What Are The Different Types Of Elevators?

We see them in the morning when we’re leaving our apartments and condos, or in the afternoons when we come home. We see them in offices, subway stations, or shopping malls. Elevators are now simply a given in our daily lives.

Modern buildings simply must have elevators nowadays. Not only are elevators a necessity for accessibility and convenience, but they also play a key role in traffic management and boost a building’s value and reputation. With this in mind, when designing your building, or upgrading your elevators, how do you decide on the best elevator systems for your building?

This guide walks you through the three common types of elevators we find in buildings today, so you can understand what works best for your situation, whether it’s for a new construction or an upgrade to your existing systems.

Hydraulic Elevators


Hydraulic elevators are powered by a piston that moves inside a cylinder, caused by the cylinder filling with oil. An electric pump in the tank in the machine room pumps oil into the cylinder. Hydraulic elevators can handle heavier loads, so they are a great option when looking for freight or car lift elevators.

Features of AVT’s Hydraulic Elevators

Traction Elevators

Traction elevators are raised and lowered by using a system of steel ropes or belts on a pulley system. Traction elevators can be geared, with a gearbox attached to the motor to initiate the sheave spin, but can also be gearless with the sheave directly attached to the motor. 

A counterweight is used to offset the weight of the elevator cab and passengers in traction elevators. Due to this, the motor doesn’t have to work as hard as it is a counter-balanced system, making it more energy-efficient. They also boast higher speeds than their hydraulic counterparts. Traction elevators can be found in skyscrapers or other high-rise structures, as well as low-mid rise buildings.

Features of AVT’s Gearless Traction Elevators

Machine Roomless (MRL) Elevators

The “machine roomless” or MRL elevator is exactly what the name promises. It is an elevator that doesn’t require a separate room for machinery above the elevator shaft, saving that extra space. Nearly all MRL elevators are gearless traction elevators, using a permanent magnet motor. MRL elevators are fast to install, space-efficient, and energy-efficient. They provide more flexibility to the architects as well, since eliminating the need for a machine room leaves more space for creativity.

Features of AVT’s MRL Elevators

leading elevator manufacturer

Choosing the perfect elevator system requires expert understanding of the building structure and intended elevator usage. Accessing needs and discussing your options with elevator experts are the first steps to finding out which systems will work best for you. 

If you need an elevator solution for your building, AVT Beckett has expertise and quality you can depend on. As a leading elevator manufacturer and supplier, AVT Beckett can find the right elevator for your unique scenario.