When chosen correctly, a scooter lift for cars is an essential accessibility tool that can make your life easier and open up a whole new world of possibilities. Sometimes you just yearn for that freedom to go out and do your own grocery shopping, go on a vacation, or just being outside. With a power wheelchair and a scooter lift, you do all that and so much more.
First Things First: Consider the Following
If you want to use the car by yourself or with a caretaker's help, you need to purchase a scooter lift for your car. The important thing is to choose one that suits your needs and can be controlled easily from within the car or using a remote control.
What are the major decisions?
- Where will you use the wheel lift? You need to make a decision on whether you will use the lift on the rear or the side of the vehicle. Both of these options are available, but not all the models are designed to work both ways.
- What is the weight to be lifted? Your second and vital decision will depend on the total weight of the scooter or wheelchair and the weight of the passenger. Dual-arm lifts do not allow the front passenger seat to fall back, whereas the single/sliding arm lift can lift up to 800 pounds and enable the chair to tilt back.
Adaptive controls- to ensure that your lift is safe and easy to use, consider:
- Your range of flexibility, motion, and strength
- Personal ability to do and make judgments and decisions
- Ability to move and drive your vehicle after installation of the lift, make sure there is enough room left for other needs
- Your coordination and reaction time
Types Of Mobility Lifts
There are different types of mobility lifts. Each type has its benefits depending on needs and usage. Not just any kind will be suitable for your vehicle because each of them is designed for specific requirements.
Power lifts- This type of lift is usually mounted on the outside of the vehicle. It can automatically fold when not in use, and this saves space.
Manual lifts- They are the most popular mobility options since they are very economical. Manual lifts will require some effort to release the ramp. These types of lifts are not ideal for people with limited strength. Manual lifts do not swing out of the way when not in use to create room and access to the trunk.
Hybrid lifts- The hybrid wheelchair and scooter lifts for vehicles are designed in such a way that the chair is loaded outside the car, and then it is carried inside the vehicle. This is the best option, especially when you are worried about highway hazards and weather effects on your mobility lift.
3 Step Process for Choosing The Right Scooter Or Wheelchair Lift For Your Vehicle
Once you have defined and understood your need for a scooter or wheelchair lift, it is important that you check out further relevant details.
Here are the four most important steps to guide you in making the right decision:
- Assess Your Needs
When you are assessing the situation, it is important to consider the following:
The make or model of the wheelchair/scooter you have includes the dimensions, weight, and size. This will guide you in pinpointing the available options.
Another important consideration is to ensure that you have the exact model, make, and year of manufacture of the vehicle you want to install the lift on.
Make sure you choose a lift you can easily operate if you are the one who will be operating it. If not, check if the person who will be operating it will be able to. If you have limited strength and dexterity, get a lift with more powerful features.
Check if you will need to transport other passengers in your vehicle. Ensure you have space in your vehicle if you have to.
The price of scooter/wheelchair lifts vary considerably. The price can be very high or moderately low, depending on the features installed. Check if the car lift is within a workable budget, whilst suiting your needs.
- Decide If You Need Exterior Or Interior Car Wheelchair/Scooter Lift
There are advantages to both interior and exterior car mobility lifts. A mobility lift that can carry you inside the car is a great device that can protect you from the weather. Indoor lifts are generally the easiest to operate. You simply have to roll on the platform and operate the lift using a remote control to lift and store the wheelchair or scooter inside the vehicle.
Most of the indoor lifts leave the second-row seating of your car open. Here you can host more passengers or even take your scooter or wheelchair with you. There are other models that are a bit compact and leave the third row open but this will require you to fold your wheelchair so you can have more room.
Exterior vehicle lifts for scooters and wheelchairs are usually platforms that allow the user to roll the mobility device on it, then it is lifted and pulled by a connected hitch behind your car. It is the best vehicle lift to purchase if you want to take more passengers with you. They are easy to operate, to load, and to get going.
- Evaluate and Make A Decision
Each of the models of scooter and wheelchair vehicle lifts have their ups and downs, so ensuring you get the right one will involve trade-offs. Also, check whether you will need to get a new vehicle to suit your needs as required, and don't forget to consider the seating.
- Get A Trained Professional to Help You Select and Install The Best Lift For You
Today, there are very many devices out there in the market that are designed to help you transport your mobility tool. To ensure that you are provided with the best lift for your van, truck, or SUV, contact a trained professional to help you out.