Posts Tagged ‘vehicle wheelchair lift’

Vehicle Wheelchair Lifts

Wheelchairs and mobility scooters are very important mobility vehicles used by millions all over the World. Since many people do not only stay at home, it is typically necessary to find a means of transporting these types of mobility vehicles in your car or truck.

One option is to simply place the mobility vehicle in the trunk or back seat of the automobile. This is of course not possible with large electric wheelchairs and mobility scooters, but it is often a choice when dealing with manual wheelchairs, travel wheelchairs, and travel scooters. However, in the case of the latter two, many features have been removed to make these devices lightweight and easy to disassemble, so for everyday use, a travel scooter and portable wheelchair is often not preferable.

Wheelchair Lifts

Using a wheelchair lift, on the other hand, allows the mobility vehicle to be transported in a car, truck, SUV, or van without having to disassemble the wheelchair or scooter. There are different types of wheelchair lifts available for the three basic types of mobility vehicles; mobility scooters, electric wheelchairs, and manual wheelchairs, but they operate similarly.

hitchmountedwheelchairliftOne of the most common types of vehicle wheelchair lifts available is the hitch mounted wheelchair lift. These are popular because they can be slid into a standard square hitch and installed with little or no actual modification to the vehicle. The Class of the hitch, either Class I, II, or III, is important though, as this is a factor that affects how much weight the wheelchair lift can support.

Usually a hitch mounted wheelchair lift will provide an electronically powered lifting platform that the wheelchair can be driven onto and then automatically raised. Often, as an accessory a swing away arm is available, that allows the wheelchair platform to be swung away so the trunk area of the automobile can be accessed. There are also un-powered models available, which are popular for manual wheelchairs, that use a tilting system.

cranewheelchairliftAnother type of vehicle wheelchair lift, which is very popular in cars, is the crane wheelchair lift. Crane lifts can be installed in the trunk of a car and swivel away from the vehicle. A harness is attached to the wheelchair, which is subsequently raised and moved into the trunk.

One thing to consider when using a crane lift is whether or not it has powered rotation. Powered rotation means that instead of having to push the cranes arm and wheelchair into and away from the trunk, you can simply push a button and it will swivel electronically.

Usually crane lifts require that the seat of the wheelchair be removed to save space if it is being used in the trunk of a passenger car. There are also hitch mounted crane lifts available, which are popular for use with trunks or extremely limited trunk space.

platformwheelchairliftThe other type of vehicle wheelchair lift is the internal platform lift. These are installed inside of a vehicle, often in place of a row of seats in a van or in the back of an SUV. The platform extends from the vehicle, allowing the wheelchair to be driven onto the platform, which then retracts storing the wheelchair inside of the vehicle. These wheelchair lifts are popular because the store the wheelchair safely inside the vehicle, however they require a more permanent installation and can take up a great deal of internal vehicle space.