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Residential Lift/Tram/Funicular - Anyone have one installed?

5/17/18 @ 3:59 PM
ORIGNAL POST
the_dude
the_dude
User since 1/10/03

I have a place up north.  There is substantial elevation from the lake to the house.  There is currently a homemade lift system comprised of a large electric winch, angle iron rails, and a homemade cart.  In the 4 years we have had the place, it has given me a lot of problems.  Recently, I've also heard some horror stories with homemade systems due to the lack of safety features.  My tram currently isn't working, and I have no idea why.  I'm not sure what to do to about it.  Even if I can find someone that can get it running again, I'm now concerned about riding it again and I don't think I'd ever let me kids ride it knowing the lack of safety features.

I've just started doing some research, and I've found a couple of companies in Hillside Trams and Hill Hiker that appear to install legitimate systems that are safe and reliable.  I'm curious if anyone here has had a system like this installed.  I'm trying to understand ballpark figures to see if this is even going to be a possibility.  I just don't have any idea.  Is it $5K, $10K, or $50K.  I know there are a ton of variables, but I'm just trying to get in a ballpark here.  I'm also hopeful that some of the things about my site will help with cost.  There is already electric, a concrete slab for winch installation and a cleared lane for the track.  

Either way, I'll post what I find out as well as pictures in case anyone else is interested for their property.

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6/6/18 @ 10:17 AM
the_dude
the_dude
User since 1/10/03

I shouldn't put words in the guy's mouth.  He was very nice but very chatty and I was busy and distracted.  I already knew it was a non-starter so I wasn't listening well.  I'm sure he was meeting standards pre-2009.  I do know he said government involvement has hurt his business and has added nothing for the consumer.  I don't think that surprises anyone.

Thanks for your insights Dave.  If you are ever bored and want an extended stay in Townsend to build a tram system, just let me know.  

6/6/18 @ 9:24 AM
Dave (Golden)
Dave (Golden)
MEMBER since 6/22/01

Yep... probably ASME Standards.. all due repect to the owner, but if he was building a “safe” tram prior to having to meet the ASME Standards requirements (mostly mechanical requirements) he already would have been meeting them. As a Certified Functional Safety Engineer I can tell you the definition of “safe” and “reliable” varies greatly from person to person.  The Standards at least set a baseline for the minimum requirements.

6/6/18 @ 9:14 AM
the_dude
the_dude
User since 1/10/03

I talked to the owner of one of the companies last night.  He said the state got involved in 2009, basically causing all of these lifts to have all of the same safety features and regulations of commercial elevators.  Prior to that, he said he could do systems for a much more affordable price that were still safe and reliable.  Oh well.

6/6/18 @ 7:17 AM
madforlabs
User since 12/20/12

I've designed a hydraulic lift/lower system utilizing a winch. Material cost was pushing 20k minus design time and track for a cart. 

Not saying that 50k is cheap, but I wouldn't consider it unreasonable given the safety/liability issues associated with a man lift application

6/5/18 @ 6:37 PM
Dave (Golden)
Dave (Golden)
MEMBER since 6/22/01

Dude... unfortunately that is kind of what I thought. I am sure I could design and build one for much less, but these companies go through the the design, testing and certification to meet certain standards. They also take one a good bit of liability. It would be a fun project for me if I was doing it for myself.

6/5/18 @ 4:53 PM
the_dude
the_dude
User since 1/10/03

Finally talked to the second company.  $50K was in the ballpark so we didn't waste a lot of each others' time.

5/24/18 @ 4:42 PM
BâssÂddîçt ©¸
BâssÂddîçt ©¸
MEMBER since
5/24/18 @ 4:25 PM
12packabs
12packabs
User since 12/19/06

I've been on several job sites on Lake Wisconsin...there are tons of these trams on some of the lakeshore properties (20-40' elevation drop from the road to the home down the hill).  Maybe some of those homeowners are reading this and can comment?

Most of the ones I've seen are pretty rickety...older ones like yours maybe can be used only for groceries or packages, making the climb up/down a little easier?

5/24/18 @ 3:53 PM
the_dude
the_dude
User since 1/10/03

I've only heard back from one of the companies so far.  Yep, it's $50K+.  And yep, that's not happening.

5/18/18 @ 11:35 AM
huntfish
User since 6/16/03

Inherited Grandpa's  cottage on the lake with a hill and many steps. No issues while your able, but was shocked when he told me he couldn't do the hill anymore. Every year I see that day coming, and often think to sell and look for level lake property. But we have the best spot on the lake for viewing and fishing so it's tough to go. But if your considering do it now if you can. Lake isn't any good if you can't get down to it, and back up.

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