Home Lifts: How Platform Lifts Work

Platform lifts are a very simple and safe mechanism with great features and easy ongoing maintenance. We use the platform lift system for our home platform lifts – the Aritco HomeLift Compact, 6000 and HomeLift. The following guide will give you an overview of how our lifts work, but if you want any more information just give our friendly team a call on 01296 397100.


How Platform Lifts Work: The Basics

Platform lifts are contained within a shaft. The shaft has guide rails along 2 corners to keep the ‘carrier’ lined up – the carrier is an L shaped platform attached to a mast. The mast is a threaded bar running vertically up the back of the lift, further explained further below.

Operation inside an open platform lift is by continuous pressure, and outside using a single touch button to call the lift to the floor. When using the lift, the walls remain in the same place as the platform raises or lowers. When you look up from the platform, you can see all the way to the top of the shaft.

Key Platform Lift Features

  • Use less energy than a kettle to run
  • Quiet and efficient
  • Small footprint – not much larger than a wardrobe
  • Contained in shaft – no pump box housing, oil pits or machine room
  • Modular design – no building works or construction


How Platform Lifts Work: Machinery & Technology

The running machinery is very quiet, and tucked away behind the platform. Gartec home lifts run using patented ‘nut & screw’ technology – a simple, strong and energy efficient method. A mast runs vertically up the length of the shaft (behind the control panel side) with a screw-like thread along the entire length. A quiet and reliable motor drive is placed at the base, and the platform (‘carrier’) is attached to the threaded bar using a large nut. The motor drives the screw in different directions along the thread to move the platform up and down – and that’s basically how platform lifts work!

Each time the lift lowers to the ground floor, a wheel adds a little oil to the thread. As the platform is taken up again, the oil lubricates the running gear of the lift without needing a large pit. This means that the more the lift is used, the happier it will be.

All our lifts can run off a single phase power supply (your normal power supply), and is a ‘plug and play’ system – plug it in and it is ready to use.


Passenger Platform Lift Safety Features

  • Auto-diallers & intercoms
  • Safety bar edge (stops when pressure applied so no trapped fingers)
  • Safety locking
  • Emergency lowering
  • Battery backup
  • Fully lit shaft

Gartec lifts all have a battery backup for emergency lowering. In the event of an emergency or power failure, the lift auto-homes to the nearest (or ground) floor, allowing you to exit the lift safely.

On each lift (usually on the top floor) is a small electrical cabinet or box, which holds the controls for the lift. If the lift is not working, our experienced team can either talk you through resetting the lift, or send an engineer out to you.

Platform Lift Speed

How platform lifts work is not the only thing to think about. Platform lifts are governed by the Machinery Directive regulations (not the Lift Directive) which means we are restricted to a speed of 0.15m/s. This may sound slow, but is only around 20 seconds per floor.

Platform Lift Installation Process

Gartec install platform lifts very quickly, with an average installation time of around 3-4 days – for both retrofits and new builds. Once a (free!) site visit and all our checks are complete, all we need are holes in the floors to build through. We then come in and build the shaft ourselves, using a modular structure, adding the machinery and mechanics along the way. We don’t need any scaffolding as we use the platform to move up and down as it is being built, meaning less mess, less people in your home, and lower cost to you.

We only need floor level fixing points, but we can attach the lift shaft to fixing points at each floor instead – for example if you are putting the lift in a spiralling stairwell, we can secure the lift to the stairs. At the lowest floor, the lifts either sit flush to the floor with a small ramp, or sit in a 40mm deep pit, flush with the floor level – whatever you prefer.

Maintenance & Servicing

Gartec home lifts all come with a 24 month warranty, but following this generally our lifts need servicing/maintenance checks around twice a year. We offer a range of packages to suit all budgets and all levels of use – if you use your lift a lot, or are very reliant on the lift, then we may recommend visiting more often, but the choice is always yours.

Platform Lifts for Homes

Installing a platform lift in your home has many benefits, including:

  • Upper floor access to disabled, or those with restricted movement
  • Reduce risks (accidents on the stairs happen every 90 seconds!)
  • Future proof your perfect home so you can live there forever
  • Easier to move between floors with children, pets, suitcases, laundry, shopping, tools…
  • Impress your friends and family!