Communicate on as your elevator S You’ve probably heard the expression, “It’s not what you know: it’s who you know.” When it comes to keeping your elevators running, and working with an elevator service provider, it’s vital to know both. It makes good business sense to know who to contact, and what to say, when you need to get your elevators repaired (or find out what’s wrong) as quickly as possible. This knowledge can help you to improve the quality of service, reduce downtime and save money, which are all very good reasons to educate yourself on everything related to maintaining your elevators. 28 | march 2018
Know your service providers It can be difficult to get the answers you need for a task, as your service centre might not be located in Canada. Everything begins with the frontline worker – the person who has done the work on your elevators, and who should be most intimately involved with your issues. However, given that they will also work on other buildings’ elevators, they might not be readily available. At this point, you will have to take your concerns to the next level. Get to know your account representative or manager, as they will have more information than a call centre. Note that they are also salespeople and might require more time to get the answers you need. Next, talk to the Operations Manager, as they are required to have a broader information base and are able to get answers and resolve issues. They usually report to the Branch Manager, who would be your next point of contact should your concerns require escalation to this level.
the same LEVEL Service Provider “Smaller companies are a little easier to deal with, as they are more localized and normally have in-house call desks,” said James Frain, Director of Educational Development, Elevating Devices Training Academy and Quality Allied Elevator. “The person answering the phone might be able to assist in minor requests, like an updated ETA for their technician.” Whoever you happen to reach, you should always be able to request call back history on your equipment. Your service provider must provide you with this information regardless of your reason, as they should have it readily available. You can also request maintenance records if there are discrepancies between the Maintenance Control Program (MCP) log in the machine room and the service provider’s contractual obligations. “This might be a bit of a process with a multi-national but it is usually an easy fix with a smaller independent company,”
said Frain. “You must remember that you are paying a substantial amount of money every month for a specific service and that you are entitled to information about your equipment. This is supposed to be a customer service-based industry.”
Know your issues There are many reasons why you might need to contact your service provider. It could be part of your capital planning, which would require some detailed discussions on potential direction and budgetary issues. It could be as straight-forward as wanting an estimated time of arrival after placing a service call for equipment maintenance or repairs. Before you call your service provider, be absolutely clear on your issues and what you need. Compile the information you need, and educate yourself on the equipment and problems that you want to discuss.
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What’s that? Elevator Edition Spirator
Function of the spirator: Inside Hall Door
Safeties (under the elevator)
Mechanically assists the hall door to close completely
Pick up roller assembly
Drive Machine & Motor
Function of the pick up roller assembly:
Function of the drive machine and motor:
Engages a clutch on the car door to lift the beak and unlock hall door
Lifts and lowers the elevator
A – this shows the beak inside the lock in the closed & locked position Controller
Function of the controller:
Function of the door operator:
Function of the governor:
Tells the elevator what to do, the doors to open and close, and knows when there is a problem and is not safe to run
Opens & closes elevator doors accordingly
Clamps down on the governor rope in an overspeed condition and activates the safeties
For example, if you have a question about one elevator car in a specific building, then make note of the car number or installation number. If you want to discuss a technical problem with an elevator, then provide as much detail as possible. This could include what was witnessed happening, the time frame over which the problem occurred, how long the problem has been happening and so on. “Ask your service provider for a detailed report on the service calls for the last number of months, especially if you are not happy with how the elevators have been performing,” said Frain. “When speaking to them, make note of who took the call and what was involved in the repair, and get as much detail as possible for what happened on the service call. For example, if the same problems are recurring, you need to find out why it’s happening so you can be educated on the performance of your equipment.”
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B – interlock or lock, these are the two contacts that the beak crosses to tell the controller that the door is locked and ready to go C – this is the beak that locks the hall door mechanically and electrically with a shorting bar that crosses two contacts in the interlock or lock
Part of knowing about your elevators and issues includes measuring your service provider’s performance. Make note of key indicators, such as the number of service calls per year, the number of chargeable calls per year, the typical cost of a service call, the number of inspections performed and elevator down time. You will also want to make note of the number of TSSA directions for each TSSA periodic inspection, the time required to correct TSSA directions and the average number of TSSA shutdowns. These are all good indicators of the quality of your service provider’s work on your elevators.
Know your elevators It’s important to know as much as you can about your elevator equipment (see sidebar page 32). This will help you to understand what different components do, and what the elevator service person is talking about when doing repairs or maintenance. You don’t have to be an expert (that’s why you contracted an
elevator service company), but you should know what the equipment does, what it costs to replace and what to look for when there are problems. You should also perform simple daily checks to improve your knowledge of your elevator equipment, and reduce chargeable callbacks. A daily check should include the following: 1. Ride the elevator. 2. Listen for noise in travel. 3. Check door operation at each floor. 4. Check the levelling at each floor for tripping hazards. 5. Check car and hall sills (tracks) for debris – vacuum if necessary. 6. Check the buttons in the car and halls for operation and any bulbs that might need replacing. 7. Check main floor indicator for burnt out lights. 8. Check handrails in the cab to see if they are loose. 9. Make sure detector (sensor) lenses are clean.
“If the detector edge fails to reopen the door, take the elevator out of service immediately and place a service call, as this is a safety issue,” added Frain.
Conclusion You don’t have to be an expert in how your elevators work – that’s why you hired a service provider to keep them running. But you need to know who to talk to, and what to say, to make the most of your elevator service relationship.Make sure that you have all the information on hand before making that next phone call to your elevator service provider. You’ll get better results and keep your tenants happy and moving… up and down, not out. By David Gargaro, in collaboration with James Frain
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