Congratulations on owning a wheelchair van! It's likely you had all the necessary accessories (hand controls, a power pull, wheelchair docking system, etc.) installed at the time of purchase, so you'd be fully equipped on the very first day. Sometimes, though, handicap van owners discover they want to further customize their van for any number of reasons.
Perhaps you purchased your van to transport your child with a disability, and now your child is eligible to drive? You'll need hand controls, a removable/portable seat to replace the driver's seat, and new wheelchair-tie-downs or a docking system. Where do you start?
You can purchase handicap accessories for vehicles at a number of places such as online wheelchair van dealerships or local dealerships, and you may be handy enough to install the accessory yourself--but you shouldn't. And if you're dealing with a reputable mobility equipment sales company, they wouldn't allow it.
There's a very good reason for that, and it's for your protection.
Following Standards for Safety
There are industry guidelines related to the sale of mobility equipment and accessories, and they requires professional installation of all equipment by a certified mobility installer, which most mobility companies have on site. If a company sells you a piece of mobility equipment and allows you to install it yourself, the company is liable if improper installation causes an accident.
Let's look at it another way. If a particular piece of mobility equipment is professionally installed in your adapted van and it fails under warranty, you have recourse. The dealership or mobility equipment company will repair or replace the item at no cost to you. Had you installed it yourself, you would have had to purchase a replacement piece of equipment and, most likely, take it to a qualified installer to make sure it doesn't happen again, costing you time and money.
When it comes to wheelchair van equipment and accessories, quality, safety and reliability are top priorities--for both the product and the installation--so you'll ride with confidence every day.