Leaving your wheelchair or scooter at home can be a major inconvenience. If you’re looking for an easy way to bring your wheelchair with you on the road, one of the different types of wheelchair lifts is all you need.
Designed to provide unparalleled convenience, wheelchair lifts allow you to get into the car or load your mobility aid, including wheelchairs or power scooters, into your vehicle without any risk or damage. You might think that it’s similar to a ramp or elevator, but it’s not — it’s even better.
But what is a wheelchair lift and what are the benefits of owning one? Are there any types of wheelchair lifts? Keep reading to learn more.
What Is a Wheelchair Lift?
Powered by a specialized lifting mechanism, a wheelchair lift is a mechanical device that uses hydraulics to raise and lower the platform to accommodate the wheelchair and its occupants. These lifts can either be manually or automatically operated by remote control.
While some models enable you to bring your mobility device inside the vehicle and trunk, others are mounted in a vehicle’s cargo area or outside the vehicle. The best thing about these devices is that they come with a range of safety features like non-skid platforms, several tie-down points, and under-platform obstruction sensors, ensure maximum safety at all times.
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Different Types of Wheelchair Lifts
There are several different types of wheelchair lifts available on the market depending on your vehicle and mobility device.
Outside Wheelchair Lifts
Designed for vehicles with limited cargo area, an outside wheelchair lift is mounted to the vehicle’s frame, either on or below the bumper, and can be activated with a single switch. These wheelchair lifts consist of a wide aluminum platform which you drive your wheelchair onto and then secure it with an automatic hold-down foot. Unlike other wheelchair lifts, outside wheelchair lifts come with exceptionally high weight capacity, are moderately easy to operate, and can accommodate a wide range of mobility aids including heavy-duty power wheelchairs, scooters, and manual wheelchairs. These types of lifts must be installed by a professional for proper operation.
An inside lift is one of the most compact types of wheelchair lift. Also known as a hoist or crane lift, this type of lift consists of an electric motor with a cable that connects to an articulating arm that attaches to the wheelchair. The lift uses a cable to lower or raise your wheelchair safely inside of your vehicle. Inside lifts are often installed in the cargo area or trunk of vehicles, which makes them ideal for SUVs or minivans.
Hybrid Wheelchair Lifts
Often installed in the vehicle’s cargo compartment, a hybrid lift features a wide platform with a sliding rail that automatically lowers to the ground level to allow you to load or unload your mobility device easily. Not only can these lifts accommodate different power chairs and scooters but they also protect them from the elements, which makes them perfect for people who live in cold, windy, or rainy areas.
These lifts don’t require any major modifications to install, which makes them ideal for minivan, SUV, and crossover owners who don’t want to alter the interior of their vehicles.
Micro Wheelchair Lifts
If you have space constraints or own a small vehicle like a sedan, hatchback, or wagon, then a micro wheelchair lift might be ideal for you. Featuring a small footprint, these lifts are either attached to the trailer hitch of the vehicle or mounted in the trunk of the car to accommodate a wheelchair or scooter without affecting the car’s aerodynamics.
Even though most models don’t raise nearly as high as other types of lifts, micro lifts can carry heavier loads. They’re also more affordable than other types of wheelchair lifts, making them a great option for those on a budget.
Truck Wheelchair Lifts
As the name implies, a truck wheelchair lift is designed to be attached to the bed of pickup trucks from Toyota, Ford, Chevrolet, and more.
These models typically have a weight capacity of 500 pounds or more and can accommodate wheelchairs with large tires or scooter-style frames. Truck wheelchair lifts consist of an articulating arm that rotates vertically to place your wheelchair close to the driver or passenger side door, making them much more convenient than other types of wheelchair vehicles.
In addition to truck lifts, you can protect your precious cargo with an AccessATop. This moving rear cover uses a truck cap (topper) to open and close automatically protecting your mobility equipment from debris and the elements.
Modify Your Vehicle With Clock Mobility
When it comes to Clock Mobility’s wheelchair lifts, you won’t find yourself without options. There are a variety of high-quality loaders designed to help you regain your independence.
Still unsure of what exact type of wheelchair lift or accessories you need? Contact us today so we can help you find the right wheelchair lift, assist you with installation, and provide regular maintenance for your wheelchair lift.