To help when choosing a lift, it is worth taking into account the benefits and limitations in relation to your requirements. Different environments, travel heights, usage levels and space available can be a deciding factor.
With the machine room holding all the machinery, you won’t need space above the shaft to hold machinery (which traction lifts do). The system is also supported by the floor/pit so should not need any kind of reinforcement.
The classic ‘dead drop’ situation is not possible in a hydraulic lift as there are no cables – though this doesn’t often happen in reality. If the system breaks, then the lift will only drop at the speed which oil can leak from the system.
Finally, hydraulic lifts are cheaper than traction lifts so if budget is key then this could help make the decision.
It is worth looking at the travel distance as a hydraulic lift system is quite slow (up to 1m/s). It may not be suitable over 6-8 floors – also due to requiring further underground space to house the cylinder.
Space required for a machine room and oil pit if required might not be suitable in all buildings, especially where floor space is at a premium. Digging down for holed systems can mean going very deep underground which may not always be possible.
Hydraulic systems rely on the oil, which operates differently at different temperatures (oil gets thinner at higher temperatures) so a good system can help balance this effect.
As with any fluid, oil can leak out of the system which can cause big issues. This doesn’t tend to happen to new systems but keeping your lift maintained properly is vital.
Finally, if you are looking to meet BREEAM or energy efficiency ratings, hydraulic lifts are less energy efficient than other types of lift. The power required to raise the lift car is high, as the oil is doing all the work fighting against gravity. Alternatives, such as traction lifts, use a counterweight so require less energy.