Hiring an Elevator Contractor: A Guide for Building Managers and Owners

Hiring elevator contractors

Whether you’re a private building owner or manager of a commercial or residential building, choosing the right contractor is vital. Understanding what is involved in this process is important.

Guaranteeing a smooth, safe ride for members of the public is paramount for anyone who is responsible for elevators. The way to guarantee this is by having highly trained and experienced professionals conduct the repair and maintenance work on the conveyance systems in your building. Companies affiliated with the International Union of Elevator Constructors (IUEC) partner with building owners and managers across North America to provide them with the safest, most well-trained professionals in the elevator industry.

Before we speak about the specifics that make IUEC-trained and educated apprentices and mechanics the best in the business, it’s important to understand how the process of choosing a contractor works.

Factors to Consider When Hiring an Elevator Contractor

When the time comes to hire an elevator contractor, there are several factors that must be considered. While this isn’t an exhaustive list, here are some of the key points.

Equipment Age and Type

First, what kind of conveyances are in your building? Elevators? Escalators? Dumbwaiters? Moving walks? Be sure the company you hire to maintain, repair, and inspect your equipment has mechanics who are trained and qualified to work on your equipment.

Next, what type of building do you own, and who are the people who will be using these conveyances? Is it a busy office building where dozens or hundreds of workers will need to get to their offices quickly every morning? Is it an industrial building where warehouse staff will be using freight elevators to transport heavy or large machinery or goods? Is it a high-rise residential building where people must rely on an elevator to get into or out of their homes? You want to ensure you’re hiring a reputable OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer, such as Schindler, Otis, Fujitech, Mitsubishi, Kone, or TK Elevator) or independent elevator company that doesn’t take shortcuts when it comes to passenger safety.

As you can imagine, how long an elevator has been in use will play a role in determining the contractor you hire. Qualified contractors will have the experience and education needed to assess your system and help you make decisions regarding setting up a regular maintenance schedule / maintenance control program to keep your equipment running smoothly and determine when it’s time to replace outdated elevators in the interest of safety.

Service Contracts and Maintenance Control Programs

Different contractors offer different service contract options. These could be monthly maintenance agreements or comprehensive packages that will include scheduled inspections and maintenance, as well as other services. You will need to align your choice with your building’s needs and the needs of the riding public.

Your service contract should include a Maintenance Control Program (MCP). An MCP ensures that all components of your conveyance equipment are checked on a regular basis. With an MCP, your elevator contractor will maintain all documentation involving faulty equipment, repairs, and service calls on-site at your facility – where it is available to elevator inspectors and to you as the building owner/manager.

The Role of Elevator Consultants

In some cases, consultants are hired by building managers or owners to advise them on the contractor selection process. Their primary function is to share advice based on a building’s needs. Their expertise lies in their understanding of elevator systems and their knowledge of equipment, safety, and maintenance protocols. Like other professionals in the elevator industry, consultants must be aware of and adhere to codes and regulations set by local Authorities Having Jurisdiction (AHJs).

If you choose to work with an elevator consultant, make sure you let them know you want to work with an IUEC-affiliated company.

Safety, Education, and Training

Members of the IUEC receive the most comprehensive training and education in the industry. The National Elevator Industry Educational Program (NEIEP) apprenticeship includes more than 8,000 hours on-the-job experience under the guidance of a qualified mechanic, as well as eight semesters of hands-on, safety-focused classroom and virtual training.

The training and education doesn’t stop as soon as an apprentice becomes a qualified mechanic – NEIEP also offers continuing education courses to mechanics throughout their careers. This means that customers can rest easy knowing that IUEC-signatory contractors are highly educated, whether they are fresh out of their apprenticeship or have been qualified for decades.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, the IUEC prioritizes safety above all else. That includes the safety of its workers as well as the safety of the riding public. This dedication to safety has resulted in IUEC elevator constructors being the most reliable choice for any installation, maintenance, or repair job.

In conclusion, hiring an elevator contractor can be a critical decision for building owners and managers. It will directly impact the safety, efficiency, and longevity of the elevator system, as well as the safety of the traveling public. Following these guidelines will give you the confidence you need to make the right choice. If you are looking for a recommendation, choosing IUEC-affiliated contractors is the best way to go if you want professionals who work in an effective, efficient, and safe manner at all times.