Owner/Operator Elevator Company's

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I see from this forum that most of the guys here work for independent companies. I see very little proprietary information shared, and I see most of the independents using stuff like Motion Control, GAL, and about anything else they can get their hands on. My question is ? Why don't you just sell out to the big guy and give your customers a break. The stuff your using is archaic in today's world, It runs for shit as compared to the stuff that's out there today. You guys are still in the stone ages.

-- (onlylogic@yahoo.com), September 29, 2004


What makes you so smart, stfu.

-- ripzilla (fxn351@aol.com), September 29, 2004.

Hi There, Ok why dont you start we would love to hear about your companies favorite controls. Lets hear some of that only logic stuff, we are waiting. Dont leave anything out, just keep typing we have plenty of time to read. Jim

-- Jim (elevator555@hotmail.com), September 29, 2004.

Just a thought, you may be right Miami elevator made a fortune in the 60's and 70's selling Dover equipment. They were and are the largest service company in Florida it didn't take Dover long to realize that 50% of what that manufactured was being sold to Miami and eventually bought them out and continued the using the name. Otis and Schindler make some awesome equipment and they sell it to mom and pop shops world wide I never understood why they don't do it here in the states, I guess maybe they think the Idea of selling there controls to bid on the same jobs there trying to get would be counter productive. Just my take on it.

-- Clark (pdell200@comcast.net), September 29, 2004.

If certain equipment is used, GAL for example, that anyone can buy then anyone can service. And by anyone I mean anyone properly trained. My questions to "Onlylogic" would be "If you had a contract with 100 Otis on which you were fully conversant, and 4 Kone, or Thyssen, which you don't know anything about, would you still take it on? Even though you would not be able to get any info? Or would you prefer the 4 others to have equipment you knew you could obtain? If you would take on a contract which had equipment that you don't understand I for one would not like to work with you or for you. Thyssen train Thyssen engineers to work on Thyssen equipment likewise Kone Otis etc. Equipment manufacturers such as GAL will train engineers from any company because the more people understand it the more they sell

-- geoff judge (geoffjudge@bchtgroup.org), September 30, 2004.

Proprietary information IS the marketing advantage of competitive products. Call it what you will, but that is exactly what differentiates one company's product from another and drives the original sale. Yes, the quoted price does have something to do with it, but specs and features, including promises of reliable operation with a minimum of maintenence costs, is what causes the building owners to buy brand X over brand Y. Each company spends millions of $$ to develop their own version of equipment advantages over the competition. So why do you think they should tell their competitors exactly how they achieve those advantages? That would be economic suicide. After the sale reverse engineering is bad enough.

So when it comes to maintenance or repairs...Would you expect (or trust) the neighborhood car mechanic to be able to diagnose, fix or modify the engine control computer in your Lexis? (well OK, its a Jeep) What happens there is not much different than if you would take it to a well trained and qualified GM or Ford repair center. All they can do is guess at what is wrong and substitute proprietary components purchased from the original company, or supposedly good 3rd party copies. At best, they may be able to get it working again, with little or no changes from the original. You, the consumer pay full price for limited value.

But look what has happened to the independants for car repair. As the autos become more sophisticated, the corner garage mechanic has become almost obsolete. He simply cannot keep up with the skills, understanding and tools to service the complicated proprietary equipment. [But repair service at many dealerships has gotten better, even though it is proprietary.] Ditto with TVs, radios, microwave ovens and wrist watches that have become throwaway items. We can't even find anyone to upgrade the home computer we purchased 2 years ago.

So be it with elevator repairs. Some parts are universal. Others are proprietary. The building owners will eventually learn that service by the lowest bidder may be what they wanted, but not what they needed.


-- Don Vollrath (dvollrath@magnetek.com), September 30, 2004.

