Elevator Maintenance Management: Contract Tips with AuditMate COO Joe Stumph

Avoiding elevator maintenance can be costly. 

If you don’t rotate the tires of your car, you’ll have to replace them sooner rather than later. And the same is true for elevators. No matter the elevator type—hydraulic or traction, old or new—all machines need consistent maintenance. Regularly completing basic elevator maintenance tasks ensures you won’t have major elevator repairs and modernizations prematurely.

Elevator modernization is costly and invasive. To give you an idea of the expense, base pricing for modernization runs approximately $75,000+ for hydraulic elevators, $160,000 for traction elevators, and $180,000 for escalators. Other factors such as geography, equipment type, and environment can increase these estimates even more. And this doesn’t include downtime of operations, inconvenience for the building occupants, and the delay of bringing equipment to current codes. The simple task of regular maintenance can extend modernization by 5-10 years—and reduce unnecessary stress. 

Tips for maximizing your elevator maintenance

Tip #1: Check your contract for specific maintenance intervals

The first step to maximizing your maintenance is to make sure your vendor is required to properly maintain your equipment. If your contract states periodic or systematic maintenance, it doesn’t include specified maintenance intervals. This means you’ll be paying the same elevator maintenance price whether the vendor comes 10 times a year or once per year. This could be costly in the long run because if your equipment needs modernization sooner than it should, you’ll have no contractual protection.

The best solution is to negotiate a contract with specific maintenance intervals and tasking so you can track the maintenance (and get what you pay for!). Plus, this is the best way to protect the full life cycle of the equipment.

Tip #2: Verify you are receiving maintenance on all equipment

The second step is to make sure your vendors are completing the maintenance on all elevators. We’ve seen this hundreds of times in our industry—the main lobby passenger elevators run well and are maintained satisfactorily, yet the back-of-house service elevators are in need of modernization. When the audit is performed, the back-of-house elevators show that they’ve been receiving 40% less maintenance with higher usage. All of your equipment needs to be equally maintained to get their full value and lifecycle. 

By following these two important tips, you are well on your way to reducing overall costs, downtime, and premature modernization. We understand that managing your elevator contract can be very confusing and time consuming. If you have questions or need some advice or help with the heavy lifting, give us a shout. We’re here for you. www.auditmate.com

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