Understanding the Types of Wheelchair Vehicle Lifts

Understanding the Types of Wheelchair Vehicle Lifts

Posted by Susan T. on Jan 30th 2024

Wheelchair lifts for vehicles are designed to help wheelchair users load their mobility devices safely into their vehicles. They can be installed in buses and almost any type of cars including minivans, trucks, SUVs, and sedans.

Here are some types of common wheelchair vehicle lifts:

Platform lifts:

➢A platform lift has a flat surface that lowers to the ground which allows the wheelchair to roll onto it. The platform then raises to the level of the vehicle, allowing the user or their caregiver to move the wheelchair inside. Platform lifts are commonly used to load wheelchairs into vans and buses.

Rotary (or Swing-Away) Lifts:

➢A rotary lift attaches to the vehicle while being able to swing out and lower to the ground. Rotary lifts are compact and can be used to load wheelchairs safely and swiftly into the boots of SUVs or trucks.

Outside lifts:

➢These lifts are mounted to the exterior of vehicles, often at the rear. An outside lift can carry the wheelchair outside the vehicle. Outside lifts are suitable for smaller vehicles with less cargo space that may not fit the mobility aid inside.

Inside lifts:

➢An inside lift is installed inside a vehicle. Inside lifts use a motorized mechanism to lift wheelchairs into the cargo area of vehicles.

Under-vehicle lifts (UVL):

➢These lifts are stored under vehicles and extend to the ground when needed. This type of lift is often used to load wheelchairs into the cargo area of full-size vans and buses. UVLs save interior space and are nearly invisible when stowed.

Crane or hoist wheelchair lifts:

➢A crane or hoist wheelchair lift uses a sling or platform to securely hold the mobility equipment in place. Its base can be placed inside the back of a car. Once the rotating arm of a crane lift hoists the wheelchair to the level of the vehicle, the user or their caregiver can safely lower it for a hassle-free transfer

Hybrid lifts:

➢Combine the features of inside and outside lifts. A hybrid lift is mounted inside a vehicle, but can extend outwards and then retract inside with it. Restraints and tie-downs can be used to fasten the wheelchair to the floor of the vehicle. A hybrid lift can be used with the user seated in their mobility device.

Before buying a wheelchair vehicle lift, consider the following:

➢Make sure it is compatible with your vehicle

➢Check its weight capacity

➢Consider ease of use

➢Check its safety features

➢Assess maintenance requirements

➢Check the amount of space it takes

Mobility Masters is committed to helping people with mobility impairments keep their independence. We offer world-class mobility solutions by leading manufacturers including Harmar, Pride, and Golden Technologies. To speak about our offerings or ask a question, call (800) 936-7006.