Only a sucker buys something only one company can work on when non proprietary equipment that anyone can work on is available. If the customers were aware of this they would never buy it. We recommend all the time about using non-proprietary equipment and no one we have informed about the difference has EVER bought proprietary equiupment. Why would ANYONE want to limit their options when it comes to service.

-- joe (whobwho@yahoo.com), September 30, 2004.


my question isn't about service, it's about buying the bunch of garbage you guys sell promising a customer that it will run trouble free when it doesn't. and you know it won't. and the vendor your buying from knows it won't. and when you get a call, you use the " hunt and peck " method to determine the problem. screw that shit, relieve yourself from a ton of stress, plug the computer in and fix it the first time, go home and relax. the shit your selling is garbage.

-- (onlylogic@yahoo.com), September 30, 2004.

I think you better re-think your logic. If all the independants sold to one of the few internationals then the monopoly would be complete. The 3 or 4 then get together and say we are now going non union. You then say screw this, I am going elsewhere to work. Where are you going to go?

Secondly, its the independants that prevent price gouging by giving some competition.

And finally, if GAL is so bad then why does Otis use it and other internationals use MCE when it's spec'd non propritery (and that is in an increasing number of spec's by the way)? I know the interntionals products are always great ie Dover Cimarrons, US Elevator Acsensions, Thames Valley etc. As for archaic designs, well I doubt you will find an elevator today that will outlast an archaic late 60's, early 70's Otis.

-- Brian (m428rl@hotmail.com), September 30, 2004.

Onlylogic, Oh yeah the proprietary equipment is much better... Everyone makes the same stuff. One isn't better than another. It's like saying Ford is so much better then Chevy. But one offers full support and service to everyone and one doesn't. It's onlylogic to not limit your options. And by the way we don't sell new equipment so get off my back but I do tell everyone what a rip off proprietary equipment is, because it is just a way to lock you into one service provider at a more expensive price.

-- joe (whobwho@yahoo.com), September 30, 2004.

Joe, Good line non propriety, woohooo. NEXT LIE ? Why is it the big 4's fault you can't afford to take apart other peoples equipment see how it works, write manuals and train your tech.'s to fix it. I guess the free market makes it hard for you being unfair and all, good news is here, Cuba still hands out everything equally to make it fair, start an operation there and stop complaining. Or maybe get to the root of the problem, independents ruined the trade promising the world, ruining the equipment and forcing the mod. All of you know the scenario We'll do it cheaper, we've got parts, we'll keep it tip top shape cheaper and better. Ut-oh it broke? You need a MOD, it's antiquated, the manufacturer won't sell us parts boo hoo. Then comes my bitch I get it back, I get it running, wipe up the oil, change the seals, clean and paint it make as good as new but can't come back for 6 weeks cause we all have more units on our routes thanks to a few pukes like Mowery, General, Abel etc... taking job's for nothing, making promises you never intend on keeping. I guees I'm thankfull I get before you sell the mod and we have to fix those extra problems too. Independents have hurt the industry by forcing us to slack on maint. and add more units to be competitive we all seen it, look around your offices and see.

-- Clark (pdell200@comcast.net), September 30, 2004.


You obviously do not know what the hell you are talking about. How did the independents ruin the industry? Because the mechanics cannot fix elevators? You sir are an idiot. I have seen countless times where one of the big 4 takes over a building or complex and have the same story. "The equipment is antiquated...they do not make parts for these old things anymore....you will be better off with all of the same type of equipment..blah, blah blah....so you need a Mod". Why? Because their mechanics can not troubleshoot either. If it's not their stuff, they cannot hook up the smart tool or laptop and get a trouble code to look up. Why do you think they (Otis, Schindler, Thyssen, Kone) even sell any elevators in the first place? It is because they will loose money on the installation if they have to, because they know they will make it up and much more on the maintenance. They building owner saves a bundle on the mod, but gets raped by a maintenance price 3 to 5 times what an independent would charge to maintain an elevator...especially in the first few years, when the high price is killing him, but the maintenance man only spends a few minutes a month wiping and checking. A smart and informed building owner will pay the initial higher price for a mod by an independent company using non-proprietary equipment and save over the life of the equipment. I know two different elevator consultants that worked for the big companies. They advise to NEVER EVER buy proprietary. Hmmmm, you figure that one out Einstein!

