In the world of construction and industrial vertical access solutions, different types of elevators cater to varying project requirements. Among these, the rack and pinion elevator is a reliable and efficient option that has made its mark across diverse applications. But what exactly is a rack and pinion elevator, and how does it operate?

A rack and pinion elevator, also known as a manlift, is a particular type of elevator that employs a unique drive system. This system works using two key components: the rack and the pinion.
The Rack: This is a linear gear bar with evenly spaced teeth that are fixed onto the elevator shaft. The Pinion: This is a circular gear that meshes with the rack and is attached to the motor of the elevator.

The rack and pinion work together to move the elevator car up and down the shaft. When the motor spins the pinion, the gear’s teeth catch on the notches in the rack, propelling the elevator up or down along the track.

Benefits of Rack and Pinion Elevators

Rack and pinion elevators offer a host of benefits that make them an ideal choice for many industries, especially construction, energy, and industrial sectors.


The rack and pinion system provides high mechanical safety. The elevator is directly driven by the motor, which reduces the risk of free fall or overspeed. Additionally, these elevators are equipped with safety devices like automatic brakes and speed limiters for enhanced security.

Efficiency and Versatility:

These elevators are highly adaptable and can operate in harsh environments, including outdoor settings, and extreme temperatures. Their robust design allows them to work efficiently even under demanding conditions.

Ease of Maintenance

With fewer moving parts compared to other elevator types, rack, and pinion elevators are relatively easier to maintain. Their simpler design results in lower maintenance costs and improved equipment longevity.


Unlike traditional elevators that require machine rooms and counterweights, rack, and pinion elevators do not, saving valuable construction and operational space.

At McDonough, we specialize in rack and pinion elevators, bringing over 40 years of industry experience to the table. We service all brands of rack and pinion elevators and offer a variety of parts, preventative maintenance, repair services, and more.
Whether you’re looking for a permanent elevator for your facility or a temporary elevator for a construction project, our team of experts can help you find the ideal rack and pinion elevator solution that meets your needs and ensures optimum performance.
Contact us today to learn more about our services and offerings.

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