Do you have a home or cottage on a steep hill? Do you think there has to be a better way to access your lake without hiking up and down stairs? There is, a lake tram will make your life much easier. If your lake has steep shoreline hills, you may have seen some of these work-saving machines as you cruise the lake. If you’re investigating a tram, make sure you do your homework and make the smart choice. Here are some important areas you should consider.
The tram controls have two distinct functions. First is to let you operate the system. The controls should be easy to understand and use. Their functions should be clearly marked for legibility. Switches should be durable for a long life. They should also be intelligently located for easy access. The second function is safety and management. The control system should be designed so you can limit access to only those that should be operating the system. This may be through a simple key lock, a keypad or a proximity key fob. Marine Innovations has a wide variety of control options to meet your need for easy control and secure system operation.
A strong foundation has many components. These components are determined by local conditions and sometimes building codes. Although most Marine Innovations systems use our proprietary pin pile system, we analyze each installation and specify the most appropriate anchoring system.
The Marine Innovations pin pile system is exceptionally strong, utilizing 2” WT 40 high strength, galvanized pipe, driven to specified resistance. If you’re comparing tram systems, ask about the uprights supporting the track. How does the other brand compare to Marine Innovations’ 2″ pipe?
Some installations require other anchoring methods. Does your property have a lot of rock? We have a rock anchor that insures a strong attachment, much better than bolting into the exposed rock. Does your municipality require cement foundations? Our staff is accustom to working with engineers and contractors to design a system that meets all requirements.
Do your homework when looking at the structural elements, because a solid foundation is required for a strong tram system.
A tram is a long term investment. The long term strength, durability and good looks are dependent on the quality of the finish. Marine Innovations uses powder coating for the carriage, trolley and power frame cover for durability and attractive color options. Track, pin pile pipe and structural components are galvanized for extreme durability. Other components are zinc plated for durability with a smoother finish. These processes are completed after any machining to prevent any raw edges that can corrode. Compare a ten year old Marine Innovations system to a competitor and see how much cleaner and more sound the Marine Innovations system is over the competitor.
When you’re making an investment, you want to make sure it’s supported and you’re protected. Marine Innovations has the best warranty in the industry: 1 year comprehensive warranty on all electrical components, 15 years on the structure and 3 years on the motor, gearbox, and brakes on our residential tram systems. Ask around and see what the competition offers. Also, ask how long they’ve been in business. We’ve been building tram systems since 1991 and most of our systems are still running strong.
Because a tram is hauling you and your loved ones, safety is key. A Marine Innovations tram is built to meet ASME safety code for inclined elevators. Some of these safety features include:
- Carriages with fully compliant walls and doors
- Overspeed governor and brake to prevent the system from going too fast
- Slack cable brake system to prevent a runaway carriage
- Emergency stop switches in the carriage and at all landings
- Gate interlock switches to prevent accidental gate opening (optional)
- Landing gates to prevent access to the track when the carriage is not present (optional)
Make sure that any tram system you look at has all of these features to insure the safety of you and your family.
Marine Innovations offers a self-leveling system allowing your lake tram to follow the terrain. This makes for a smooth ride and avoids requiring tall supporting structure throughout the system. A self-leveling system allows for one tram system to cover your entire commute rather than multiple systems, stairs or a long winding walk. Talk to us to see how a self-leveling system can make your tram a smooth, safe and affordable reality.
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When you’re looking at a tram, do your homework. If you’re reading this, you’ve already found the best tram system available. If you’re considering another brand, make sure you compare all the components and systems.
The best way to see the quality of a Marine Innovations tram is in person. Once you’ve determined a tram is the right fit for your home, we can provide a list of references that can give you an unbiased opinion on their system.