There are two main elevator systems that property owners can invest in and they are known as traction and hydraulic. Interestingly, they are both incredibly different and are comprised of contrasting components that work in unique ways. Here at Elevators Ltd, we want our readers to understand the differences that separate our two most popular elevator designs, which is why we’ve decided to go through some of the components that can be found in a hydraulic lift. Read on to find out more…


The pump of a hydraulic elevator is powered by an electric motor and forces the hydraulic fluid that is stored in a tank to travel in a pipe. This pipe leads to a cylinder and the pressurised fluid will take the path of least resistance when the valve is opened in order to make its way back into the tank. On the other hand, when there is nowhere for it to go because the valve is closed, the fluid collects in the cylinder, pushing the pistons up and moving an elevator cab.

Hydraulic Fluid

Many property owners are unaware that there are actually two different types of hydraulic fluids that can be implemented inside a lift and they are known as standard petroleum based and biodegradable products. Many elevator companies recommend a biodegradable option because it is much more environmentally friendly. Hydraulic fluid is compressed and forced into a specific part of an elevator system, known as the cylinder, in order to force a cab to rise or descend and this differs from traction lifts because they use a counterweight instead.


Since hydraulic elevators do not use a counterweight, they rely on a set of pistons that ‘push’ a cab up when the cylinder is filled with pressurised hydraulic fluid. This piston is typically attached on top of the cylinder in order to create a smooth journey for the passenger and the cab will descend when the hydraulic fluid returns back to the tank in preparation for another cycle.

Here at Elevators Ltd, we think that it is important to ensure that every property owner considering an elevator investment is aware of the differences that separate hydraulic lifts from traction lifts. After all, they make other duties, such as maintenance, very different too. As the best lift company on the market, we are committed to educating and informing our clients. To find out more, get in contact with a member of the Elevators Ltd team today!