Wheelchair lift

Best Wheelchair Lift Options for Your Accessible Van

If you or a family member has been struggling to get in and out of a wheelchair accessible vehicle, you know the effort is sometimes enough to discourage you from traveling entirely. An adaptable vehicle isn’t that much of a resource if it requires too much energy to operate. However, a new wheelchair lift can change your mobility outlook entirely.

A wheelchair lift is a powered device that raises or lowers a wheelchair and its occupant to assist in loading into or unloading from an adaptable vehicle. The wheelchair lift comes in different designs and operations to match the type of vehicle, the type of wheelchair, and the needs of the user. Let’s examine the various types of wheelchair lift options available and the implications of each model for your mobility freedom.

Wheelchair van lift

The inside wheelchair van lift is the lighter, more economical lift choice.

Inside Wheelchair Lift Designs

When you think about inside wheelchair lifts, you can expect a more compact design and better cost-efficiency. These wheelchair lift types are mounted inside the cab of the vehicle and are re-positioned outside to hoist and swing the wheelchair. They are a bit more complicated to operate, and require more dexterity and strength — but they are a smart choice for vehicles with limited interior space.

For the best of all worlds, the powered boom inside lift combines power and maneuverability. This triple axis lift provides powered lifting, a long boom extension, and wide rotation range for quicker and more effortless loading and unloading. It also comes with a wireless remote for convenient operation.

A few ideas to consider when selecting an inside wheelchair lift include:

Chair size and weight. This will determine the style of lift you’ll need, including tether and motor strengths

Single- versus dual-arm design. Single arm lifts are used in side-entry wheelchair accessible vans — they’re smaller and more space-conscious, but offer left lifting power than the dual-arm design

Inside wheelchair lifts require tie-down straps as part of the interior seat belt system for the security and safety of vehicle passengers.

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Outside wheelchair lift

Outside wheelchair lifts are sturdier, more durable options for larger wheelchairs.

Outside Wheelchair Lift Designs

Outside wheelchair lifts are rugged, sturdy mechanisms that raise, store, and lower wheelchairs and power scooters for transportation. As the name implies, outside wheelchair lifts are mounted on the exterior of the vehicle — leaving the interior of the vehicle free for passenger and storage space. A unique benefit of outside lifts is that they are detachable, and can be transferred between multiple vehicles.

For the best of all worlds, the under vehicle wheelchair lift earns a competitive nod. Design to provide you with more space and improved visibility, the under vehicle wheelchair lift remains out of sight and out of the way until the moment that it’s needed. The design features a hydraulic up/down cycle and outboard roll stop to protect the vehicle and the wheelchair passenger.

A few ideas to consider when selecting an inside wheelchair lift include:

Chair size and weight. This will determine the style of lift you’ll need, including platform size and motor strength

Retractable lift design. Retractable lift designs allow for securing the platform against the vehicle when not carrying the wheelchair or power scooter

Outside wheelchair lifts require tie-down straps to secure the wheelchair and a cover to protect the wheelchair from the elements during transport.

Hybrid wheelchair lift

The hybrid wheelchair lift is a smart choice for both rear- and side-entry wheelchair accessible vans.

Hybrid Wheelchair Lift Designs

Hybrid wheelchair lift designs combine the best features of both the inside and outside wheelchair lift designs into a single versatile piece of equipment. Generally used in adaptable SUVs and minivans, hybrid lifts feature an interior mounting with foldout or hideaway ramp that allows wheelchair users to maneuver into the interior of the vehicle from the ground.

For the best of all worlds, the fully hydraulic lift is ideal. Featuring a strong, stable platform, this device has an effortless up/down and fold/unfold operation. It has the capability of installation in both rear- and side-entry conversion types — plus, wheelchair passengers can transfer to the driving or front passenger seating positions with ease.

A few ideas to consider when selecting an inside wheelchair lift include:

Chair size and weight. This will determine the style of lift you’ll need, including tether and motor strengths

Powered versus manual operation. Manual operation ramps and lifts are often less expensive than their powered counterparts — powered designs often have a manual operation mode in case of power failure

Hybrid wheelchair lifts require tie-down straps as part of the interior seatbelt system for the security and safety of vehicle passengers.

AMS Vans offers a complete line of wheelchair lifts and platform carriers to enhance your wheelchair accessible van. Our wheelchair lift options fit both rear-and side-entry vehicles — a perfect way to make loading and unloading easier and quicker than ever before.

About AMS Vans

America’s Mobility Van Dealer is a national wheelchair accessible van dealer and manufacturer with a mission to deliver the industry’s best adaptable vehicles and mobility equipment that meets the unique needs of our customers at a price they can afford.