The need for new mechanics to be trained on older equipment should not be ignored

by John W. Koshak

In 1980, the vast majority of traction (electric) elevators were Ward Leonard motor control, and direct-acting hydraulic elevators dominated the market. Today, solid-state motor controls and machine-room-less elevators have displaced those industry offerings. The advance of new technology and the explosion of modernization projects since the market recovery turned the fortunes around in the building industry have changed the equipment mix. Additionally, there has been a noticeable turnover of elevator personnel: those who installed and maintained the old equipment have retired, replaced by younger personnel who grew up on the new equipment. This has created a disconnect in knowledge, as there is still an inventory of old equipment and no training of the new mechanics. It was mentioned at the International Association of Elevator Consultants Annual Forum that obsolescence included a lack of experienced and trained personnel. This month, we should examine this issue and identify solutions to this widening gap of knowledge and equipment."