Vehicles are used to provide ease of transportation for people. Now that physically-disabled people are getting opportunities to live their life like every other person, why not modify the vehicles to provide them with easy commute solutions? One of the most important modifications you can get for your van to make it disability-friendly is to get wheelchair lifts.
Not every lift is suitable for your needs. Here is how you can choose from the multiple options available in the market.
Lift Depending On Mounting Option
Wheelchair lifts are available in the market with two mounting options,
- Internally mounted wheelchair lift, and
- Under-Vehicle mounted lifts (UVLs)
The internally mounted lifts are a budget-friendly option as they can be cheaper. Such lifts are more accessible and are very easy to maintain. However, these lifts have one disadvantage; they take up too much space. Depending on the type and model you choose, some may even block the entrance for the front passenger seat. If you do not have to use the front passenger seat quite often, then you can choose this type.
On the other hand, under-vehicle mounted lifts take no space from the inside of the vehicle. They have considerably high weight capacity, therefore, ideal for heavy wheelchairs. However, they can be expensive.
Single-arm Or Dual-arm Lift?
Single arm lifts are made such that they take minimum internal space and do not block the entry of passenger seats. They are ideal for side-entry applications. However, they are not suitable for bigger and heavier wheelchairs as they do not provide enough stability and do not hold enough weight lifting capacity.
Dual-arm lifts, on the contrary, are designed to meet the needs of heavy wheelchair users. These lifts can hold upto 800 pounds of weight without losing the balance. They provide more balance because the weight is distributed on two arms of the lift. However, these lifts can block the entryway of the front seat passenger. Therefore, you can install these lifts at the rear of the van.
Safety And Convenience
To ensure the safety of the wheelchair user, the lifts are equipped with interlocks. These interlocks ensure the safety of the van as well as the handicapped person. If the situation is not ideal, or when the wheelchair user of the van is at risk, the lift will not operate. You should look for the lift that has these essential safety features.
For example, when the wheelchair user is on the lift, you can not switch the van to ‘drive’ therefore ensuring safety of the wheelchair user. Similarly, if the wheelchair is not properly balanced, the lift will ring an alarm to indicate the situation to the wheelchair user.
Modifying the van for physically-disabled people is a hard job. You have to make sure that the safety of the person and of the vehicle is maintained. You certainly do not want to invest in substandard products to put users at risk. Choosing the lift that matches your needs should be your first priority.
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