Shop Spotlight: Elevator Mechanics

F&S elevator mechanics ensure safe operation, maintain each component, and make repairs when necessary. Plus, of course, they are dispatched when an elevator is stuck with passengers aboard in any of 184 buildings with elevators on campus.

Two primary styles of elevator populate campus, one the “hydraulic,” the other called “traction.” Essentially, the hydraulic style, uses a piston from below the elevator car to push up, and release oil from the system to lower. Traction, usually used on high-rises, uses a counterweight to pull people up and release them down.

Each elevator’s system, including doors and the emergency call box, must be inspected once per year. Given the 360 cars, dumbwaiters, and chairlifts on campus, just about one must be tested every day of the year. That’s a pretty consequential “final” almost every day!

“A lot of people don’t understand the amount of testing we do yearly to comply with state laws and regulations and codes,” said Vince Schaub, elevator shop foreperson. “In order to get our certificate of operation, we have to do them yearly and involves a third-party state inspector who witnesses all the testing. That’s something we do yearly on all 360 units we take care of. We’re always testing. That’s usually the biggest part of our job.”

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