considered one of the oldest designs of the elevator industry as it has been in use since the early 20th century. After all, the rope and pulley system that it uses is reliable, and the implementation of a counterweight ensures that energy is used as efficiently as possible. Here at Elevators Ltd, we want our readers to understand the differences between a geared and gear-less traction operating system. Read on to find out more information…


A geared traction system has a gearbox that can be found attached to the electric motor and turns the hoist sheave in order to control the rope and pulley system. As a result, they are driven by direct current (DC) or alternating current (AC) which allows them to reach a maximum speed of just 500 ft per minute. On the other hand, gearless traction systems are fitted with a wheel that is attached directly to the motor and this gives them a significantly faster speed output of 2000 ft per minute.


Although a gearless elevator system cannot travel very quickly, they offer incredible energy efficiency because less power is required in order to turn the sheave and allow the cab to move to a designated floor. This differs from a gearless system which relies heavily on the counterweight in order to turn the sheave, move the cab and balance the elevator load. Whilst both systems are said to be energy efficient in their own way, gearless systems are thought to be more cost-effective to run because the motor only bears half the weight of the cab load thanks to the counterweight.


With a maximum weight capacity of 13,600kg, a geared elevator has an impressive ability to carry heavy loads over the distance of several floors. After all, their slow speed is the perfect ingredient to provide passengers and cargo with a smooth and controlled journey. Contrastingly, a gearless system is designed with high-rise buildings in mind which means that they tend to have a lower weight capacity in order to compensate for the distance and speed at which they can travel.

Here at Elevators Ltd, we believe that a basic understanding of the elevator industry is important for clients as it allows them to make an unbiased and sensible decision. After all, a geared lift operates incredibly differently from a gearless lift. To find out more information about our range of traction elevators, get in contact with the best lift company on the market and speak to member of the Elevators Ltd team today!