You would think that a tram is a tram, and one style would fit everyone.  But it's not so.  This situation required an entry through the upper end, and an exit at the bottom through the side toward the home entry.  While a lot of folks use color powder coating, an uncoated aluminum car such as this one fits the architectural style of many homes.  They also opted for aluminum and glass railings built similar to the car at each landing.

Tram: From Garage to Front Door

This Accumar tram runs between the garage and the home entry south of Seattle.  Recreational trams that ride, for instance,  to the beach, are often left open to the elements.  The thinking is that if we are enjoying the outdoors, we might as well be open to the enviroment.  But for those using the tram at all times of the day, at all times of year, and in all kinds of weather, an enclosed car makes the journey a whole lot more comfortable.  In this case, the garage has a covered entry area, as does the bottom, so the passengers are almost always out of the rain, etc.

The car is finished in old-growth western red cedar, Lexan windows, and a black powder coated aluminum structure.  The wood finish is Cetol.  The trip takes about one minute.  The machine room is at the end of the garage, at the top of the rails.

Cable Lift Long Upper Landing


We had some fun with cranes on this project!

Cable Lifts typically utilize an upper deck that is cantilevered with beams or trusses.  The idea is that on most slopes in the northwest, the soils are questionably stable.  Since most Cable Lifts do not have anything built on the face of the slope, the most vulnerable part is the upper landing deck on the slopes edge.  By cantilevering the deck, we can pull the deck supports back from the edge.  A soils (geotechnical) engineer guides the process. 

In this case, this engineer didn't want to see any supports closer than 20' from the edge...a huge cantilever!  So we engineered and built a long deck, with an elegant truss unerneath.  We were planning on assembling this deck in place from scaffoling, but came up with a better idea.  We assembled the steel structure to the side, upside-down, and then had a crane come in and place it.  First he rotated right side up, and then set it out onto its foundations.

The foundations were reinforced with mocro-pile earth anchors, which typically penetrate 20' into the soil.  They have tremendous holding power, so this deck is really supported!

Most trams do not require such substantial structures, but when its needed, we have a large bag of tricks to draw from.