Design, Build, Install

Each Hill Hiker® lift system is custom designed and built by hand in the USA to the exact characteristics of each customers’ hillside: including adherence to local and national building codes and desired options and capabilities. Hill Hiker, Inc. prides itself on its manufacturing and installation processes which DELIVERS the highest quality hillside elevator systems available.

Hill Hiker winding drum x system with upper landing platform 3D drawing
Hill Hiker installers hanging rail on a steep cliff with a hoist system for an incline cliff tram

Project Process Slide Show


(1) Site Visit and System Needs Determined


(2) Design and Permitting


(3) Order High Grade Materials


(4) Metal Fabrication


(5) High Grade Finish


(6) Components Assembled


(7) Electronics Assembled and Tested


(8) QC, Packaging and Shipping


(9) Site Preparation and Layout


(10) Footing Excavation


(11) Concrete Foundation


(12) Steel Structure


(13) Chassis and Car Mounted


(14) Motor and Gearbox Installed


(15) Electrical Wiring


(16) Final Setup


(17) Landings - by 3rd party


(18) Testing and Inspection


A Deeper Look: Strong Foundation

One of the most important components of every outdoor inclined elevator is its foundation. The process of determining, designing and installing the proper foundation type for each hill’s unique features and soil conditions is critical to the strength, longevity and safety of the whole system. Hill Hiker, Inc. is one of the only companies that offers a full range of foundation options to best meet the challenges of any hillside.

Hill Hiker hydrulic driven post piles

Hydraulic Piles

Hill Hiker concrete buried post installation

Buried Posts

Hill Hiker concrete step footing installation

Step Footings

Hill Hiker concrete foundation column piers


Hill Hiker I-beam install project in Canada


Hill Hiker helical screw piles in sandy soil

Helical Screws


Initial Contact and Site Visit

  • Measure hill, determine incline of hillside
  • Examine terrain, sample soils

Exact Location of System Determined By

  • Traffic flow to and from system
  • Preservation of trees and vegetation
  • Aesthetics and blending with landscape

Determine Custom System Needs

  • Foundation requirements based on soils and site
  • Size of system based on desired capacity
  • Application type – residential vs. commercial
  • Local building code requirements
  • Customer desired options

Quote and Contract

  • Prepare and present finial price and quote
  • Reach agreement and sign contract

Contact Local Code Officials

  • Begin permitting process

Collaborate and Plan Project

  • Work with owner and/or architects and engineers as needed
  • Setup Sub-Contractors as needed
  • Schedule Pre-Construction meetings as needed

Develop Custom Order

  • Create Engineering Drawings
  • Place custom order for manufacturing


Materials Ordered

  • High grade steel, marine grade aluminum and/or stainless steel
  • Custom mechanical parts
  • Motor, gearbox, drum and electronics package

Custom Fabricate

  • Hill Hiker® lift system built to desired specifications
  • In house Capabilities –  Sheet metal cutting, bending and shearing saves cost
  • Precision Welding – Hill Hiker® shop technicians take pride in their craft

High Grade Finish

  • Hill Hiker® lift system sent to receive high-grade powder coat paint and/or galvanization

Certified Electronics

  • Hill Hiker® lift system electronic package built by qualified (UL) and licensed box shop

Components Assembled

  • Hill Hiker® lift system components (car, chassis, motor & gearbox) assembled

Quality Control

  • In-house inspection and testing performed


  • Entire system packaged for shipping
  • Tram system sent via third party shipper or delivered by Hill Hiker® crew depending on location


Site work

  • Clear hillside path for lift system
  • Layout system location and footings


  • Dig motor and gearbox pad (as applicable)
  • Dig footing holes bellow frost line


  • Pour concrete posts or column footings
  • Pour motor gearbox pad (as applicable)

Steel Structure

  • Install column brackets or steel posts
  • Hang/Install steel rails
  • Cross brace posts as need for extra strength


  • Place and secure motor and gearbox assembly
  • Mount chassis and car
  • Install cable


  • Hook up controller to power
  • Wire and set limit switches
  • Mount wireless communication


  • Test safeties and controls
  • Closeout with owner – instructions and manuals
  • State elevator inspection and permit closeout

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