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Three Ways to Eliminate Your Elevator & Escalator Headaches

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Author: Andrea Ruff, CEI, Dynamic Project Manager
Today’s elevators and escalators are complex systems comprised of mechanical and electrical components, along with microprocessors operating the “brains” of the system. Not equipped to handle the maintenance in-house, many property owners and managers contract with an elevator maintenance company and hope for the best. But what happens when the service provided doesn’t yield the desired results? Worse yet—when the company advises you to modernize or replace equipment, is it in your best interest, or theirs? 

1. Get a second opinion from a third party

An impartial third-party evaluation of your vertical transportation equipment will document operational conditions and provide alternatives to improve service and extend its useful life. Elevator and escalator consultants can also offer a neutral opinion on recommendations for maintenance, repairs, upgrades, and modernizations. Rather than deal with sole-source selection and the limited options of the elevator maintenance company, an elevator and escalator consultant can serve as your partner to develop design and procurement documents. This provides you with alternatives, access to pre-qualified contractors, and a more competitive proposal process. 

2. Avoid surprises with a regular maintenance program

Like any capital investment, elevators and escalators require preventative maintenance to increase safety and reliability. If equipment is not receiving proper care, it will fail early and often, leading to equipment outages, expensive repair bills, and reduced useful life. A regular maintenance program can keep costs down and reduce inconvenience to you and your tenants. 

3. Think twice about the offer

Most elevator maintenance contractor service agreements are based on terms and conditions that favor the contractor, not the property owner. Watch to make sure you aren’t signing a contract that eliminates services, or offers limited recourses associated with early termination, should you become dissatisfied. Develop your own contract document or have a qualified elevator consultant prepare an effective preventative maintenance agreement. 

Whether you oversee the maintenance of dozens of vertical transportation equipment, or just one, you have the important responsibility of making sure the equipment is safe, reliable, and operating according to specification.

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