You asked why is it the big 4's fault that an independent company cannot take apart their equipment to see how it works, then write a manual and train the technicians. Have you ever heard of patent rights and copyright infringement? There are laws against the actions you suggest. A small company in Colorado had a few bright computer programers that wrote software for PC's that could interface with Otis's 401 series controlers. They leased this software to a few independent elevator companies. Otis sued and won a copyright case...the elevator companies had to return the software and Otis ended up getting the jobs back...because that equipment is crap to begin with. The big companies use patent and copyright laws to hide behind. They charge low cut-throat prices to maintain equipment on routes that is not theirs, forcing the small companies to bid lower and add more units to a mechanics route. Sooner or later the small start up companies go belly up or get bought. Lucky for we ....according to your rabble, few...... who can fix elevators, that some of the small companies do survive.

But still you continue to work for a company that publicly fights and loathes yours and your union's very existence. Keep up the good work brother.

-- Sprocket (sprocket2000@yahoo.com), October 31, 2004.

Stll Waiting, for you to start telling us some of that big company proprietary info that you refered too. What company do you work for and what controls are you refering too.

If its the one I think of, they had there days of BLEEDING EDGE controls that the customers are paying to remove after less than 10 years. Its a great well run company with a good business plan but for who.

I have some of that stone age stuff that has not had a call in twenty years and thats giving the customer a break. The only reason it is not sold as much today is because someone has to wire the controler and it is more expensive. There is a place for a stone age controler and for a one car building would you rather buy a controler that will run 100 years or 10 to 15 years. There is one company that used the same idea and once built controls to last the life of the building.

-- Jim (elevator555@hotmail.com), September 30, 2004.


Your full of shit. That old archaic stuff you've said has run for 20 years is a crock. At best, 20 years ago it was junk. It may still be running, but your passengers wait forever, the dispatch sucks, the ride sucks and your door operation is questionable. And, your there 8 hours a day, cleaning up carbon dust. And no, I don't work for that company anymore, I got done with them in 1991. Talk about a stress reliever.

-- (onlylogic@yahoo.com), October 01, 2004.

Hi There, There is no dispatching on a single elevator. I have worked on plenty of elevators that have controls that are going on 100 years and still run, most of them are swing door with no operators. What are you doing now working for an independant. Still waiting to hear about the controls you like. still waiting. J

-- Jim (elevator555@hotmail.com), October 01, 2004.


I'm on the high end of the scale with one of the big 4. The company with probably the best hydro ever introduced, which has been sold for the past 2O years. Their tractions are bullet proof, and easy to troubleshoot, even from just a set of prints.

If you've ever worked on a true computer based controller, it takes all the "guess work" out of trying to find the problem. It tells you what's wrong, and you don't have to track down a bunch of people to listen to their stories about what it's doing or what happened. There's never a second callback for the same problem. I've been in this business for a long time, and am looking at retiring in a few years, I hate overtime, and it finally sunk in that there is more to life than running your ass off repairing elevators. I'd take 200 computer based units on for a service route in a heartbeat 24/7, and be home every night at the regular time. 20 hours of overtime a year maybe with a route like that. After working for that company you refered to earlier in a post, a route like a mentioned would feel like semi-retirement.

-- (onlylogic@yahoo.com), October 01, 2004.

