To set the world’s fastest installing elevator, there are three different crane configurations that you can choose from:
  • Two cranes: A larger one lifts the top end and uprights it, while a smaller one lifts the bottom end, then gently lowers it to the ground.
  • One crane with 2 independently operating hooks that do what 2 cranes would do. (see video above)
  • One crane that lifts the tower off the truck, then sets it on the ground re-rigs to the top only, and tilts it upright.

All of these options are acceptable. The first two save a small amount of time, but may cost a bit more.

Determine Crane Size

The crane company needs to determine the crane size. To do this they need:

Tower dimensions: Look up on your approval drawings.

Tower weight: Below you will see a chart that indicates the estimated weight of a standard tower as shipped. For specific weight estimates regarding Machine Roomless or traction elevators, contact PME for a more concise weight estimate. Keep in mind that for traction elevators the total weight of the elevator can increase due to counter-weights within the unit. A modular machine room weighs 5-6,000 lbs.

Standard Tower Weights
Weight WF/WFR Weight SF/SFR Weight SLF/SLFR
25' 19000lb 20000lb 21000lb
30' 20000lb 21000lb 22000lb
35' 23000lb 24000lb 25000lb
40' 26000lb 27000lb 28000lb
45' 27500lb 29000lb 30000lb
50' 29000lb 30000lb 31000lb
Site Access

The crane company that has been employed needs to visit the site with the general contractor. The GC will show them specifically where they can set up the crane for elevator installation and where the elevator will be going.

How long is the crane needed?

If you are setting a single tower, 4 hours is sufficient time for crane setup, rigging, tower set and plumbing, unrigging, and crane pack up.

If there are multiple towers that stack together, add one hour for each additional tower. It doesn’t usually take a full hour for each additional tower, because there’s no additional plumbing needed after the first is properly set in place. However, the additional hour per tower it just to be safe.

 Crane Setting Process

The day of the installation arrives! Here are the steps to the complete placement:

→ Truck arrives, untarps load

→ Crane removes modular machine room or pallet with power unit & controller

→ Crane rigs head and tail of hoistway

→ Crane lifts hoistway off truck bed

→ Truck drives away or crane swings hoistway off truck bed (depends on job site layout)

→ Crew removes shipping brackets

→ Crane upends hoistway

→ Rigger removes lower end rigging

→ Crane swings hoistway into pit

→ Crew and crane communicate to level and plumb hoistway, bolt down

→ Crew removes upper rigging

→ Crane sets modular machine room (if ordered)

Below you will find rigging instructions for elevator installation and other information that will make the process go smoothly.

The set consists of three steps: lifting the tower off the truck, uprighting the tower, and setting the tower in the pit. To complete the process proper rigging is required.


How is the elevator rigged?

This diagram shows the recommended rigging for elevator installation.
Modular elevator installation includes proper rigging. This diagram show how to properly rig the elevator for installation.

Lifting the Tower

Lifting the tower or hoistway into place is an easy process, but should be completed in a systematic way to ensure safety and to retain the structural integrity of the modular elevator. It may sound difficult but this process has been completed hundreds of times. Of course all safety precautions should be observed. The total weight of the modular elevator can range between 19,000 and 40,000 lbs. depending on the total size and means of conveyance. Please use appropriate sized straps, cables and clevises.


Top of tower rigging: The top of the hoistway can be identified by the two large lifting lugs. These are designed to handle the weight of the entire hoistway. Place a clevis through the 2″ holes on each lifting lug.

Bottom of tower: Next comes attaching the crane to the bottom of the hoistway. Place Straps around columns just above base plates. With the straps in place you are ready to lift the elevator off the back of the truck.

Lifting the tower: After securely rigging the top and bottom of the tower, the crane lifts up the tower and the truck drives away. Multi-piece towers have connection plates at the joints. They should be rigged with clevises through the 1 3/8” holes.

Installing a modular elevator.
To install a modular elevator the lifting lug on the top of the hoistway needs to be used when craning it into place.

Elevator installation requires rigging the crane to the modular elevator.

Rigging the bottom.

Base plate for a modular elevator being installed.

Base Plate

Connecting plate for a modular elevator.

Connection Plate

Uprighting the Tower

Option 1: If the crane has 2 independently operating hooks, raise up the top of the tower while simultaneously lowering the bottom of the tower for elevator installation: a midair tilt-up. This can also be done with 2 cranes, but the extra cost is not necessary.

Option 2: If the crane has only one hook, then set the tower on the ground, remove the rigging on the bottom, and then tilt the tower up, pivoting on the base plates. The tower is engineered to withstand this motion.

Uprighting the hoistway in an elevator installation.

Setting the Tower in the Pit

Remove the rigging on the bottom, if it’s still attached, lift the tower up by the lifting lugs, and set it into the pit. As you plumb and level it, there will be some communication between the install crew and the crane to lift up, adjust the leveling nuts, and set back down.

Once the tower is level and plumb, remove the top rigging (make sure to have a lift on hand if there is no roof access) and the crane is done.

If the elevator has more than one piece, rig them as indicated, and lower them onto the lower tower. The installation crew will bolt them together. No additional plumbing/leveling is needed.


This is a unique website which will require a more modern browser to work! Please upgrade today!