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 don’t find what you are looking for here you can also find more in depth information in our Learning Center.

 

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 products?
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 this link.
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 don’t 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 don’t 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 residential lift?
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, 18″ toe plate ramp, emergency alarm with light, and a lower keyed remote call station. For lifts with travel heights exceeding 60″(US) 96″(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.
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“Soft Touch” 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.
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A “zero load” start is one where the motor and drive system have an opportunity to start spinning before any engagement of the platform or “load” 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. You can also see how this works in the video that shows the Trus-T-Lift drive system
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 date?
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 year.
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 34″ x 54″ 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 “Tower of Power”. This is one of the most robust power back-up systems on the market and we’d love to tell you all about it….just contact us.
17. What are the benefits of RAM's battery back up system over others?
RAM’s 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 “die”. This means you never get “stranded” 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 to flooding?
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 service….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 Trus-T-Lift
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 “Tower of Power” back up system and then you never have to worry about that.
22. What do inspectors do when it comes to a commercial lift application?
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/ or inspected?
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 Trus-T-Lift?
Portable lifts are limited to 52″ travel height.
26. What are the standard travel sizes for a Trus-T-Lift?
Trus-T-Lift comes in standard travel sizes of 28″, 52″, 72″, 96″, 120″, 144″ and 168″.
27. How should I plan to mount my RAM Tower of Power 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 Lift or an Elevator?
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 RAM’s 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 96″ 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 “U-groove” pulley system. This U-groove means that the pulleys don’t wear like other pulley systems, hydraulics, or geared chain drives. It also means that the cables don’t 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 service life.
31. What are the impacts of a smaller than standard carriage or cab on a Crystal product?
Frequently RAM is asked to do smaller “cab” or “carriage” 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 “cab” with interior dimensions less than 36″ by 36″ the product can feel very cramped and may not be as visually appealing.
32. How can I get service and installation support for RAM products?
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 elevator?
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 hydraulic drive?
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 60″ in the US and over 96″ 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 we’ll do our best to meet your needs!
40. How quickly can I get a Crystal Elevator or Lift?
A Crystal lift or elevator takes between 4 – 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.
41. Can I get custom colors on my Trus-T-Lift?

Yes, RAM is able to provide customer colors for our Vertical Platform Lifts. Numerous colors at the following link are readily available but there is an additional charge for handling the special coating. If you would like a quote please get in touch with our sales group. http://www.spectrumpowder.com/products.html