Computer based elevators are more reliable no doubt. But to say the computer tells you where the problem is! That's a lie. When they run they run, great, but when they fail, it can be a nightmare. Everyone knows this. How about a loose connection on a data link. I troubleshot one of those recently. Sometimes it worked for a couple of weeks. Yeah the computer sent me right to it...Not! I'll bet you send the tough problems to the company troubleshooter. He does the real work, not you. He should be paid 10 times what your paid because he actually understands what's going on. He doesn't just repeat the ignorant company line, "Our Proprietary equipment is better than anything out there." He actually understands all new elevators are based on the same principles and use the same electronics. A proprietary service tool is just a way to TRY and screw the customer into one service provider.

-- joe (whobwho@yahoo.com), October 01, 2004.


your full of shit too,

I am the company troubleshooter and the trainer, and my 3 year old grand baby has a grasp on this already. The comm line you talk about is a common problem and easily repaired, unethical wiring methods and technique and also just poor quality on installation is the cause of that. You'll get that with any elevator company that's doing new installation. You also know that a good Adjuster will straighten that out way before you get the job on Service, if he is allowed the time. I don't understand the NEW way of thinking on construction, the companies figure the Union school will teach these guys this stuff, for what they are paying, it should, but, you've always got the Construction Super asking why it isn't done yet and the big push to get the Acceptance signed.

-- (onlylogic@yahoo.com), October 01, 2004.

try taking your 3yr old to try and find a cold solder connection on one of those ''easy to trouble shoot" lead you right to it controllers. try your luck on some of the problems i have found in NYC and i bet your 3yr old won't make it to 4.

-- ralph bertolli (robbo1026@hotmail.com), October 01, 2004.

Your the company troubleshooter and trainer...Yeah and I'm president Bush. Now listen to your commander and chief. Repeat after me. I only know the company line because I'm too stupid to think for myself...

-- JOE (whobwho@yahoo.com), October 01, 2004.

I've found those cold solder joints and know just exactly what your talking about and screw that shit, you don't need that aggravation and neither does the customer. That shit is archaic and you wouldn't be able to tell if it was running properly or not. You can get maximum performance ALL the time with a computer based controller. Try that with your cold solder joint controller or even your MCE. MCE is notorious for relay failures that you can't even see cause it happens so fast. The few relays used on your computer based controllers have " watchdogs " to tell you if you've got failing relay contacts. Plain and simple, computer based is the only way to go, and it doesn't cost that much more than the junk your used to.

-- (onlylogic@yahoo.com), October 02, 2004.

Hi There, I have been lucky enough to work on elevators all over the world and have traveled to 72 countries and toured elevator companies on every trip and seen some of the fastest elevators in the world. Its a great trade and am 3rd generation and I was making Otis whistle contacts in the kitchen when I was 10 and worked in the shop for $1.00 per hour when I was 15.

The is a place for super dependable elevators and that is single elev bldgs,ships and remote locations. I have been there soldering transistors back on a controler on a ship in Singapore bay. I have been there trying to repair circuit boards on a ship at sea heading for Austrailia in the Philippine Sea. I have been there trying to get a static drive analog controler back in service in a single car 10 story building with all those stairs carring scopes and drive boards.I have been there working on 1600 fpm 8 car groups setting tm switches on top of the car with the lights out to look for sparks on the contacts to set so the selector does the switching after readjusting the car.

There is also a place to have the latest big 4 high speed equipment with all the support that goes along with it. We are all lucky to be in this bussiness and look at all the fun we are having on this site. Thanks for the help and sorry to give OL a bad time. Jim

-- Jim (elevator555@hotmail.com), October 02, 2004.

Okay me to...And besides I know it's you Bill :)

-- joe (whobwho@yahoo.com), October 02, 2004.

I hold a lot of respect for you "old schoolers" and I am one also, I started with the big O way back when, I know the equipment someone refered to earlier well, and trust me, keeping that stuff running isn't were its at. Maybe I'm old and tired, but I enjoy my life and my job now, no guesswork. The pace I worked at through the years only made my knees and my hips bad, running up and down stairs looking for a solution to a problem, no one could identify. Today, it's a click away. Most of my customers expect and answer as to what happened and why their overpriced elevator shut down. I can give that answer. And not be back tommorrow. No deductive reasoning, no hunting and pecking, no screwing around with an orange stick.

