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Vehicle Wheelchair Lifts

Jul 11, 2008
The first electrical wheelchair was developed in the 1950's. The first mobility scooter quickly followed in the 1960's and since then their popularity has steadily grown. Today most people who are mobility challenged make use of one of these types of devices and they greatly improve a persons ability to get around. It can sometimes be difficult to transport these types of devices and so many people choose to install a vehicle lift to carry their mobility device.

A vehicle lift for your scooter or wheelchair can make transportation a breeze. There are a few different types of lifts available. Scooter lifts are vehicle lifts that are designed for use with mobility scooters. Power chair lifts are vehicle lifts that are designed to work with electric power wheelchairs. Manual wheelchair lifts are designed for use with manual wheelchairs. If you see something that says it is a universal lift, then it will be able to accommodate almost all types of mobility devices.

The first step in choosing a vehicle lift is identifying the type of mobility device you will use it with. Almost all vehicle lifts are able to accommodate electric wheelchairs and mobility scooters, but some only work for one or the other. Manual wheelchairs typically use a different kind of lifting platform and cost less, but they typically can only be used on lightweight manual wheelchairs.

The next step is to decide whether you want to get an internal or external vehicle lift.

External lifts will be hitch mounted and can usually be installed very quickly. There are a few different types of external vehicle lifts, but they all use some sort of platform system that the rider either rides straight up like a ramp, or work like an elevator and raise the chair vertically. There are several models that can be used on all classes of hitches, but if you want to achieve its maximum weight rating, you will need to use a class III hitch. One of the major advantages of a external vehicle lift is that it does not take up any space inside the car and it can be removed very easily. Many people install hitches onto regular passenger car, and without a hitch mounted lift could not transport their scooter.

Internal lifts come in two main styles. Some use a crane like system to lift the mobility device. These types of lifts are installed in the trunk area of vans and SUV's. A special harness is attached to the mobility device and it is winched, usually electrically, into the vehicle. The other type of internal vehicle lift uses a platform that the scooter is driven onto. The platform is then raised and brought into the car. These types of lifts can be installed in the trunk area of most SUV's and vans. Sometimes people choose to remove one of the rows of seats in their van and install it in the passenger area.

Mobility scooters are great, but most require some sort of vehicle carrier in order to make transportation easy and safe. The external lift is arguably the most popular due to its ease of installation and removal. External lifts also do not take up any car space, so they are great for going on vacation, because it does not reduce your trunk space.
About the Author
Sam Noughty is a writer who has experience with many types of mobility devices and mobility aids. If you are interested in learning about vehicle wheelchair lifts, both and external and internal vehicle lifts , stair lifts, vertical platform lifts, and other types of lifting aids visit AmeriGlide today.
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