Tallest hydraoulic elevator you've seen

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Dear Sir,

I have found your WWW site on elevators to be very, very interesting. Thank you for the time you put into it, and keep up the excellent work.

Regarding hydraulic elevators, you write, "You'll usually find these cars in low-rise buildings. I personally have worked on one of 7 stories. If you know of one taller drop me a line at ..."

The Crown Sterling Suites Hotel located at 175 East 10th Street in Saint Paul, Minnesota, contains an eight-story atrium with glass-enclosed hydraulic elevators serving all eight levels. It's possible the seven-story hydraulic you worked on is in a building with significantly greater floor-to-floor distances than the hotel I mention above, so the elevator you speak of may actually have a greater rise, although if the floor-to-floor distances are comparable, then obviously the hotel I mention above has the greater rise. Do you know the total rise (in feet) of the seven-story hydraulic elevator you worked on, or recall what type of building it was in (hotel, hospital, etc.)?

In December 1986 the Delaware Street Parking ramp opened on the campus of the University of Minnesota Hospital and Clinic. Originally, two glass-enclosed hydraulic Dover elevators with the Impulse signals and buttons served six levels in the ramp (five at or above ground level for parking plus access to an underground pedestrian concourse). Construction is underway as I write this to add two levels onto what was originally the roof of the ramp, bringing the total number of levels served by the elevators to eight. Dover literature states that the maximum number of stops for its "pre-engineered" line of elevators is seven.

I said to a construction worker on the site a couple weeks ago, "I suppose once this project is done, the ramp will be too tall for hydraulic elevators." He replied, "No, I think they're still going to use hydraulic elevators."

I would be very surprised to see hydraulics used here, and if it turns out that they are, I will find out the total rise of the elevators in feet and e-mail it to you in a few months (as it may be a record, given the extra-long distance between the ground floor and pedestrian concourse level), when the construction is finished and I see the hydraulics in operation.

Do you know of any cases where hydraulic pistons significantly longer than necessary were used for hydraulic elevators in a short building to which the architect believed floors would be added in the future, so that the elevators could quickly and easily be adapted to the higher rise? I believe in the parking ramp I speak of they will have to lift out the elevator cars with a crane, lift out the original (short) piston, and lower in an extremely long new piston, if they're really going to use hydraulic elevators. Do you know of any other eight-story (or taller) hydraulic elevators?


Paul Jung

-- Paul Jung (Paul.A.Jung-1@umn.edu), May 23, 1997


re: tallest hyraulic elevator

well here we go with semantics again! I have worked on direct plunger hydraulic elevators where the piston went down approximately 300 feet and served a 32 story office building, these were true hydraulic elevators with water supplied to basement holding tanks by the Hudson River. Yours may be the tallest oildraulic but not the tallest hydraulic.

-- patrick a. carrajat (patrick.partsman@mci2000.com), May 23, 1997.

oildraulic, hydraulic

Thank you, Patrick. You are correct, I should have written "oildraulic", not "hydraulic," but I was glad to hear about the 32-story hydraulic elevators you worked on. Do you recall how fast those particular ones travel (f.p.m.)? How do the overall installation, reliability and operating/maintenance costs of high-rise hydraulic elevators compare to traction systems (assuming comparable speed and capacity)? (I am not famaliar with high-rise hydraulic systems.)

-- Paul Jung (Paul.A.Jung-1@umn.edu), May 23, 1997.

-- John O. Stambaugh (jos@gate.net), May 23, 1997.

Extra Long piston for future floors

I have worked on two jobs with Dover equipment that had a temporary stop ring between two sections of piston that were to be taken out at a later date for future floors. I got to work on one of these jobs after the future floor was finished. We had a terrible time getting the piston un-screwed and never did get them together properly. We believe the stress of testing the car with full load onto the stop ring stressed the threads. This was back when the platnem plate was bolted to the piston. The new 1" bolt fixes this problem.

-- John O. Stambaugh (jos@gate.net), May 23, 1997.

Oildralic Length

I installed two Dover elevators with 60 feet of 6S piston last year. A 65 foot 7S piston was installed by another mechanic this year. We work for Miami Elavator Company out of Riviera Beach, Florida.

-- John O. Stambaugh (jos@gate.net), May 23, 1997.

Are You the Infamous Long John?

-- anonymously answered, May 31, 1997


I have been called many things, but never long. Born and raised in West Palm Beach, Florida. Entered Local 71 in 1974. Worked for Miami Elavator Company most of that time.

-- John O. Stambaugh (jos@gate.net), June 03, 1997.

Extra length piston

The jack assembly was ordered too short for a job I just did. Our solution was to steal a jack assembly from another job and use it. No big deal you say. The rise was about 10 feet. The stolen jack was 16 feet of rise. Tough to get in and big trouble if you forget there is nothing to stop you from going through the roof. Hope the adjuster does not use too long of a sleeve the first try. I would hate to do a jack repair on that one.

-- John O. Stambaugh (jos@gate.net), June 03, 1997.

My first hydralic parking garage i ever worked on had 2 65 foot oildralic cylinders they were in one piece and came on a pole truck and set in the pit before the garage was built. needless to say i thought they would come in sections.

guess i was wrong there,

-- JEFF GUPPY (jaycee8914), June 16, 1997.

Yeah when I worked in the field in Houston I use to have the Brenai Brith Jewish Towers on my route. It was a 9 story job. It had 2 Esco units and each had dual down valves. It was a good overtime moneymaker for the service mechanic on duty.......The things ran 24 hours non stop. The customer (at that time) never wanted to allow you to shut it down for maintenance. So you could count on regular callbacks......

-- Ray Lancon (Ray.Lancon@Juno.com), June 18, 1997.

In October of 1989 myself, Walt Shaw, Scott Hudson and Billy Cecil installed a hydraulic elevator at Charlotte motor speedway in Concord, NC with a rise of just over 70 feet. It had a device called a jack follower to steady the piston. The jack follower had several small cables so traveled at half the speed of the elevator. [we were working for Southern Elevator at the time]

-- Joe Scruggs (ARKNAT2@AOL.COM), November 14, 1998.

Extra lenght piston

I think the El Cortez in San Diego has them all beat.

-- Jim Collett (pattijim@redshift.com), July 14, 2000.

Tallest Holeless Oilbased Hydro

In Sept of 2003, I installed a Schindler 330A upside down holeless teliscopic elevator in Oakville, Ontario Canada with a rise of just under 65ft. Building had 7 openings and operated at 150ft per minute. At the time it was the tallest upside down telescopic installation in Canada.

Regards Dave

-- David N (lepricon@rogers.com), November 27, 2003.

Tallest Hydro I knew of.

Los Angeles. Old Hall of Records. Was on the site currently occupied by the Criminal Courts Building. Had a 15 floor, single jack, counterweighted water hydro. Yes, one single jack, 15 stories underground.

-- Stephen (eastlion@pacbell.net), July 06, 2002.

Delta installed a 20 floor telescopic in Kitchener.

-- D (DanB@delta.com), April 12, 2004.

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