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How Do Stair Climbing Trolleys Work?

Posted on 30 September 2020

How do Stair Climbing Trolleys work?


Question: How do Stair Climbing Trolleys work?


Answer: A Powered stair climbing trolley works via an electric motor which powers a mechanical push arm or a set of Rotating tracks, pushing both the Stair climber and load up the stairs. This can also be used in reverse to guide a heavy load down a set of stairs.

Alternatively, a manually operated stair climbing trolley operates similarly to a Sack Barrow, with the addition of a rotating set of 3 wheels on either side of the trolley, which allows the user to manually pull the Stair Climber up a set of stairs, or gently ease it down a set of stairs.

The rotating set of wheels provide a steadier and less strenuous experience when compared to using a standard 2-wheel Sack barrow or Hand truck.



Question: How much can I lift with a Stairclimbing trolley?


Answer: Manual Stairclimber trolleys have a capacity of around 60-100kg when on stairs. whereas Heavy Duty Powered Stairclimbers can have a capacity of up to 1000kg.



Powered Stair Climbers come in a range of different capacities and designs, from a wide range of manufacturers. Able to mechanically power loads of up to 1000kg up and down stairs, We have put together the below guide which explains the advantages and features of the three main types of electric stair climbers.



Different Types of Electric Powered Stairclimbers:



Tracked Stair Climbers

Tracked stairclimbing machines offer the highest load capacity of all stair climbers, carrying loads of up to 1000kg as seen in the Stair Robot 1750, This style of Stair climber operates via a "continuous track" on the underside of the machine, similar to the style of tracks you would see on a tank, but smaller and ridged for the purpose of gripping the edge of each step.


A Stair Robot SR1750 Powered Stair climber lifting a 1000kg load up a set of stairs

 This style of operation is often the least strenuous on the operator while in the middle of a staircase, as the machine itself is supporting the entire weight of the load, without any need for balancing. Operator assisted balancing is still required at the bottom and the top of each flight of stairs, the way in which the machine needs to be balanced changes from model to model.  


Some tracked stairclimbers have the additional feature of a hydraulically levelled load bed (as pictured above), which allows for the operator to adjust the angle of the load to keep it upright during transportation. This is a specific requirement when moving certain types of Airconditioning units and fridges as well as other objects which must remain upright while in transit.  Click here to see a short video of a Tracked Stairclimber in operation.



Stair Walker Motorised Stair Climbers


The Stair Walker type of Stair Climbers use an extending and retracting foot, this foot moves independently of the stair climbers’ main body, allowing the operator to extend and retract this foot to "walk" the machine up and down stairs. Most stair walker style stair climbers are designed have the load secured to the "foot" or "toeplate" of the machine, Other models allow for the load to be manoeuvred up and down independently of the foot and main body of the machine. this can aid the balancing of the load, but leads to a more complex operation than a standard stair walker. Powered Stair climber trolleys can also include additional features such as All terrain wheels, customised strap bars, and jockey wheels to allow a stable manoeuvring of a heavy load on flat surfaces.


The load capacity of the stair walker style stair climber is up to 680kg as seen in the Lectrotruck 6512E. These machines are most popular for manoeuvring Vending machines, Safes, and Server cabinets up and downs stairs. Click Here to watch a video demostration of this machine.




Push Arm Style Stair Climbing Trolley


This type of motorised stair climber is the simplest to operate, as it is the most similar to a traditional sack barrow. These are designed with the addition of a motorised arm fitted to the bottom of the truck which rotates out and down, lifting main body and load up 1 step at a time. This mechanism continuously rotates at a set speed allowing the operator to hold onto the handles while the Push arm does all of the lifting. This mechanism also works in reverse, slowly easing the machine down a set of stairs.



The Capacity of motorised "push arm" Stairclimbers can be as high as 330kg in select models, lower than its above-mentioned counterparts, but easily enough to lift washing machines and other white goods.






We’re happy to offer completely free, no obligation advice to determine what equipment is best suited for you and your business. Give us a call on 01708 861 414, or email us at, we are happy to help.