Lift 59: A Three-Station Lift That Solves Several Problems

Model: 4-Person/3-Station (750-pound capacity)
Track: 135' at 17°
Year: 2014


This three-station lift travels from the parking lot to the cottage and further down to the rooftop deck of their boathouse/aerodrome for float aircraft.

There were many challenges building this lift.

The ground beneath the top end consisted of recently placed loose gravel and sand with a hidden septic pipes and was not solid enough to support a set of legs. To get around this without delaying the project or requiring extra machinery to build up this area we built a steel frame fixed to a concrete footing on the deck side and long legs that extended to solid ground on the other side.

At the lower end, we had to land on the corner of the boathouse roof and without actually attaching the track to the roof. In addition we could not grind or weld the track near the roof, a single spark would have been enough to melt a hole right through the waterproof membrane that protects to boathouse. We used the installation hoist to bring the final section of track to the boathouse where we took measurements. We then took the track up the hill again, did our cutting and welding, and brought it back down again. After 6 iterations it was perfect. We mounted sliding nylon shoes to each foot of the track that gently sit on nylon plates fixed to the roof. Because it was on the corner of the roof, the slope of the roof varied from one side of the track to the other.

We were really lucky that the geometry of the lot allowed a middle station to connect beautifully with the front deck on the cottage.

With the PLC controller, people can travel either directly between the road and the boathouse or from either end station to the cottage station. 

The boathouse/aerodrome was being renovated by Gary Ford Contractors, who also built the station platforms and gates after the lift was installed. He used the lift as a convenient way to move men and materials from trucks parked high above the lake to the boathouse.