A Guide To The Types Of Stair Climber Hand Trucks And Their Use

The Different Types Of Stair Climber Hand Truck

There are various types of stair climber mechanism of the market each with their own advantages and disadvantages. Some make lifting on stairs easier for the operator at the cost of safety features and lifting height whilst others focus on operator and item safety but make work process harder.


Screw Thread Lifting Mechanism

This type of mechanism is shared between many different manufacturers. The most common and our favourite (as you can probably tell by this website) is the Powermate range, but is also used by Lectrotruck and Ultralift manufacturers.

This mechanism works like a nut and bolt. By using two separate plates connected by a screw thread and bolt like component the two plates will extend and contract as the bolt/ screw thread spins. An electric motor is placed at the end of the screw thread to provide the powered component and allow stair to be climbed. The back plate components have a set of wheels and handles attached providing the hand truck capabilities and the front plate has a foot on which to strap the item to be moved.

Stair climbing is achieved by extending the two plates apart, this leaves the foot on the ground and the wheels in the air. Placing the wheels on to the steps above this then allows the machine to then be contracted bringing the foot up to the step above. This process is repeated providing the stair climbing movement. 

Advantages to this approach are power and safety. Safety is gained by providing two different points of contact on the stairs, not only does this spread the weight but also allows the operator to stop operating the machine and balance the unit on the stairs safely, perfectly balanced. Power is gained because the lifting is not vertical (it is at the angle of the stairs) meaning the machines works less hard. 

The main disadvantages to this mechanism are harder work by the operator, because it relies on the counter balance principle the machine must be continuously lifted and pushed down allowing the foot / wheels to clear the step above or below.



Sano Lifting Arm Mechanism

The Sano patented mechanism uses a custom designed set of cogs / wheels. This mechanism has the main advantage of ease of use by the stair climber operator. 

The mechanism works with a set of custom gears and arms that when rotated at the motor end creates a much larger rotation at the stair climbing end.

Stair climbing is achieved by walking up to the stairs and tilting the stair climber slightly, pressing the button for desired direction and the stair climbing arm will push the item and stair climber in a rotational motion upwards (or downwards) from the centre of the wheels up (or down) on to the next step.

The advantage of this mechanism is ease of use. It easily allows the users to climb up or down stairs quickly in a smooth motion.

The downside to this way of stair climbing is safety and power as the operator must always be holding on to the handles keeping the stair climber and item balanced. If you were to let go the item and stairclimber would fall forward down the stairs. This type of stair climber can operate up to 330 Kg which is considerably less than than the screw thread type.


Tracked Stair Climbers

Tracked stair climbers offer a unique and very powerful way of climbing stairs. The design for a tracked stair climber is more complicated than the other types and this is reflected in their price. 

The tracked stair climber mechanism works in exactly the same way as a tank track except that the tracks have large protrusions that dig into the top of the stairs for traction. By rotating the track via electric motor the tracks dig into the steps and climb or lower the item and stair climber safely. 

The advantages to this stair climbing mechanism are safety and power as the tracks are in contact with multiple stairs at once aiding with balance and spreading the load weight. A main powered model is available that can lift up to 1000 Kg which is far greater than any battery powered stair climber.

The disadvantage to this method are size as they are bulky and take up more room than a standard stair climbing hand truck so are suitable on less types of stairs.