CHOOSING A RAMP OR A LIFT FOR VAN ACCESS
A bespoke, quality conversion providing the best accessible van for an individual’s needs is the end result of many calculations and decisions. One of these decisions is likely to be whether to fit a lift or a ramp and as both options have their own benefits it’s a decision which requires considerable thought.
To install a wheelchair ramp, the vehicle has to be modified. The floor is lowered so that the ramp has a lower angle of ascent and more interior headroom is available for the wheelchair user. The WAV still has to allow enough ground clearance for the user’s usual routes and obviously care is required over speed bumps. People sometimes assume that a ramp is cheaper than a lift, but this isn’t necessarily the case.
Other options, when installing a wheelchair ramp are whether to have a standard power-operated ramp or a spring-loaded manual ramp. Ramps can either fold up for storage or can recede beneath the floor. They can also be located at the back of the van or for side entry.
Generally, the benefits of a ramp are its lightweight mass and its relatively low need for maintenance. They are versatile and can also be installed in vehicles other than vans.
A wheelchair lift can be heavier and bulkier than a ramp, yet they are popular because they offer more convenient access enabling exit and entry to the van where a ramp could not. Always powered, they are usually operated by using a wired or wireless control panel. Lifts come in various types depending on how they’re operated and shaped, whether they use electricity or hydraulics, whether they swing out or fold up and how they are stored.
The size of a wheelchair lift means that it’s taxing on the van and requires more maintenance and upkeep than a ramp. However, drive-from-wheelchair WAVs can have lifts that deploy automatically when the vehicle is unlocked, and they remove the need to reverse down a slope.
Converting a vehicle is a complex, detailed process. A specialist conversion company will have the needs and wishes of the customer fully in mind throughout whilst offering their experience and skill to help choose the best option for each individual’s needs.
Lewis Reed Group, Provider Of High Quality Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles
With over 20 years experience producing and selling wheelchair accessible vehicles in the UK, you can be sure that we can offer excellent customer service with a level of knowledge that is completely unrivalled.