You guys are great, I enjoy a good debate. There is a lot of knowledge here, and it's a shame it may someday be obsolete. Times are changing, we all said that when Otis stopped using the HVP and went to the LRV. Hindsight.

-- (onlylogic@yahoo.com), October 02, 2004.

A lot of the stuff from "suppliers to the industry" is every bit as "high tech" as anything any of the big 4 sell, and every bit as easy to fault find and set up from scratch.

The argument that the big 4 are the best option for the customer does not hold true. It,s a bit like buying a Jeep and insisting on Jeep making the tyres,when you know deep down in your heart that you want Goodrich or some other manufacturer.

-- geoff judge (geoffjudge@bchtgroup.org), October 04, 2004.

I think one of the reasons smaller companies *won't* sell out to these larger comapnies is because they value their employees and knowing that if they sold out hundreds of jobs would be moved overseas.

Unlike these giants who could care less about their employees, we smaller companies take pride in making/keeping jobs in our own neighborhoods. That also rubs off on the customers. Who the heck wants to dribble down through a call center and end up talking with dispatch in India to get a mechanic to come and look at their elevator in Tuscon???

FYI, Motion Control makes some of the most advanced elevator controls in the world. Maybe if you took the time to understand it you may realize that.

-- Lift (lift4u@hotmail.com), October 05, 2004.


There is always going to be a need for elevator men in this country, the only difference will be the color of your shirt. Once you finally go to work for one of these companies, and get the training, you'll understand where I'm coming from. No more " hunt and peck " methods for troubleshooting, hell, they will probably even turn you into a troubleshooter. Using MCE today is like using Commodore 64 from 20 years ago.

-- (onlylogic@yahoo.com), October 05, 2004.

"hell, they will probably even turn you into a troubleshooter."

Sure they will turn you into a great troubleshooter, on their OWN equipment.

I'm truly saddened by your attitude OnlyLogic. It seems you are just another casualty to the big 4 brainwashing scheme. There may still be hope for you though, next time your on a job tell the customer truthfully why your the only company that can work on their elevator.

-- Lift4u (lift4u@hotmail.com), October 05, 2004.

Bill, let it go...

-- joe (whobwho@hotmail.com), October 05, 2004.

It will be interesting to see who answers all the queries in the future Should we expect all answers to come from "onlylogic"??

-- geoff judge (geoffjudge@bchtgroup.org), October 06, 2004.

Hey my 2 cents worth ok......As most of the smaller companies employees here seem to think we DO NOT work soley on our own gear...I work for one of the big 4 as you call them....we certainly have a lot of experience on our own equipment but it's a lot different to 15 years ago when I started...we have just about every other companies lifts to service and Id say we do a pretty damn good job of it..... oh and by the way I reckon with the spate of buyouts and takeovers going on there may well be only 4 in the next ten years

-- dayle (daylebrenda@iprimus.com.au), October 06, 2004.


It seems some of the posts have been removed from this board. I'm assuming it was due to the colorful words used. But when the topic of proprietary equipment is open for discussion some people are adamant on their position. I personally donít care that companies manufacture proprietary equipment. My problem is that certain manufacturers of proprietary equipment are dictating to the end user who they must use for service. They accomplish this by not offering support to other service providers out side their circle. And yes I realize that this gives them a competitive edge. I will respect their decision to do so. But there are other manufacturers out there who are manufacturing sophisticated microprocessor based equipment. Companies like MCE, ESI, and CJ Anderson who offer their support to everyone in the industry. And I will continue to support them for doing so. If some day the others decide to offer their support to everyone I would be glad to offer them my business as well.


-- Jon (sht&gigle@aol.com), October 06, 2004.

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