If you have limited mobility, you may use a wheelchair or scooter to help you get around. It is easy using the scooter in your house, but you will also need help getting around outside of your house. You may need to go shopping, run errands, visit your doctor or just want to get out and enjoy the world. This can be difficult if you are using a large wheelchair or scooter to get around. How can you easily transport this large yet necessary piece of equipment? The solution most people use is a wheelchair lift. You can install them on your vehicle to easily transport your wheelchair or scooter. However, this easy solution may not actually be so easy. There are numerous questions that the user may have relating to a wheelchair lift. Here is a look at the five most common questions related to wheelchair lifts.
- Which lift is the best for me? You need to know the make and model of your wheelchair or scooter to help discover all your available options. The make and model of your vehicle will also determine which lift will work for you. The lift you choose will need to be able to work with your wheelchair or scooter and your vehicle. You will also need to consider if you have the strength and coordination necessary to operate a manual lift or if you will need a fully automatic one. Then you may need to consider how much space you want the lift to take up and how much extra space you have for it. Then you need to consider your budget and try your best to stay within it.
- How do you want to secure the wheelchair lift to your vehicle? Outside wheelchair lifts are usually secured to your vehicle via the trailer hitch. This means that if you want an outside wheelchair lift you will need to have either a class II or III trailer hitch. You could opt for an inside mounted wheelchair lift if your vehicle does not have a trailer hitch. An inside mounted wheelchair lift will be secured to the inside of your vehicle by bolting it to your floorboard. Please note that this type of wheelchair lift will take up space in the interior of your vehicle.
- Is it possible to use the existing wiring in my vehicle for the wheelchair lift? Unfortunately, you will not be able to use your pre existing wiring on your wheelchair lift. Your lift has to be powered by the electrical harness that comes with the lift. You could also buy a portable battery pack to power it. Luckily, this means that the wheelchair lift installation will not be as invasive on your vehicle, and looking on the bright side, this can actually save you some unnecessary steps.
- Will my trunk, tailgate or hatchback still remain accessible with my wheelchair lift? Unfortunately, most outside wheelchair lift models will not allow you to use the trunk, tailgate or hatchback. However, you can purchase an optional accessory called a “Swing-Away,” which will allow you to use your trunk, tailgate or hatchback. The “Swing-Away” accessory swings the wheelchair lift away from your vehicle to give you the space needed to operate the back end of your vehicle. Although the accessory is extra and does not come with the wheelchair lift, many people will spend the extra money necessary to maintain the full functionality of their vehicle.
- Is my outside wheelchair lift weather resistant? Outside wheelchair lifts are made to withstand every aspect of outside use. So, yes they are weather resistant. However, your wheelchair lift may come with remote hand controls which are not weather resistant. You will need to remove these and store them inside when not in use. Also, if you have a power mobility device, it is not weather resistant. You will need to wither store it inside when not in use or purchase a weatherproof cover for it if you would like to keep it outside on the lift.
It can seem like a daunting task trying to keep your mobility when you are injured or as you age. A wheelchair or scooter may seem like the perfect fix, but even the perfect fix can pose some problems. It is easy to use them in your home but not that easy to transport a wheelchair or scooter to outside places you may need to go. A wheelchair lift is a perfect answer, but you will need to put in the time, effort and research needed to get the one that fits you and your needs the best.