Just as elevators built within the structure can move either people or cargo, so too can outdoor elevators. Whether they are intended to move passengers or cargo, outdoor elevators can run vertically or on an incline. Common types of outdoor elevators are cargo elevators, platform elevators, incline and vertical elevators. The type of outdoor elevators used is based on both aesthetics as well as function.
Vertical outdoor elevators can serve any purpose whatsoever. While they are most often used as cargo elevators to move heavy equipment up and down buildings a more recent trend in passenger elevators is to build vertical glass elevators outside the building. These elevators give passengers a panoramic view of the scenery as they ascend many stories up. However, not all vertical outdoor elevators for passengers are made to provide a view and are more functional in nature.
Outdoor elevators built on an incline can also be used to transport passengers or goods. Incline elevators are most often recognized as passenger elevators called ski lifts. However, outdoor elevators that move cargo on an incline are generally constructed with a conveyor belt and most often seen when loading cargo on ships and some types of aircraft. They are also used regularly for industrial use in warehouses and loading docks.
While it is possible to use platform elevators indoors they are generally classified as outdoor elevators because that is where they are most often used. Platform elevators usually are not enclosed by having a have a fence or gate running around the perimeter to keep cargo from slipping off during transport. Platform elevators usually use a system of pulleys as the working mechanism. Outdoor elevators consisting of a platform are most often used at new construction sites but they can also be used for such things as elevating workmen renovating the façade of a building or washing windows on a high-rise.
Cargo elevators are almost always outdoor elevators even though some smaller versions are designed for indoor use such as those used in warehouses. They are most often extremely heavy-duty and can facilitate a great amount of weight. This type of elevator can either be on an incline or vertical, but will most often be industrial grade to accommodate those heavy loads. In fact, the first type of elevator which comes to mind when thinking of outdoor elevators is actually cargo elevators.
Since there are so many types of outdoor elevators it is imperative to know exactly what the function will be prior to obtaining quotes. Sometimes outdoor elevators need to be used to transport both passengers as well as cargo, so that will need to be taken into consideration. When contacting an elevator manufacturer or distributor make sure that you have your specifications in hand prior to getting a price quote. You need to know what the function will be as well as having a good idea of how much space is available. A good distributor can help you choose from an assortment of outdoor elevators so that the finished product is best suited for your needs.