Wondering how a platform lift works and if you could benefit from one? Let Level Access Lifts help.

Platform lifts are also known as ‘access lifts’ ‘wheelchair lifts’ and ‘disability lifts’, and are used to provide access for those with disabilities or limited mobility, making it safer and more convenient to reach different levels.

Our access lifts are usually installed in low-rise premises where there are building restrictions in place – but we provide a wide range of lifts designed to suit the layout and size of any building.

We supply open or enclosed vertical lifts, inclined platforms, wheelchair lifts and step lifts – all of which allow users to transfer safely. But how do they work?


Each lift can be operated from the inside by applying continuous pressure, providing wheelchair users with a sense of independence, or from the outside by the simple push of a button.

  • Encapsulated chain drive systems

Some access lifts use a chain drive system to ensure reliability. The chain is a key part of the lift and is encased in durable polyurethane plastic to prevent slipping.

The driveshaft is turned by a motor and gearbox and when this rotates, the chains are either pushed or pulled – lifting or lowering the unit.

One of the benefits of the system is that they are more durable for increased traffic and can be used to take heavier loads.

  • Hydraulic drive systems

Disability lifts come in all shapes and sizes and sometimes they are driven by hydraulics. With this system, the lift is attached to a hydraulic ram and hydraulic fluid is pushed through it via a pump from the central reservoir when the user pushes the button.

In the event of a power-cut, lifts with hydraulic systems can be lowered by opening the valve at the pump end manually. Their narrow structure is another benefit – making them ideal for tight environments.

  • Screw and nut drive systems

For lifts that operate using screw and nut technology, a steel screw pole runs the full length of the shaft. An electric motor on the platform drives the nut attached to the screw – via a belt – allowing the lift to ascend or descend.

A distinct advantage of disability lifts which use this system is that they don’t need extra space as the motor is contained in the footprint of the lift.

Each lift, supplied and installed by Level Lifts, is carefully engineered and is easy to operate.

Our lifts are run off a single-phase power supply, 3 phase power supply or via an uninterrupted power supply. Heavy machines, like platform lifts, are sometimes connected to a 3 phase power supply to ensure loads are lifted safely and UPS makes sure users can evacuate should there be a power failure.

The experts, here at Level Lifts, are always on hand to help, so if you need to know more about how our platform lifts work, don’t hesitate to call us on 023 8081 4924 today.

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