What options do I have for transporting my wheelchair or mobility scooter, and which one will work the best for me? This is a question every mobility scooter or wheelchair user must ask at some point.
In this article we will look at a couple of transport options for mobility devices, as well as the advantages and disadvantages of each option. Having this information will help you decide which method will work best for you.
Mobility Scooter or Wheelchair Carrier
One of the options available to transfer wheelchairs and mobility scooters are car carriers. A carrier can be attached to the top or back of most vehicles. Carriers have the following advantages:
- they are simple to mount to your car
- they can be installed quickly
- they are quite easy to use
All you need to do is load the wheelchair or scooter onto the carrier and close the gate that connects.
The downside is that a carrier needs to be installed, which can take a bit of time to do. Also, you may require assistance of another person to get the wheelchair or scooter onto the carrier.
Storing In Your Vehicle
With this option you simply fold up or disassemble the wheelchair and store it in the back of your vehicle. Once it is stored this way it is completely out of sight. If you decide to store it inside your vehicle you might want to invest in a wheelchair travel bag.
It looks almost like a suitcase, and you can store your wheelchair parts inside for safekeeping while traveling. These bags come in a variety of styles and sizes, therefore there is a good chance you will find one that fits your wheelchair.
There are benefits to storing your wheelchair or scooter in a car:
- you do not need special equipment to get set up
- storage is out of sight
The main disadvantage to this method is having to disassemble and reassemble your mobility device.
Lift Platform For Larger Vehicles
There are a variety of lift platforms to use with trucks and SUV’s. Some of these are external and must be attached to the back of the vehicle while others can be hidden in the vehicle’s cargo area, if applicable. Another option is to get a modified minivan with an automatic ramp. This allows the door to be opened and the ramp lowered so that the scooter or wheelchair user can enter or exit without transferring and there’s no need to disassemble the unit.
Make sure you know which type will work best with your van and is most suited to your way of life. Also do a bit of preliminary research on the different models available online.
The downside to this is that lift platforms are expensive, especially when you use them with a modified van. They also take up quite a bit of space and are conspicuous.
Tips When Traveling On Public Transit With A Mobility Device
When travelling by rail you want to make sure that the elevators at your arrival and departure locations are operable because most rail stations are older, and escalators and elevators are frequently out of order for repairs.
Travelling on the bus with a wheelchair can be a challenging experience, especially if you are travelling long distance. However, most buses are wheelchair accessible, depending on where you are located.
First thing you want to do is notify the bus company that you are travelling with a wheelchair to make sure that the bus you will be on is compliant with all ADA requirements.
When travelling by airplane, you want to notify the airline that you will be travelling with a wheelchair in advance. Reconfirm your flight with your airline of choice 24 to 48 hours before you depart, and request for assistance at the terminals.
After arriving at the airport reiterate the request you made for assistance at the ticket counter, asking them to gate check your wheelchair. Doing this will allow you to roll your wheelchair to the airplane door and transfer to an aisle chair.
Do not forget to remove the leg supports and cushions and bring them onboard with you, as they can sometimes get lost or damaged in transit. You might want to acquire a lightweight nylon sports bag to store these items in during the flight.
We hope that these tips on transporting your mobility scooter or wheelchair and the extra travel tips have been helpful to you. Please feel free to let us know if you have any questions or if you would like to see more of these types of articles to our site.
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If you are more interested and looking for other related articles, our staff compiled a great list of mobility scooters with the best turning radius and mobility scooters with the best ground clearance and suspension and have had some great feedback on those articles as well.
Feel free to write me anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions or comments. At Electric Wheelchairs USA, we truly love helping our customers make the best choice for their needs whether it is a power chair, mobility scooter, or lift chair.