With many wheelchair lifts in the market today, choosing the one for you or your loved one can be a daunting task. From features and functionality to safety and cost, there are a few things you should be aware of before making your purchase.
In this article, we will talk about what is wheelchair lift for a van, how to choose the right one, and some helpful tips when shopping for a wheelchair lift.
What are Wheelchair Lifts and How Do They Work?
A wheelchair lift, frequently referred to as a platform lift or vertical platform lift, is an engineered device created to elevate a wheelchair—along with its user—to overcome steps or other vertical barriers.
This is distinct from manual lifts, as it requires no physical effort from the user. As a fully powered system, it’s an integral element of a wheelchair-accessible vehicle, often installed in vans for easy transportation. Wheelchair lifts for vans, whether for power wheelchairs or scooters, typically feature a stable lifting platform for secure elevation.
Scooter lifts and vehicle lifts for power wheelchairs often come equipped with advanced safety features to ensure the user’s secure transit. These safety features can provide peace of mind and a level of independence for those using mobility aids, making the experience of navigating the world much smoother and less challenging.
Factors You Need to Consider When Shopping for Wheelchair Lifts for Vans
It might look easy at first glance, but there are quite a few factors to consider when shopping for a wheelchair lift. Let’s go through each of them so you can find the right fit for you or your loved one.
The Space Available in Your Car, SUV, Truck, and Garage
The dimension and interior space of your vehicle can significantly impact the type of commercial wheelchair lift that is suitable for your needs. Full-size vans may accommodate larger lifts, whereas mini vans might require more compact models. Also, consider the space available in your garage as larger lifts might necessitate more room.
The Weight and Dimensions of the Wheelchair
The weight and dimensions of the power wheelchair are critical factors to take into account. Larger and heavier mobility devices might require sturdy lifts with dual hydraulic lift arms, providing additional strength and stability.
Whether You Will Need the Vehicle Lift on a Temporary or Permanent Basis
Is the lift for temporary or permanent use? If temporary, you might consider a more economical option. However, for permanent use, investing in a high-quality, durable lift operation would be better.
Whether You Prefer a Manual or Powered Lift
Manual lifts are more affordable and simple to use. However, power wheelchair users with limited physical capabilities might prefer electric wheelchair lifts, which provide ease of use and independence.
From What Side of the Vehicle the Wheelchair User Will Board
Consider from which side of the handicap van the wheelchair user will board. Lift options are available for both side and rear entries, catering to the specific needs of the right wheelchair user and the design of the paratransit vehicles.
Useful Tips When Looking for a Wheelchair Lift
To further help you with your search for the right wheelchair lift, here are some additional tips:
- Thoroughly evaluate your mobility device: Note that the weight and design of the mobility device significantly influence the type of lift that you need. Also, consider if any modifications to the wheelchair might be needed in the future.
- Look for time-tested durability: Pay attention to the brand reputation and the customer reviews that validate the product’s durability over time. The wheelchair lift should have a robust design that can withstand regular use without frequent maintenance or repairs.
- Consider the thoughtful features: Wheelchair lifts may come with a variety of thoughtful features including safety belts, anti-slip flooring, easy-to-use controls, and more. These features can enhance the wheelchair user’s experience significantly.
- Explore economical packages: While it’s important to invest in a reliable wheelchair lift, some brands offer economical packages that combine quality, functionality, and affordability. Thoroughly compare the options before making a decision.
- Ask for complete details: When contacting suppliers or manufacturers, be sure to get complete details about the product. This includes technical specifications, warranty information, installation requirements, and after-sales service.
- Try before you buy: If possible, test the lift in person. It’s the best way to ensure the lift meets your expectations and needs. Be sure to bring the mobility device that will be used with the lift for the most accurate evaluation.
Remember, the primary aim is to find a lift that offers safety, comfort, and ease of use for the wheelchair user.
In conclusion, choosing the right wheelchair lift for your van involves careful consideration of several factors, including space availability, weight and dimensions of the wheelchair, and personal needs.
At Power Mobility & Lifts, we offer a wide array of mobility devices and solutions to meet diverse needs. Located in Chandler, we’re proud to serve other areas such as Gilbert, Peoria, Scottsdale, Mesa, and Tempe. We’re committed to improving mobility and enriching lives.
Contact us today for more information on our quality products and let us help you enhance your mobility experience.