Car wheelchair lifts are used to help wheelchair-bound people access their vehicle. They typically get used as an alternative for ramps, and they are also responsible for the existence of wheelchair vans. However, before buying and installing a wheelchair lift to a vehicle, various factors require consideration.
Mode of power
There are two types of vehicle wheelchair lifts namely: electrically powered and hydraulic powered wheelchair lifts. The electrically powered wheelchair lift is a bit cheaper than the hydraulic powered lift, and thus it is a common choice for most people. On the other hand, hydraulic wheelchair lifts are not as common, and they require the hydraulic fluid to get replaced after a duration of time to maintain smooth functionality.
Mode of mounting
When selecting a vehicle's wheelchair lift, it is also essential to consider where the lift will get installed. There are two installation methods for wheelchair lift mounting namely: under-vehicle mounted and internally mounted wheelchair lifts.
Internally mounted lifts tend to be more common because they are cheaper to buy and also readily available for maintenance service. However, they usually take up a substantial amount of space in the car in addition to limiting the mobility of the front seats. Under-vehicle mounted lifts or ULV's, are relatively more expensive. UVLs are, however, favored because they have a higher weight capacity than internally mounted lifts and they also don't take up any interior space in the vehicle. Nonetheless, the UVLs are not readily accessible during maintenance.
Single or dual-arm
The design of single-arm wheelchair lifts ensures that the lift takes up less interior space as well as leaving the passenger door of a van readily accessible. Single-arm lifts are only applicable for side entry into a vehicle; nonetheless, they are not recommended for overweight persons because they have a small weight capacity.
Dual-arms lifts, on the other hand, provide double the stability and thus they are conducive for use by heavier individuals as a result of the two arms. However, the dual-arm wheelchair lift takes up a substantial amount of interior space and also partially blocks the side entrance of the vehicle. However, it is advisable to have a dual-arm wheelchair lift installed at the back of the van to avoid such negative tradeoffs.
Note that selecting a suitable wheelchair lift involves balancing the compromises you are willing to make against the requirements you want the lift to meet.
Learn more about wheelchair lifts by contacting online or local suppliers.