What You Need To Know About Wheelchair Lifts –Types, Safety & Cost

A wheelchair lift is basically a platform which is operated with the help of a powerful motor. These lifts are used to transport occupied wheelchair from one floor to another. Wheelchair lifts can be installed in homes, offices, vans, or any commercial area where there is no elevator to take the wheelchairs to upper floors.
    Wheelchair lifts are commonly used to move between floors or to transport wheelchair from the parking lot to the car.  Note that a wheelchair lift is considerably different from stair lifts. It is because the stair lifts have a permanently-fixed seat which only transports the rider, not the wheelchair.
      We’ve listed down the most common types of wheelchair lifts that will help you improve your understanding regarding them:
        • Vertical Wheelchair Lifts
        • These lifts move up and down vertically and transport the person seated in the wheelchair. These lifts are like personal elevators in a sense that they have a door which opens and closes once the person on the wheelchair has entered the platform. The user then presses a button after which the lift takes him to his destination floor.  The door is then opened and the user exits the platform.
        • Crane Wheelchair Lifts
        • These lists are less popular as compared to other types of wheelchair lifts. Crane lifts are usually used to transport an empty wheelchair into a vehicle. These lifts don’t have a platform and work similar to construction cranes. They lift the wheelchair to the level of the vehicle to safely place it there and then lower the wheelchair to the ground when it has to be taken out.
        • Inclined Wheelchair Lifts
        • The platform of inclined wheelchair lifts is tilted on an angle and it doesn’t move vertically up and down like vertical lifts.  Inclined wheelchair lifts work similar to an escalator. They get attached to the staircase and move up and down the stairs, and in this way they transport the person seated in the wheelchair. These lifts are a brilliant option for those who do not have much space to install vertical lifts.
        • Auto Lifts
        • These lifts come in various types and are commonly used to transport an empty wheelchair. Auto lifts enable the users to carry the wheelchair along on their ride. The user can place the wheelchair in the vehicle and drive and then take the wheelchair out using the auto lift when he has to get out from the vehicle.
        Wheelchair Lift Safety & Security Measures
          It is very important to ensure that safety features of the wheelchair lift are adequate before you buy it.  When you’re buying a wheelchair lift to transport a person seated in the wheelchair, the safety of the lift becomes vital. Most of the lifts come with all the basic safety equipment but some of them have additional safety features which enhance the user comfort. Here are a few safety features that you must check in a wheelchair lift before buying it:
            • Safety straps or railings
            • They’re a must-have safety feature in both inclined and vertical lifts to prevent the wheelchair from falling off the platform while the lift is moving.
            • Obstacle detector
            • This safety feature is vital for vertical wheelchair lifts where the passenger may not be able to see what is under the platform. This feature works similar to garage door obstacle sensors and automatically stops the lift it any obstruction is detected.
            • Emergency stop button
            • This safety feature is critical for wheelchair lifts. It enables the user to stop the lift with one press on the button. This feature adds to the comfort and confidence of the passenger as it allows them to quickly stop the lift in case of an emergency.
            • Backup battery
            • This safety feature allows the wheelchair lifts to keep moving in case power failure occurs, so the passenger does not get stuck on the lift.
            Wheelchair Lift Costs
              The exact cost of wheelchair lifts depend on their type, size, weight bearing capacity, and other features. Installation costs are usually not added in the upfront cost of wheelchair lifts because various factors are involved in that process. For example, site inspection may be required before installing the lift and it may affect the total installation cost.
                Vertical lifts usually have a high installation cost which varies according to the size of the platform, vertical rise, lift’s weight bearing capacity, required electric work, and ground preparation and leveling. The cost of inclined lifts depends on how much customization is required. The prices are high in case of complicated and careful customization and lower if less or no customization is needed.